St. Cloud State DNP Collaboration

Program Overview

The St. Cloud State University and University of Minnesota Family Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice degree collaboration was launched on December 1, 2020. The first St. Cloud cohort will begin in fall 2021. Students admitted to this cohort will be University of Minnesota students and fulfill all the requirements of a UMN DNP degree within the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty, but will complete their clinical practice at CentraCare Health affiliates. St. Cloud State Nursing faculty will create a dedicated DNP curriculum designed to focus on rural family nursing care that will launch in 2025.

Application and enrollment timeline

  • Application Available: September 1
  • Application Deadline: February 1
  • Interviews: January - March
  • Confirmation Deadline: May 1

How to Apply

A complete application consists of a completed Nursing CAS application with the following materials attached: 

  • Nursing License (copy or screenshot)
  • Current Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Personal Statement
    • No length requirement
    • Essay must be 12-point font and double spaced
    • Save document as “YourLastNameEssay”
    • The specific prompts to respond to will be detailed in the application  
  • Short Essay Response: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
    • No more than 500 words
    • Save document as “YourLastNameDEI”
    • The specific prompt to respond to will be listed in the application  
  • An unofficial transcript from your most recently obtained nursing degree*
    • Additional transcripts may be requested at the time of application review
    • You will be required to submit an official transcript once an offer of admission is accepted. 

Clinical information

All clinical experiences for those in the St. Cloud cohort will be conducted at a CentraCare affiliated campus in the St.Cloud area. Through the clinical experiences students will learn to: 

  • obtain comprehensive health histories
  • conduct physical examinations
  • diagnose and treat common acute and chronic problems
  • interpret laboratory results and diagnostic procedures
  • prescribe and manage medications and other therapies
  • provide supportive counseling and patient and family education and work collaboratively with other health professionals to optimally manage patient care within a family context.

Course work

The combination of a rigorous educational program alongside clinical engagement with CentraCare Health will create a program that positions graduates for leadership in advanced nursing practice in the rural and underserved areas of Central Minnesota. Graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family Nurse Practice specialty are prepared to:

  • Critically analyze data and evidence to improve advanced practice nursing practice
  • Provide leadership to foster collaboration with multiple stakeholders to improve health care
  • Recognize and demonstrate an understanding of the interdependence of policy and practice
  • Provide the full spectrum of health services to include health promotion, disease prevention, health protection, anticipatory guidance, counseling, disease management, palliative and end-of-life care to patients and their families across the lifespan
  • Provide patient-centered care recognizing cultural diversity and the patient or designee as a full partner in decision-making
  • Integrate appropriate technology into practice to promote safe, high quality and cost-effective care

Timeline for this program

The first St.Cloud cohort within the DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner program will begin in Fall 2021.  Students can continue to be admitted into this cohort through Fall 2024. Once admitted, students will complete the degree following a cohorted program plan of three years full time or four years part time enrollment and are considered University of Minnesota students. For the respective curriculum plan for each option, please click the links below.

Three Year Full Time Plan

Four Year Part Time Plan

On Campus Requirements

The DNP, FNP specialty is a hybrid program, with coursework completed through online activities and regular on campus requirements. Each semester, all Doctor of Nursing Practice students attend a 4-day on-campus session (Tuesday–Friday) on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus that includes: core courses, enhancement programming, specialty courses, and advisor meetings. Beginning the second year of the program, Family Nurse Practitioner students come to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus to attend in-person class meetings 1–2 days every other  week throughout the semesters.


Can I apply if I don’t work at CentraCare?

Yes. However, the collaboration prioritizes this program for registered nurses already working in the CentraCare Health system, allowing them to significantly expand their scope of responsibility and impact. You can apply and complete the program if you do not currently work at a CentraCare affiliate, however you will need to complete all clinical requirements at CentraCare. 

What if I don’t live in St. Cloud or the surrounding area?

This collaboration was designed to improve access to primary health care in Central Minnesota. It is essential that students admitted to this program are committed to serving communities in Central Minnesota, including St. Cloud. 

From what institution will I receive my degree?

You will receive a University of Minnesota DNP degree. All course and on-campus requirements are within the UMN DNP degree, however your clinical experiences will be located in the St. Cloud area at a CentraCare affiliate. 

Can I apply for scholarships?

Yes - you are eligible to apply for UMN School of Nursing scholarships. The scholarship application launches around March with a deadline in May. You will not be able to apply for scholarships at St. Cloud State. 

Where will the on-campus requirements be located?

All on-campus requirements will be located at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Where will I do my clinicals?

All clinical experiences will be conducted at a CentraCare affiliated campus.

What is the length of the program?

The UMN DNP degree takes 3 years to complete as a full-time student. Students also have the choice to complete the degree in four years. 

What if I already have a Master of Science in Nursing degree?

Those with a MSN degree in a specialty other than FNP are eligible. Prior graduate level coursework may be submitted for review upon an accepted offer of admission to determine if they are eligible to satisfy DNP program requirements.  

How much does the program cost?

Students will pay the University of Minnesota tuition and fees. The approximate cost (tuition/fees) is between $11,500-12,500 per semester. Students are eligible for University of Minnesota School of Nursing scholarships, including the Bentson Scholarship of $20,000 over three years.