How to Write a DNP Admission Essay

How to Write a DNP Admission Essay

When you apply for a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, an admission essay is one of the requirements that you must fulfill. An admission essay is a document where an applicant writes about themselves and their reasons for eagerness to become a nurse practitioner after completion of the nursing practice program and getting the right credentials.

The institutions offering the DNP program require to admit students with the right qualifications and will often use an admission essay to determine the best students to enroll. In a nutshell, the DNP admission essay will show the university or college admissions committee why you deserve admission to their DNP program, and the life and professional experiences that make you the best candidate for the nurse practitioner program.

An admission essay will maximize the opportunity as it will allow the admissions committee to know you better that the grades and professional awards you already have. As such, the DNP admission essay will either increase or reduce your chances of getting admission and therefore it requires you to prepare well so that you can write a winning admission essay. However, most nursing students who want to pursue DNP programs don’t have an idea of how to start and complete a DNP admission essay.

What is a DNP Admission Essay?

A DNP admission essay is a written document you submit with your DNP program application. Also referred to as an application essay, it offers nursing students the opportunity to demonstrate their level of interest in the DNP program and a chance to explain why the DNP program is important to them. Besides, the DNP application essay will help you stand apart from other DNP candidates. More importantly, the goal of writing your DNP admission essay is to show that you are a worthy student to select for the DNP program at that particular nursing school.

A well-structured admission essay can greatly influence your acceptance into the DNP program you have always dreamt of more than your other qualification or application documents like recommendation letters, grades, test scores, and professional records. It is, therefore, important that you write a winning DNP application essay when applying for your advanced practice nurse program.

What to Include in DNP Admission Essay

What you need to include in your nursing practice admission essay is the experiences that have shaped you, personally, academically and professionally over the years. It can be a particular instance from your past, a description of a few key life events or a look at your academic and professional future goals and prospects. Here are some of the details to consider including in your DNP application essay:

  • Specific examples of why advanced nursing practice interests you
  • Reasons you choose to pursue DNP program or university in particular
  • Your visions and goals for a successful nursing career
  • Personal achievements, like exceptional nursing practice award or accomplishments
  • Previous clinical practice experiences, like volunteer opportunities, promotions, internships or personal nursing practice ordeals
  • Character traits, practice skills, and advanced practice in future
  • Other reasons to secure your admission essay

Tips to Write a DNP Admission Essay

Writing a DNP admission essay can be a daunting task for most practicing nurses because some of them may have stayed in the nursing profession for longer since they exiting graduate school. For this reason, they may not be fully conversant on how to start and complete an application essay for their DNP program.

For this reason, most of them turn to professional writers to help complete their admission essays. Without a doubt, the admission team will only give full attention to professionally written DNP application essay.

Therefore, your DNP admission essay should be thoroughly researched and written and persuasive enough to compel the admissions committee award you DNP registration form. Here are some tips to consider when writing a DNP application essay:

Start Early

Keep in mind that procrastinating this essential part of your DNP application process can be detrimental and could jeopardize the entire application process. This is because writing a DNP application essay takes time and a wining admission essay can go through several reiterations before it is finished. Therefore, getting started early could help create a well-researched, rounded and impactful DNP application essay.

Make sure to mark the important dates and submission deadlines on your calendar so that you don’t miss them while they enable you to work backwards to establish personal deadlines to get the essay written. For instance, you can set research deadline, first draft deadline, finished draft deadline, and proofreading deadline. This way, you can easily keep up with writing a well-structured application essay that is of high-quality and persuasive enough to guarantee you an admission letter.

Follow Instruction

All admission essays are not the same since each nursing school provides its writing instructions and guidelines. While some graduate school will provide explicit information about the format, length, and content of the application essay, others will not. Therefore, sticking to the provided guidelines is important since the admissions committees will pay attention and consider the writing skills and ability to follow instruction. Those nursing schools that don’t provide writing guidelines will allow an open-ended writing.

So, before you start writing your personal statement, make sure you review all the writing guidelines. Regardless of the prompts, ensure your writing reflects your full understanding of a nurse’s role in advanced practice. Besides, make sure you express your interest in DNP in terms of working in healthcare leadership position, nursing education, practicing nursing informatics, or even serving a specific patient population like being a family nurse practitioner.

Write a Role Leaning Admission Essay

Make sure to take enough time to evaluate the information about your chosen DNP specialty. This is because it will help you get clarity when discussing your nursing career goals and how they fit with the specialty. Besides, it is important you demonstrate your understanding of the role of a nurse practitioner. Moreover, your knowledge of nurses with DNP degree is one important aspect that your program faculty will endeavor to establish.

Another important reason why you should write a role leaning application essay is to establish your suitability for the program. As such, make sure you present accurate information in your essay response. Back the information with tangible reasons showing how fit you are for the role even if you aren’t sure about the future position you may hold in your nursing career.

So, write your admission essay like you are sure about the career path you will take using words that demonstrate confidence in achieving your goals. For instance, write “I will” instead of using less powerful words like “hope or might.”

Present a Strong Case

An admission statement could be your only chance to convince the admissions committee to consider your application since most candidates are bound to meet the registration criteria. As such, make sure to present unique reasons as to why the admissions committee should accept your application as well as the reasons why you will succeed at graduate school and as a nurse practitioner.

More importantly, make sure you case is watertight by customizing your reasons to match your chosen specialty. For instance, if your interest is to become a family nurse practitioner or emergency nurse practitioner, make sure you present the characteristics that will contribute to your success in that specialty such as calm under pressure, being compassionate to patient care and being quick on the feet.

An admission essay is about your personality as a nursing student because this is where the admissions team can remember the most about you. As such, you can share your qualifications, but a personal story cannot be the same.

Keep in mind that you will stand out because of the personal experience you regard to be ordinary like volunteering, professional experience in other roles or a conversation with a mentor. Consider writing a persuasive story that describes how you made a decision to become a licensed practical nurse or an illustration of personal values.

Also, giving a challenging experience that changes your perception of the nursing practitioner will be appropriate in giving a clear introduction to your personality and reasons that will make you an exceptional performer among advanced practice nurses in the health care system.

End with a Strong Conclusion

Make sure your DNP admission essay is memorable by ending it with a more than a recap of your arguments. Ensure you put emphasis on the moral of your story or state the lessons you learned from the experience. Ideally, a good summary should end with something that gives the readers something to ponder after finishing reading. You can attain this by completing your application with a quote, a rhetorical question, or an argument.

The concluding statement should be positive to avoid making the readers thing and feel that your discussion was not conclusive in the ending the argument. A powerful conclusion should link to the thesis statement in the introduction, short and ends the thoughts without bringing new ideas.

How to Write a DNP Application Essay

If you are applying for a DNP program and need to write an admission essay, then consider following these steps to write a compelling personal statement:

Step 1: Read the Application Essay Guidelines

With regard to how many nursing schools you apply to, you may have to write a few versions of your admission essay. This is because each graduate school may have unique rules or guidelines to follow. Therefore, read all the guidelines and instructions thoroughly and ensure to take note of any word count minimums or maximums or even the specific topic that they want to be covered. As we already mentioned earlier, following instructions is the first step to writing a good admission essay. Moreover, following the given guidelines and instructions helps you customize each DNP admission essay you write while you convey your commitment and desire.

Step 2: Decide the Focus of your Application Essay

Make sure you choose which information you want to share in your DNP application essay with thoughtful consideration. For instance, you can consider including your accomplishments specifically in your nursing profession, what you want to achieve in your practice doctorate, and your nursing career as a whole. Moreover, it is important to also capture your past, present, and future accomplishments and goals, depending on any word count limitation.

However, if you have a word count limit, it is crucial that you focus on the strongest elements you can write about that captures your essence in relation to the nursing field. As such, try to brainstorm your topic ideas and consider only the strongest aspects you want to include in your DNP personal statement.

Step 3: Create an Outline

Creating a rough outline and making adjustments thereafter as you organize your essay ideas and thoughts will take you a long way. Essentially, an outline will give structure to your application essay as well as help you stay on topic while supporting your writing of the first draft. For this reason, consider creating an outline for different sections you want to include in your application essay or the specific items called for in the guidelines. In your outline, be sure to include:

  • Introduction

The introduction will give the admissions committee a clear understanding of what they expect your essay to contain and therefore capture their attention.

  • Body

The body section of our admission essay should contain an expansion of your ideas, story or points through various paragraphs.

  • Conclusion

The conclusion section of your admission essay should tie together your essay’s main points to the thesis statement in a memorable way possible.

Step 4: Make it Personal

When you include personal examples, you make your application essay authentic while giving a candid look at your personality. Besides, it offers the admissions team an opportunity to confirm that you are a strong match for their DNP program. However, avoid using clichés and overused phrases and ensure to come up with honest, vulnerable, and fresh content that the admissions board may not have seen from other candidates or before.

Step 5: Describe your Empathy and Skill Set

Empathy, kindness, and caring are some of the important qualities in the nursing profession and a winning DNP application essay showcases these attributes. Therefore, consider choosing a personal story in the health care setting that highlights how you innately demonstrate these qualities throughout your life and career and how they inspire and motivate you to pursue nursing practice to higher levels. For instance, you can share your favorite memories of your nursing volunteer work at a nursing home or how you cared for a sibling or parent during their illness or recovery.

Step 6: Write your First Draft

Now that you have an outline, get started writing your DNP application essay first draft. Certainly, the first draft won’t be your final draft. Usually, the hardest part of writing your essay is starting, however, it becomes easier once you have written more. As you write, be sure to keep the paragraphs shorter and flawless for an easier reading experience. Besides, it will help break up the material into subsequent paragraphs whenever needed.

  • Write an Introduction

In the introduction, make sure to write a thesis statement. A thesis statement has two essential parts. While the first part outlines the topic, the second part explains the point of the DNP application essay. For example, you can write a thesis statement about Universal healthcare and its impact on nursing can be as follows, “Universal health care means more people will afford treatment thus creating a need to train more nurses to cater for the increase.”

  • Write the Body

An introduction works to inform the reader about the focus of your application essay. Ideally, start writing the body before the introduction. This is because you are bound to change or amend your ideas thus the introduction may not relate well to what you eventually discuss in the body. Make sure to follow the outline and write all your thoughts and ideas with each in its separate section. This way, it will be easier for you to write an introduction thereafter reflecting on the discussion of the body. Moreover, your discussion should tie up with the thesis statement.

  • Conclusion

Your conclusion should come last with not only a summary of your discussion tied to the thesis statement but a good ending phrase, a quote, or a statement to leave the reader pondering after reading the easy through to the end. However, make sure the end is conclusive!

Step 7: Proofread and Edit

Now that you have written the first draft of your Doctor of Nursing Practice application essay, it is time to thoroughly proofread and edit the entire document. Make sure you have correct spelling, formatting, grammar, and sentence structure. Also, ensure your ideas and thoughts flow from one paragraph to the other flawlessly.

Ideally, use a computer spell check software first, then print and cross-check the paper copy for anything you might have missed. Besides, you can ask your friend, colleague nursing student, or family member to proofread the essay as well.  Let them give you feedback and advice on where to change or amend.

Top Doctor of Nursing Practice Admission Essay Mistakes You Must Avoid

When writing your DNP application essay keep in mind that there are common mistakes that you should avoid in order to come up with a winning admission essay. Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid in your DNP admission essay writing:

Thinking it is a Simple Task

Even if you have a good grasp in writing good evidence based practice nursing essays, it won’t guarantee you that you can write the application essay with the level of quality needed. A DNP application essay comes with a specific structure and should be written in a particular tone. So, you are not experienced enough – no one is, to write it from the first try. Therefore, ensure you take the task of writing your DNP admission essay seriously from the first step.

Last Minute Rush

Writing a Doctor of Nursing Practice admission essay is not a task you can write in the last hours to your submission deadline and eagerly wait to be awarded an admission letter. Of course, you can give it a shot, but keep in mind that the stakes are quite high. So, if you are time constrained, it is wise to seek professional DNP admission essay writing service to help you complete it. You can receive a well-written and more accurate application essay than you can do it all alone.

Approaching it as a Formality

An application essay is a serious task that is, without a doubt, decisive when it comes to whether you will get admitted to college or university of your choice to advance your nursing education. Therefore, it is not a formal task like some questionnaire, but rather an essay the will be read several times by various admissions committee members. As such, you wouldn’t want them to think that you are not committed to advancing your nursing practitioner to higher levels or serious about your future career in nursing, do you?

Ignoring Questions and Instructions

Some nursing institutions will want you to address specific questions in your admission essay and not just write a free-style essay. It is essential that you don’t ignore those questions they give, because they are not a formality. Regardless, if you have some topic of your own to cover, consider finding a way to connect them with the given question. Certainly, you cannot connect everything, but try for most of the topics, it is doable.

Forgetting about Goals

Certainly, your DNP application essay should clearly show why you need to advance your nursing education, why you want it, and what you will do with it in future. You may skip all the details, but be sure to explain with precision why it is so important for you. Write about the clinical knowledge gained from the past, your experience and tell about how the patients and the world at large will benefit from the fact that you want to advance as a nurse practitioner. While you remain realistic, be ambitious in your future career plans.

One Admission Essay for Many Graduate School

Certainly, you will be persuaded to write one DNP admission essay for each admission you plan to submit. However, you need to customize some of your personal traits to every admission essay. These characteristics should relate to a specific nursing school. As such, spend some time reading about their research specialties, history or pro bono opportunities in those specific institutions. That way, you will be able to put some meaningful custom information to your admission essay. healthcare system.

Ignoring Formatting Rules

Don’t just ignore formatting rules simply because the application essay isn’t a standard college essay. A well-formatted DNP application essay will look tidy and alluring to read. Besides, it shows how respectful you are not only to the admissions committee but to the DNP program as a whole. So, before submitting your DNP admission essay, make sure is within the formatting guidelines and well-structured.

Poor-quality Writing

Even if you have exceptional ideas and thoughts, you will have to prove that you can express them in writing. However, many spelling mistakes, technical omissions, poor sentence structure and confusing twists often kill your chances to deliver your brilliant ideas and get accepted. As such, make sure you organize your ideas, thoughts logically and thoroughly proofread your essay document to come up with a high-quality and persuasive DNP admission essay.


Writing a DNP admission essay can be daunting for most DNP candidates regardless of the fact that they are qualified for the program after attaining their master’s degree in nursing. The application essay plays an integral role in cutting off the stiff competition of the many qualified candidates to the required number of admissions for Doctor of Nursing Practice in a specific nursing school.

We believe that by following these DNP application tips and the steps to writing a DNP application essay, you will be getting accepted to your university of your dreams for your DNP program in no time. However, if you still find it challenging, consider seeking our DNP admission essay writing help services to help complete your application essays professionally and on time.

August 12, 2022

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