Answer: Yes – Many online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs do not require students to submit GRE scores as part of the application process. In particular, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to DNP programs rarely include the GRE as an admission requirement. However, there are some online DNP programs that do require submission of GRE scores, so students should be sure to carefully review all admission requirements before applying.
The admission requirements for an online DNP program will vary by school, degree path, and specialty. All require applicants to hold an active RN license in their state, as well as an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or MSN from an accredited school of nursing, depending on the particular degree path (e.g. BSN to DNP programs require a BSN for admission). In the case of certain RN to DNP programs, a nursing diploma may also be accepted. Some MSN to DNP programs require students to be nationally certified in an APRN specialty. For more information about the different DNP degree paths and their admission requirements, check out our Complete Guide to DNP Programs.
Rather than request standardized test scores, many online DNP programs require that applicants meet a certain GPA threshold and/or have a particular amount of professional nursing experience to qualify for enrollment. These requirements vary, but typically, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for a DNP program. This GPA requirement can range from a minimum of 2.75 to a minimum of 3.5, with some programs looking at a student’s overall undergraduate GPA, and others only at a student’s GPA in undergraduate nursing classes. Additionally, many programs require that applicants have one or more years of full-time nursing experience, either as an RN or in a particular APRN specialty (for certain MSN to DNP programs). During the DNP admissions process, students usually must submit transcripts from all previous postsecondary institutions, as well as their resume, so the school can verify past academic performance and professional experience. It is also common for schools to request several letters of recommendation from past employers or instructors.
Some online DNP programs do, however, require the GRE for admission. In some cases, students may only need to submit test scores if they do not meet other admission criteria. For instance, certain schools might ask for an applicant’s GRE scores if their GPA (overall or in nursing specific classes) does not meet the program’s minimum threshold. Other times, schools may recommend that students submit GRE scores, but not require them for admission. When researching DNP programs, prospective students should check with school admissions counselors to see if taking the GRE could improve their chances of being accepted. It is important that students fully understand the admission requirements for any online DNP program before they begin the application process.