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School of Health Professions

Frequently Asked Questions: DNP Admissions

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1. How many applications are received each year? How many students are accepted?

We receive anywhere from 55 to 130 applications, depending on the year.

We admit 28 BSN-prepared students who will complete the DNP degree and all requirements necessary to take the National Certification Examination in order to become a CRNA. We also admit up to 30 masters-prepared CRNAs who are returning to complete their DNP degrees.

2. What are the requirements for admission?

A complete list of requirements is posted in the Admissions section.

3. Are pre-requisite classes required for admission?

Yes, BSN-DNP applicants must have completed undergraduate courses in organic chemistry and statistics achieving a grade of B or better. Post-masters applicants, who are already CRNAs, must have completed undergraduate or graduate courses in research and statistics achieving a grade of B or better. All coursework must have been completed at fully accredited institutions in the United States. There is no time limit for these courses.

4. Is a baccalaureate degree required for admission?

All BSN-DNP applicants must have a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing. CRNAs returning to complete the DNP must have a master’s degree must be in nursing or a related field. All degrees must have been granted from a fully accredited college or university in the United States.

5. How do I determine whether a school is fully accredited?

All BSN-DNP applicants are required to have a bachelor's degree or higher in nursing from an accredited college or university in the United States. The institution granting the degree must be accredited by a regional accreditor and the nursing program must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA), or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). 

All MS-DNP applicants are required to have a master's degree in nursing, nurse anesthesia, or a related field from a fully accredited college or university in the United States. The institution granting the degree must be accredited by a regional accreditor or an institutional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and the nurse anesthesia program must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. 

A list of regional accrediting agencies is available on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website.

6. How many years of RN experience are required? And in what areas?

A minimum of one-year experience (two years preferred) as a registered nurse in an area of intensive care nursing is required for BSN-DNP applicants. These include any ICU setting (e.g. CVICU, SICU, Neuro ICU, MICU, etc.). We do accept pediatric and neonatal ICU (level III or IV) experience. ICU experience must be obtained within the United States, its territories, or a U.S. military hospital outside the United States.

We typically do not consider experience in the following areas as meeting our ICU requirement: step down or transition care areas, post-coronary care, intermediate care units, progressive care units, recovery room/PACU, operating room, or emergency room. Experience in an open-heart recovery unit does meet our ICU requirement. CCRN certification is strongly encouraged.

7. Do I have to have a Texas RN license to apply for the program?

All applicants must possess a valid, unencumbered RN license from at least one of the 50 United States. Applicants are required to submit, at the time of application, a copy of their valid, unencumbered RN license from the state in which they currently practice.

A Texas nursing license is not required for the application process. Students admitted to the program must continuously maintain an unencumbered R.N. license from Texas and/or another state participating in the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. All post-masters CRNA students must possess an RN license in the state of residence, an APRN license or recognition as required by the state of residence, and CRNA certification or recertification, as indicated.

8. What happens if I do not have a Texas license and I am accepted to the program?

Once accepted to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program-Nurse Anesthesia, all BSN-DNP students must possess a current RN license that allows nursing practice in the state of Texas. The RN license must either be issued by the Texas Board of Nursing, or from a Board of Nursing participating in the multistate compact (the license must have multistate privilege attached). The RN license is required prior to starting school and must be maintained throughout the program.

Further information on Texas RN licensure may be obtained from the Texas Board of Nursing.

9. My state's Board of Nursing no longer issues paper copies of RN licenses. What documentation do I send for my license?

We will accept a printout from the state's Board of Nursing website with the license details (name, license type, issue date, expiration date, and disciplinary action).

10. What are the GRE requirements?

All BSN-DNP applicants (i.e., applicants who are not already CRNAs), regardless of degrees held, are required to take the GRE. No exceptions are made. In order for an applicant's GRE scores to be competitive, we recommend scores at or above the 50th percentile on all three sections of the exam (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing). GRE scores must be officially reported to Baylor College of Medicine directly from the Educational Testing Service. The institution code is 6052.

GRE scores must be no more than four years old as of the application deadline. For example, if the application deadline is June 1, 2021, applicants must have taken the GRE on or after June 1, 2017. Only the most recent GRE scores will be considered, even if they are lower than more remote scores.

Post-masters applicants (MS-DNP) who currently hold CRNA certification are not required to submit GRE scores.

11. I took the GRE three weeks ago. Why haven't my scores been received yet?

It may take up to 4 weeks for us to receive your official score report.

12. I received AP credit for statistics, and it is listed on my transcript as 'credit.' Will this meet the requirement?

We will accept AP credit for statistics provided the official transcript reflects credit for three semester hours of statistics and the applicant submits a copy of the score report (or other documentation) confirming that he or she received a score of 4 or better on the advanced placement exam for statistics.

13. Are electronic transcripts accepted?

Yes, we encourage electronic transcripts. When ordering an electronic transcript, please have it sent to the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program-Nurse Anesthesia at crna@bcm.edu.

14. With whom should I speak with at the College regarding the application process?

If you have already submitted an application, you may check the receipt status of your supporting documents online. Please allow up to 48 hours for documents to be uploaded after submission of your application A link to the Application Status login is available on the Application Forms page.

Questions regarding the application or your application file (e.g. did we receive your evaluation letters, etc.) should be directed to the DNP Program office via email at crna@bcm.edu (preferred) or by phone at (713) 798-8650.

If you have questions regarding the ICU experience requirement, or would like further information concerning the program, please contact Dr. Walker (Director) via email at jrwalker@bcm.edu.

15. When is the application deadline?

Early application is strongly encouraged. All applications must be submitted on or before June 1 of the prior year to which admission is being sought.

The DNP Program office must receive all supporting documents (e.g. evaluation forms, transcripts, GRE scores, etc.) no later than June15 of the prior year to which admission is being sought. This includes a photocopy of the applicant's valid, unencumbered RN license, proof of current certifications stated in the application (BLS, ACLS, PALS, CCRN, etc.), and current curriculum vitae. The copies of your RN license, certifications, and cv may be emailed to crna@bcm.edu.

16. When will I be notified if I am granted an interview?

BSN-DNP applicants selected for interviews will be notified via email in mid July. If you have not heard from us by July 20, please contact the DNP Program office via email (CRNA@bcm.edu) or phone (713) 798-8650 for further information. MS-DNP applicants will be contacted in mid August to schedule an interview date.

17. May I apply to, or receive advanced standing in, the Baylor DNP Program if I previously attended another nurse anesthesia program?

We do not grant BSN-DNP students advanced standing, even if they have attended other nurse anesthesia programs. Our curriculum is unique in its emphasis of basic science concepts and the integration of those concepts with the clinical curricular content. All graduates must complete the curriculum in its entirety.

BSN-DNP applicants that have previously attended another nurse anesthesia program must meet all admission requirements. Applicants will be considered within the usual admissions cycle. We do not offer off-cycle admissions. Applicants that have been dismissed or withdrawn from another nurse anesthesia program will not be considered for admission without a letter of evaluation from the program director at the institution previously attended.

MS-DNP students may request advanced standing for the nurse anesthesia core courses. To be considered for advanced standing, the student must verify current certification and/or recertification by the NBCRNA, possess a current RN license, and where required, an APRN license, and provide evidence of clinical competency as outlined in the AANA Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice and the AANA Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice.

18. What is the College tuition? Is there a difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition?

Information about current tuition and fees is available here. There is no difference in tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students.

19. Is financial aid available?

Yes, Baylor College of Medicine offers a variety of financial aid opportunities through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

20. Do I need to have CCRN certification before applying?

CCRN certification is not required for admission, however, it is strongly encouraged for all BSN-to-DNP applicants.

21. I don't work with pediatric patients. Do I still need to submit PALS certification?

All BSN-DNP applicants must submit proof of current competency in BLS, ACLS, and PALS.

22. Will I be able to work part-time during the program?

We strongly discourage BSN-DNP students from seeking outside employment during the program. Students may choose to seek outside employment only if they are maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

During the first year, it may be possible to work one-two weekend shifts per month. It is nearly impossible to work during the clinical phase of the program. Students are strictly prohibited from working in any capacity that involves the administration of anesthesia.

MS-DNP students who are already CRNAs are permitted to work as their academic schedule allows.

23. If I am accepted for admission to the program, will I be required to make a deposit to hold my position?

BSN-DNP applicants who are offered a position in the program will be required to make a non-refundable $1,850 deposit to hold their position. The deposit must be received within three weeks of our offer, or the position is offered to an applicant on the alternate list. The deposit will be credited toward the student's tuition account at the time of matriculation. All deposits are non-refundable.

24. The first six months is offered partially online for BSN-DNP students. Are students required to reside in the Houston area?

All BSN-DNP students are required to reside in the Houston area for the first 18 months of the program. During the clinical phase of the program (last 18 months), students may be required to reside in other cities, based on assigned clinical sites. MS-DNP students are not required to reside in the Houston area during the program.

25. If I re-apply to the program, is it possible to reuse any of my application materials from last year?

It may be possible to carry over certain documents from the previous year. Please contact the DNP Program office at crna@bcm.edu or (713) 798-8650 to discuss your application.

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