Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students
How do you define advanced practice nursing?

We use the definitions of advanced practice from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NP, CNM, CNS, CRNA) and advanced nursing practice leaders.

I have a master’s degree in nursing but would like to add the nurse practitioner role to my scope of practice. Am I eligible to apply for the DNP program?

Yes, we encourage you to apply, but you will enter as a BSN to DNP student and will be able to select either the AGPCNP or FNP specialty. Nurses who enter as post-master’s students are already practicing in one of the four APRN roles, as defined by AACN, or have a MSN in Nursing Leadership/Administration. We no longer offer a post-master’s certificate since our programs are not offered at the MSN level. However, we do offer a post-doctoral certificate for the DNP or PhD prepared nurse who wishes to add the nurse practitioner role to their scope of practice.

I am looking for a program that will prepare me to become a nursing faculty member. Is this the program for me?

Though a doctorate is the appropriate degree for a faculty role, neither the DNP or PhD prepares nurses as educators. Graduates from both doctoral programs, DNP or PhD, who wish to be educators should have additional preparation that adds pedagogical skills to their base of clinical practice. You need 9 semester hours in curriculum development from our nursing education program as required by 21 NCAC 36.0318(f)(3) to teach in pre-licensure programs. Students are encouraged to work with his/her academic adviser to find out more about this opportunity, which is best completed at the end of the DNP Program.

Can I start during spring or summer semesters?

All students in the AGPCNP/FNP/Post-Master’s and Leadership specialties begin their course of study in the fall semester.

Will I be able to work while I am in school?

Most of our students work full or part-time while they are in enrolled in the BSN-to-DNP programs of study. Students engaging in a full-time program of study are recommended to limit employment to no more than two days per week (16-24 hours/week).

How much of time should I expect to devote to the DNP program?

The most successful students will spend a minimum of 3-4 hours per week for every semester hour taken.

Will I have an academic adviser to assist me with my program of study?

Yes, you will be assigned an academic adviser who will serve as your first line of contact for issues or concerns regarding your program of study.

When is the application deadline for the DNP Program?

The application deadline is January 10th each year. We admit students once a year, in the fall semester. All application materials, including all transcripts, references, and official test scores must be received by the university graduate school by the application deadline to be considered for the admission cycle.

If part of my application is not received by the graduate school by the application deadline, can my application still be considered for the admission cycle?

If you are unable to meet the current admission cycle, you may request to keep your application active for the next admission cycle at no additional charge simply by emailing the university graduate school. Your application will then be considered during the following year’s admission cycle. You will be responsible to keep the graduate school apprised of your address and phone number during this time.

Current Students
How do I drop a course?
  1. You must first notify your academic adviser of your intention to drop a course.
  2. A student who drops a course after the last day for graduate students to drop a class without a grade will receive a final grade of F unless he or she has permission from the dean of the Graduate School to drop for medical reasons or other justification. All withdrawal requests must be submitted via your ECU e-mail account or by fax, to the Office of the Registrar.
Email and Fax: Items must include:
Fax: 252-328-4232
  • Full name
  • ECU (Banner) ID
  • Reason for dropping the course
  • Course name and number you wish to drop
When do I apply for graduation?

Application for graduation must be made at least one semester prior to the completion of the requirements of the degree on the link provided by the registrar. Students who complete the degree requirements after the last day of final exams in the intended term of graduation will be certified for graduation in a subsequent term. Students completing degree requirements in spring semester are eligible for graduation in spring semester (annually in May). Students completing degree requirements in summer session or fall semester are eligible for graduation in fall semester (annually in December).

I am moving to another state and need verification that I have completed my program of study. How do I get this information?

Contact the administrative support associate for the AGPCNP and FNP specialties, Mr. Tom Andresky, ( You will need to e-mail your name as listed on your ECU transcript, dates of attendance, your area of specialty (AGPCNP or FNP) and a specific name and address where your information should be sent.

Should students take a review course prior to attempting national certification exam?

Yes, the Fitzgerald Review Course is typically offered in person in November annually. Other certification courses are offered online and in-person.

May I sit for the national certification examination prior to graduation?

Yes, this is encouraged after the completion of a minimum of 500 directly precepted clinical hours, approval from the student’s academic advisor and the program director. Students are eligible to sit for either the AANC or AANP examination in their specialty area.