Nursing FAQs

Questions about Nursing immersion sessions, the RN-BSN program or DNP program?  Browse through frequency asked questions about Nursing at Brandman. 

Nursing FAQ's


What are the academic and professional entry requirements for Brandman’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs?

  • The BSN to DNP admission requirements are a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN), and students must hold an unencumbered RN license.
  • The Post-Master's to DNP program admissions requirements are a Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) and an applicant must be an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS), hold an unencumbered APRN or CNS (if required) license and be nationally certified in his or her specialty.

Does Brandman allow nurses with a MSN who are not APRNs to enter the Post-Master's to DNP program?

A nurse with an MSN or other master's degree who is not an APRN should enter the BSN to DNP program to become an APRN in one of our two nurse practitioner specialty areas. 

Are there deadlines for applying?

Admission to the PM-DNP program is offered twice a year in Fall 1 (August) and Spring 1 (January). Admission to the BSN to DNP program is offered once a year in Spring 1 (January).
  • Fall I - The final deadline for Fall I is Aug. 15, 2020.
  • Spring I - The priority deadline for Spring I is Oct. 30, 2020, and the final deadline is Dec. 1, 2020.

Where can I find more information?

Additional details are available in the online catalog.

Does the nursing program offer fully online degrees?

All nursing programs in the Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions are delivered using a blend of online learning and clinical practicum or mentored experiences in a variety of healthcare settings.  During online sessions, students will engage in instructor-guided or self-directed study using live and recorded lectures, demonstrations, tutorials and other activities. This blend of teaching methods provides a rich and engaging learning experience for busy professionals who must juggle school, work and family.

Each DNP program also requires a limited number of 3- to 4-day Immersion sessions at the Brandman University Irvine campus

What is the length of the DNP program and how do “sessions” compare to a traditional academic semester?

Brandman has six sessions each year, two in the fall trimester, two in the spring trimester and two in the summer trimester. Each trimester is considered a unit of eligibility for financial aid. Each session is 8 weeks long. These shorter sessions allow students to focus their study on a small number of courses and still complete a degree in one to three years of study.

Do I need to live in or near Irvine, California, to complete my degree?

No. Coursework is delivered online with immersions for DNP students at the Irvine, California, campus.  Clinical practicum or mentored experiences are attended in the student’s home community.

Can PM-DNP students add a new clinical specialty to their education plan?

Yes, PM-DNP students may add a new specialty to their education plan after a successful interview with the specialty program director.

Can students add an additional clinical specialty to their BSN to DNP degree?

Yes, students may complete two specialties in the BSN to DNP degree and will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam in each completed specialty. This adds time to the degree completion, but allows the student to complete two specialties and still receive financial aid.

Does Brandman help students locate a preceptor or clinical site?

Students are expected to locate and establish their own preceptor/s and site/s. Our clinical placement coordinator and specialty NP Program Directors may work with students who need additional assistance.

How many credit hours is the DNP degree?

To earn the DNP degree, students must earn 73 credit hours, with 33 of the credits taken in residency at Brandman University. Students entering with an advanced practice MSN degree may transfer a maximum of 40 credit hours from the MSN when applying to the Post-Masters DNP.

Does the DNP require a dissertation?

DNP students complete a clinical scholarly project (CSP).  The CSP is chaired by a faculty content expert, who assists the student in completing and defending an original scholarly work within the student’s chosen area of interest. 

The DNP emphasizes clinical and applied evidence-based practice for best patient outcomes based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006) and the AACN The Doctor of Nursing Practice: Current Issues and Clarifying Recommendations (2016).

Does Brandman have a degree program that prepares me to become a nurse practitioner?

The Musco School of Nursing offers two nurse practitioner specialties as part of the BSN to DNP degree:

  • Family/Across the Lifespan (FNP)
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Does Brandman offer continuing education courses or graduate certificates?

Both continuing education courses and post-doctorate certificates in the two nurse practitioner specialties are offered.

Can I apply for financial aid if I am a part-time student?

Financial aid is available for students who take at least 2 courses per trimester (1 course per 8 weeks) while pursuing a degree at Brandman.

Can I work while completing my degree?

Yes. The DNP programs are designed for working nurses. The amount of time you work during the program is dependent on your capacity as a student. However, many students reduce their work hours while completing the clinical practicum experiences required for the APRN specialty.

How can I contact someone for other questions?

Call (866) 685-8793 or e-mail

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