Frequently Asked Questions

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

What kind of nursing doctorate is this?

The Drexel Dr.N.P. is a clinical research doctorate with an increased focus on clinical nursing practice. Our graduates will be educated for many diverse career roles and will also be able to engage in practical, clinically oriented scholarship and research.

What is the new doctoral nursing degree that Drexel is offering?

The Drexel DrNP is a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Science.

Is the Drexel DrNP a practice-doctorate?

Yes, the Drexel Dr.N.P. is a doctorate of nursing practice degree, but it is a hybrid. It is modeled after the Dr.P.H. (doctorate of public health) and the Psy.D. (psychology doctorate) degrees, but is an academic doctorate (similar to the Ph.D.) in that a clinical dissertation is required.

Is the Drexel DrNP like the DNP departments that are forming around the country?

No, the Drexel Dr.N.P. is not a D.N.P. The D.N.P. is a professional doctorate and it does not require the dissertation. The Drexel Dr.N.P. is a hybrid academic doctorate (instead of a professional doctorate), and we believe the Drexel Dr.N.P. degree will give the graduate more career options.

What career options am I prepared for if I complete the Drexel DrNP?

The Dr.N.P. was primarily designed for students in two tracks: Practitioner Track for the student who wants to remain in clinical practice post-graduation, and Educator Track for the student who aspires to a career as a nursing professor, but who also wants a doctorate more grounded in clinical practice. Two other tracks also are available: Clinical Scientist Track for graduates who seek a clinical research career, particularly in clinical trials management or as a stepping stone to a postdoctoral research fellowship; or Clinical Executive Track for graduates who want careers in executive nursing and healthcare management, but who still prefer a nursing doctorate with a connection to clinical practice.

What are the research requirements for the Drexel DrNP?

Although the Drexel Dr.N.P. is not as research intensive as the Ph.D., all Drexel Dr.N.P. students will complete a clinical dissertation similar to the clinical dissertation that students in Psy.D. (psychology doctorate) programs typically complete. The clinical dissertation is scholarly and is generally completed in one year. It should substantively contribute to our growing need for more evidence-based nursing practice and nursing science knowledge development, but differs both in scope and in its applied emphasis from the typical Ph.D. dissertation.

How long will it take to complete the Drexel DrNP?

The Drexel Dr.N.P. is designed as a cohort program. It can be completed part-time by continuous year-round enrollment in three years. There is also an alternate cohort program for students who want to slow the pace of coursework down (starting in year two) and this program can be completed part-time in four years. The Dr.N.P. Program requires a minimum 48 quarter-credit hours.

Can I complete the Drexel DrNP online?

Yes, we are a fully online program. We meet in person for orientation and residency in the summer.

What makes the Drexel DrNP innovative and unique?

First, while our program is the second Dr.N.P. in the country, it is the first clinical research doctor of nursing practice. Our program has a heavy technology focus and all students are supplied with high-tech PDAs for use in their two doctoral practica. Our students will also twice attend an intensive one-week residency each summer where a clinical scholar-in-residence will network with Dr.N.P. students.

Why did Drexel decide to develop this unique degree and not the DNP?

At Drexel, we believe in innovation and our faculty is committed to clinical practice excellence. We wanted to create a doctoral degree that would develop clinical scholars who could make a major impact on nursing practice, but who could also contribute to nursing science knowledge development. This program was designed for the working adult who wants a rigorous, reputable doctorate that offers outstanding career advancement and the skills to engage in practical clinical scholarship. Drexel wanted to prepare our highly educated doctoral graduates for as many diverse career options as possible.

MSN Programs

Are Drexel's nursing departments accredited?

Yes. Drexel's nursing departments are fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791. Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools (the same accreditation as Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Cornell, New York University, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania).

Must I already hold an R.N .certification to participate in Drexel's M.S.N. programs?

Yes. Having your R.N. licensure is an absolute requirement to being considered for any of Drexel's M.S.N. programs.

Are GRE scores required for admission into Drexel's M.S.N. programs?


How does someone with an international degree go about applying to Drexel's online M.S.N. programs?

In addition to the general admissions requirements, anyone who has been born outside of the United States is required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and have an official score report (indicating a minimum score of 600) sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to Drexel University before their file is evaluated.

TOEFL scores must be less than two years old to be considered. Information regarding the TOEFL can be obtained by contacting:

Educational Testing Service
Princeton, NJ 08541
609-921-9000, or 609-771-7100

In addition, international students are required to list on their application all schools attended, including primary and secondary schools. Along with your application, you must enclose official transcripts (mark sheets and degree certificates) in your native language and in English from all colleges and graduate/ professional schools that you attended. Do not send transcripts from secondary schools. If your school issues only one transcript for life, you may send a notarized photocopy, bearing the seal on each page.

Applicants are responsible for contacting World Education Service for evaluation of transcripts:

World Education Service, Inc. (WES)
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113-0745

Applicants are responsible for supplying all necessary documentation.

Is it possible to transfer credits into Drexel's online M.S.N. programs?

Yes. Course descriptions will need to be reviewed to determine if they are applicable to one of our programs. Transcripts are reviewed on an individual basis.

Will I ever be required to come to campus?

For most of the M.S.N. programs, the only program requirement that will not be completed online is the clinical, which can be arranged conveniently near your own home. However, the M.S.N. Adult Acute Care, M.S.N. Adult Psychiatric Mental Health, and the M.S.N. Women's Health Nurse Practitioner programs do require on-campus visits.

How long does it take to complete one of Drexel's online M.S.N. programs?

The time to complete the program depends on how many courses the student transfers in and how many courses they take per quarter. Generally, students take one to two courses per quarter based on their family and work commitments. Students may take as few or as many courses as they want per term, as long as the program is completed within seven years.

Are there any available tuition discounts for employees or members of partnering health systems, associations, or corporations?

Yes. Drexel has a large network of partners all over the country who benefit from reduced tuition rates. To find out if your employer or association is one of Drexel's partners, please visit our network of partners webpage. If you are interested in learning how your company or association can become a partner, please fill out the form located at, call toll-free at 877-215-0009 or email at

Why was the innovation track in the graduate nursing program developed at Drexel University?

Healthcare today is in an unprecedented period of change and few professionals are in a better position than nurses to observe and understand the issues of the patient care frontline. For the advanced practice nurse this represents both a challenge and an unparalleled opportunity to work "outside the box" of current thinking. Healthcare today needs practitioners, educators, and leaders who are prepared to offer creative, but practical, value-added solutions to the unique issues we face like lowering the patient care error rates that result in between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths per year; improving the work environment for nurses; using technology to improve care and create efficiencies. At Drexel we believe in innovation and we practice it in our own program offerings, practice initiatives, and educational technologies. We wish to drive innovation by encouraging nurses to "create" pioneering projects.

What career options might I have when I complete the Drexel innovation track?

This M.S.N .in Innovation in Advanced Nursing Practice will provide you with an understanding of what it means to innovate and the processes and environments that result in lasting change. As a clinician, educator, or nurse manager/executive, you will utilize the knowledge and skills in the program to change clinical systems and practice processes for the betterment of patient care or use the knowledge to leverage your hunches and start your own business as a consultant or entrepreneur.

What are the research requirements for the M.S.N. in Innovation track?

"Introduction to Biostatistics" and "Methods of Health Research" are two of the core courses in the master's program taken by all graduate nursing students. Instead of writing a thesis, students conduct an innovation "capstone project" to be completed over three quarters (30 weeks). This project may be centered in your home institution or focused on your own future enterprise. You will submit a portfolio of the project's conception, development, implementation, and evaluation.

How is the innovation track different from the masters in nursing leadership and health systems management?

The primary objective for students in the Nursing Leadership MSN track is to develop the organizational, human resources, and strategic planning skills needed for managers and leaders within healthcare organizations. This program was recently redesigned with a new focus on the management of information and evidence-based decision making for the nurse administrator—two skills critical for today’s high performance-oriented nurse executive. On the other hand, students in the Innovation Track focus specifically on the design of innovation and change to improve health and clinical systems. This may be a part of leadership and management but not its specific focus.

Your curriculum guide indicates I can make a selection of a cognate from a different college in Drexel University. What kind of courses might I select?

Students in the Innovation Track may take up to three courses from the LeBow College of Business, the College of Information Science and Technology, and other Drexel Graduate Schools according to their innovation interests. For example, if you are particularly interested in using information technology to innovate care processes you might draw from electives in the College of Information Sciences in Healthcare Informatics. Or you may take electives inside of the College in Nursing and Health Professions such as Building and Leading High Performance Healthcare Organizations. There will be many electives from which to choose.

What are some examples of capstone projects?

Many people do not know that the bilirubin light for newborns was invented because of the observation of a nurse that the jaundice in newborn babies whose cribbettes were near the sunlit nursery window cleared up at a faster rate than those not exposed to sun. A nurse who won the 2006 Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions Bayada Award for Technological Innovation in Nursing Practice used an Electronic Health Record system to remind nurse teams to turn patients who were at high risk for pressure ulcers. The rate of pressure ulcers dropped 80% over time as a result. Your project will grow out of your observations and hunches about how you can improve practice or education, if you are a teacher. Remember Florence Nightingale’s innovation of introducing basic cleanliness to hospital wards during the Crimean War? This innovation dropped the mortality rate of soldiers dramatically since they were dying from infections not from their war wounds. Innovations are often so simple and one might be lurking among your hunches.

How long will it take me to complete the master's in innovation program?

The entire program is 46 quarter-credits equaling 15 courses. You must remember that quarter courses are completed in 10 weeks instead of the traditional 15 week semester. A 46 quarter credit master’s degree is equivalent to a 30.5 semester credit master's degree. So the program is really very efficiently designed. There are two curricular plans: a seven quarter or a nine quarter plan. By taking two courses each quarter and adding an elective in three of the seven quarters, you could complete the program in one and a half years. However, you could choose to pace yourself differently, for example, taking one course per quarter.

Can I complete the program online?

Yes, all courses can be completed online. During the capstone project three-quarter period, students will attend class online, both synchronously (in real time) and asynchronously (not everyone online at the same time), to discuss the progress of their project. The purpose of this discussion is to provide support, to share successes and pitfalls, and to disburse the innovation that is occurring among the student group.

How are the requirements for the certificate program in innovation different from the degree?

The certificate in innovation has two options:

Option 1 is the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Option, which requires that you take the three primary courses in the track - “Innovation in Advanced Nursing Practice: Theory and Application,” “Case Studies in Intra/Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Nursing,” and “The Nurse as an Intra/Entrepreneur and Consultant.” You will also take the first capstone course in which you will complete an innovation proposal. The total credits for the post-baccalaureate option is 12. Individuals who want to understand the theories of innovation, examine some successful and failed innovations, as well as learn what it takes to be a successful intra/entrepreneur will enjoy Option 1.

Option 2 is the Post Master’s Certificate Option, which requires that you take the primary courses in the track as listed above (9 credits) as well as the three capstone courses in which you will develop and complete a proposal for an innovation project and conduct the implementation and evaluation components (9 credits). Finally, a one-credit professional seminar for advanced nursing practice will give you a total of 19 credits for this option. Option 2 is for the student who wishes to have a guided experience in the implementation and evaluation of the innovation proposed and actually complete a final work product. We believe having a portfolio of a final master’s level innovation project could sell a future employer on your idea or launch you into a new career opportunity.

What makes the Drexel degree program unique?

Drexel is the first university to offer a MSN in Innovation and Intra/Entrepreneurship in Nursing in the Nation. Several universities offer nurse entrepreneur conferences. Other universities have collaborative programs in innovation between Schools of Business and Nursing. However, Drexel University’s program is unique in that its focus is innovation for the advanced practice nurse, educator or executive. It is not a degree in business, nor even a nursing-business hybrid; it is rather an advanced nursing degree with a focus in innovation. The program can be completed entirely online as is the format of delivery with many other Drexel programs.

Is the Drexel innovation department accredited?

The College of Nursing and Health Professions Departments are fully accredited by National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Is this program only for the seasoned graduate nurse?

More important than time spent in nursing is your ability to be self-directed and your desire to understand innovation and create a significant change in healthcare or educational systems. We think this program will have appeal and relevance to both the seasoned nurse who has years of experiences from which to draw from for ideas and also to the young intra/entrepreneur who has ideas and inventions he or she wants to see marketed immediately.

Am I eligible for financial aid for this program?

To be eligible for federal financial aid you must at least be enrolled part-time and that means you must take a minimum of 4.5 credits per quarter. This means that you must take more than one course per quarter to be eligible for financial aid.

Are scholarships available?

Notices about scholarship and grant availability are regularly sent when such monies are available to students. The MSN Program does have Advanced Nursing Education funds that are distributed on a formula basis. For nurses who live in Pennsylvania, there is often scholarship money available if certain conditions are met. There are also scholarships available through various sources. I encourage you to investigate the two links below:

Anesthesia Program

What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

A Nurse Anesthetist, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), is a licensed advanced practice nurse.  After completing extensive education and training, CRNAs become nationally certified. CRNAs administer approximately 65% of the 26 million anesthetics administered in the United States each year. They practice in a variety of settings in the private and public sectors and in the U.S. military, including traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, pain clinics, and physicians' offices.

Why should I consider Drexel University’s Nurse Anesthesia Department?

Drexel currently offers a three month certification exam review, two review courses, one of which is sponsored by the university.  Our department also has on site approachable faculty committed to your learning and success.  Separate class and clinical days allows the student to adequately prepare for class or clinical.  The ability to take MSN Core Courses prior to the start of the program will ease the burden of a rigorous program.  The primary simulation experience is targeted to allow the student to gain the necessary didactic and “hands on” experience prior to the start of their clinical rotations.  The simulation experience also includes a pediatric simulation workshop and an alternative workshop in the second and third year of studies.

Do you offer online courses?

All of the graduate nursing core courses for the nurse anesthesia department are offered online with some blended virtual class requirements.

What type of critical care experience is required?

A minimum of two years recent full-time critical care experience where the registered professional nurse manages invasive hemodynamic monitors (such as pulmonary artery catheter; CVP; arterial), cardiac assist devices, mechanical ventilation, and vasoactive drips (such as norepinephrine epinephrine; dobutamine; nicardipine; nitroglycerine). Preferred areas include: SICU (Surgical Intensive Care), MICU (Medical Intensive Care), CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care), Coronary Intensive Care, PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and a Level I Emergency/Trauma Unit are also acceptable. Other areas may be considered provided competence can be demonstrated with invasive monitoring, ventilators, and critical care pharmacology.

Do I need to have Bachelor of Science in Nursing?

A bachelor's in nursing is required.

What is the minimum score required for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?

A score of 300 (or higher) when combining the verbal and quantitative scores on the 130-170 score scale. A score of 1000 (or higher) when combining the verbal and quantitative scores on the 200-800 score scale.

How many applicants are accepted each year?

Approximately twenty one  registered nurse anesthetist students  are admitted annually in January.

Do I need to shadow a CRNA?

It is strongly recommended that you shadow a CRNA to observe current nurse anesthesia practice to ascertain that you are choosing to pursue a career of interest. The department is unable to provide this experience for potential applicants and recommend that you contact the anesthesia department at your place of employment or a nearby hospital that employs CRNAs.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline to submit an application for the January 2016 cohort is April 15, 2014.

How long is the program and when does it start?

The program is 28 months in length and starts the first week in January.

What is the tuition?

For more information, please contact the bursar's office.

Do I have to buy malpractice insurance?

No. Drexel University provides malpractice coverage without cost to the student.  Health insurance is mandatory and is available through Drexel University.

Will I have the summers off?

No, however you can look forward to one week off every ten weeks. The entire Nurse Anesthesia program of study consists of nine 10-week quarters, with one week off between quarters (usually March, June, September and December). Students are off for most major holidays unless assigned an on-call shift as part of the clinical practicum.

Can I work during studies?

Because of an average weekly program commitment of 56 hours/week, very few students are able to work on a regular basis.

Will I need a car or can I use public transportation to get to clinical sites?

Clinical sites range from 0-90 miles from the university.  A reliable vehicle is necessary and parking is available at all clinical sites.  Some clinical sites offer free student housing during the clinical rotation.

Do you interview all applicants?

Admission into our department is very competitive. Applications are reviewed relative to the admission criteria (GPA, GRE score, professional experience, reference letters, and the personal statement). Interviews are offered to the most qualified applicants.  The interview includes a detailed overview of the clinical and academic curriculum, an interview with the Nurse Anesthesia Program's Admission committee, and an opportunity to meet with current students. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the department.

What is the accreditation status of the Department?

Drexel University’s Nurse Anesthesia Department received the maximum 10 year accreditation in 2010. The next accreditation review will be in 2020.

Will I need a computer?

Yes, a personal computer (or laptop) with DSL internet access is mandatory. (Link to drexel IRT)  Students are expected to be proficient with word processing, electronic mail, and online literature searches.

Do I need to have a full year of critical care experience before I submit my application?

You can apply to the department if you are currently employed in critical care and will have the necessary two years of full time experience before the start of the program.

My GPA was low for my first two years in college, will this count against me or will you just look at my nursing GPA?

We look at the compiled GPA and the science GPA. Admission is not based solely on GPA; we also look at GRE scores, professional experience and recommendations.

Can I attend the program on a part time basis?

No, the program is 28 months in length and is designed for full time study.

I already have a Masters of Science in Nursing, do I have to get a second graduate degree in nursing?

No, you are eligible for the post masters certificate option.

Is financial aid available?

For more information on financial aid, please visit Drexel Central.

Where will I complete my clinical requirements?

The Nurse Anesthesia Department has multiple clinical sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Where can I get a copy of the course descriptions?

Please click on the curriculum link for course descriptions.

Where are classes held?

Classes are held at the university during the first quarter.  Students in the distance option may make housing arrangements privately or through the university.  The cost of university housing may be bundled in with tuition.  At the start of the second quarter of the first year, students will take their classes in a synchronous mode at their distance site.  Distance students are also expected to come to campus for Interdisciplinary Day, held twice a year, the Pediatric Simulation experience, and Alternative Airway once during the program. The Pediatric Simulation experience offers students “hands on” exposure in a non clinical setting and the airway workshop provides students an opportunity to utilize alternative airway techniques.