What’s new for 2019

ABSN applications

The 2019 ABSN application is completely online! This means you don’t have to download forms, print, or mail any physical documents to the Seattle campus.

If you encounter any issues while completing your application, please reach out to us at or 206.543.8736.

Please review important information about potential changes for the 2019 ABSN cohort if you are considering applying.

DNP applications

2019 DNP applications will be available in early September.

This year, applicants will complete an online interview in addition to the online application. The interview will take place shortly after the October 15, 2018 application deadline.

ABSN and DNP application checklist

While we finalize our online DNP application, use the guide below to prepare your application materials in advance:

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Order official transcripts
  3. Designate your recommenders
  4. Create your online ABSN account
  5. Write your resumes
  6. Write your personal statements
  7. Write an optional statement
  8. Save the date for the ABSN proctored essay
  9. Save the date for the DNP online interview
  10. Apply now

Printable instructions

You may download printable instructions for the ABSN application process with more detailed information.

1. Check your eligibility

ABSN application

To apply to the ABSN program, you must have:

  • A baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field, OR sufficient time to complete a bachelor’s degree in time to start the program
  • A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 for all completed college-level coursework
  • At the time you submit your application, at least three of the Natural World prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for those courses
  • A minimum grade of 3.0 (“B”) in each ABSN prerequisite course, including all Natural World courses, Lifespan Growth & Development, and Statistics
  • Minimum 100 hours of volunteer or paid hands-on healthcare experience in one setting over the course of three months, completed within 12 months prior to applying to the ABSN program
  • Proof of English language proficiency

If you do not meet the minimum requirements above, you should not submit an ABSN application at this time.

DNP application

To continue on to the DNP program immediately following completion of the ABSN program, you must have:

2. Order official transcripts

You must submit an official transcript from every school you have attended – including the University of Washington – even if credits from one school appear on the transcript of another. Unofficial transcripts are not accepted.

You will scan or take a high-resolution photo of each transcript, including the reverse side.

Transcripts must be in PDF or JPEG format. You will upload these to both your ABSN and DNP applications.

3. Designate your recommenders

You will submit one letter of recommendation for your ABN application and three for your DNP application.

Family members or close, personal friends are not eligible to write your letter of recommendation.

You recommenders will submit their letters directly to your online application. You may wish to make time to sit down and discuss these letters with them. Arrange for your letter of recommendation well in advance of the application deadline.

Additional letters of recommendation will not be considered.

ABSN application

The letter of recommendation should be written by someone who supervised you during your hands-on healthcare experience. Ideally, this person will be a registered nurse (RN).

Your recommender will respond to the following questions:

  1. Please describe the setting in which you supervised the applicant. Give details about their responsibilities and relationship to patient care.
  2. Give an example of how the applicant addresses issues of diversity. Are they sensitive to diversity issues? Are they willing to engage in patient care delivery in all settings? Are they able to deliver care to all patient populations? Give examples of each, if possible.
  3. Does the applicant, in your opinion, know that their values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions and experiences affect their perceptions and relationships with others? Provide an example.
  4. Give an example of how the applicant does or does not demonstrate problem-solving skills. In your opinion, does the applicant have the maturity and emotional stability to function effectively under stress? If you observed the applicant dealing with conflict or crisis, please describe the situation and how the applicant handled it.
  5. Give an example of how the applicant does or does not function as a member of a team in diverse interpersonal, academic, community and/or working environments.
  6. What qualities and traits does the applicant possess that would make them a successful professional nurse?
  7. What are some areas on which you think the applicant could improve?
  8. Please verify the number of hours you supervised the applicant in the healthcare setting.

DNP application

You must have three letters of recommendation:

  1. an academic recommendation, such as one from a nursing class instructor/professor, clinical instructor, or preceptor
  2. a recommendation from a current clinical supervisor at your work, clinical instructor, or clinical preceptor who supervised you during your hands-on healthcare experience, and either practices in the role you are seeking (e.g., CNM, CHN, NP, etc.) or works with individuals in the advanced practice role sought (RN, PA, MD/DO) and has knowledge regarding role performance requirements
  3. either an academic or clinical recommendation


  1. Recommendations should be current, have had contact with you during the last five years, and be able to speak to your ability to complete doctoral-level education.
  2. Additional letters of recommendation will not be considered.
  3. At least one letter of recommendation should be written by someone who supervised you during your hands-on healthcare experience and is most qualified to speak to your future ability to function in your chosen role (NP, CNS, NM, etc.). Their letter should specifically speak to your ability to function in your role. Ideally, this person would be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (ARNP). If they are not an ARNP, they could also be an RN with exposure to the advanced practice role, a Physician Assistant or Medical Doctor.
  4. Family members or friends are NOT eligible to write letters of recommendation.

You will want to brief your recommenders ahead of time to discuss the questions they will respond to. Your references will be sent an email asking them to address the following:

  1. How long have you known this applicant and in what capacity?
  2. In making this evaluation, what group are you using as a basis for comparison? (Recommenders are sometimes unclear on the meaning of this. Suggestions you might share are: “other nurses you know who have gone on to graduate school” or “all undergraduate students I have taught” or “other nurses on your unit”, etc.)
  3. Admission to graduate study in Nursing – Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Washington is (select one of the following):
    • Strongly recommended
    • Recommended
    • Recommended with reservations
    • Not recommended
    • Unable to respond

Next, each recommender will be asked to rate you on the following criteria, ranging from “Below Average (lower 50%)” up to “Truly Exceptional”:

  • Overall academic ability, including analytical skills and conceptual thinking ability
  • Practice inquiry ability or potential
  • Oral communication skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Clinical nursing competence
  • Leadership ability or potential
  • Creativity or innovative ability
  • Self-reflection ability and self-critique accuracy
  • Acceptance and use of constructive feedback
  • Integrity and trustworthiness

Finally, your recommender will respond to the following:

  • If desired, elaborate on any of your criteria ratings above.
  • Please describe the applicant’s experience working with diverse groups, underserved populations, and his/her ability to respect individual differences.
  • Please describe what you view as the applicant’s attributes that demonstrate his/her potential for making a contribution to nursing and health care.
  • Please describe any characteristics of the applicant that could potentially restrict his/her contributions to nursing and health care.
  • Please describe what you view as this applicant’s major strengths for completing the DNP program.

Please describe the applicant’s characteristics or circumstances that could potentially make completion of the DNP program challenging.

4. Create your online ABSN account and start your application

  1. Go to
  2. Click Create account.
  3. Enter your email address, create a password, and then confirm your password. The email address you choose will be used throughout the application process and cannot be changed.

For your security, you will use two-factor authentication every time you log in. You can choose to receive security codes via mobile phone or email. Mobile carrier text messaging rates may apply.

First, you will enter your Natural World prerequisite coursework. You must have a minimum of three Natural World courses complete at the time you apply with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for those courses.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you will not be able to continue with the application at this time.

If you are eligible to apply based on your Natural World coursework above, you will continue on to complete the following sections:

  1. Additional required courses
  2. Resume*
  3. Personal statement*
  4. Optional statement*
  5. Letter of recommendation
  6. Proctored essay information
  7. Essential qualifications agreement
  8. Background check authorization

*We highly recommend that you write your resume, personal statement, and optional statement in a word processor and copy and paste the final text into the appropriate section of your online application.

5. Write your resumes

ABSN application

Refer to the online application for format guidelines.

DNP application

Submit a resume that is organized as described below.

Include your full name, address, phone number and email address on first page and put your name at the top of the second page.

Under each heading, list in chronological order (with most recent first) the name of the agency, dates and, as appropriate, bullet points of key responsibilities and/or accomplishments.

  • Education (degree, university, dates of degrees earned, major)
  • Clinical experience (title of position; institution; relevant experience; leadership at work; if a new grad, list clinical practica and locations)
  • Employment history (list jobs not included in clinical experience)
  • Professional and/or community activities (name of agency or group, dates, experience)
  • Certifications and licenses
  • Awards, honors or merit scholarships (name of award, year awarded, agency)
  • Languages you speak in addition to English
  • Any unique experience you think is relevant (including, but not limited to, presentations, publications, leadership in student organizations, research experience, advocacy activities).

Keep in mind:

  1. The UW School of Nursing is interested in knowing about a wide range of relevant experience, both formal and informal.
  2. The Admissions Committee looks for evidence of leadership and independent decision-making skills and responsibilities.

Your resume should be in 11-point Arial font, 1” margins, no more than three pages, and saved as a PDF to upload to your online application.

Tips for presenting a strong resume:

  • Proofread for errors, including your phone number and email address.
  • Use your full name, address, phone number, and email at the top of your first page. If your resume is longer than one page, make sure your name is at the top of any additional pages.
  • Always include dates of employment/activity for each position on your resume.

Avoid lengthy narrative paragraphs; list items under each category.

6. Write your personal statements

ABSN application

Refer to the online application for the personal statement prompts.

DNP application

Essay responses for each part should be no more than 2 pages double-spaced in 11-point Arial font and 1” margins.

The essay should be solely your work without any outside help, including editors, writing coaches, friends, or family.

Part 1: Background and Career Goals

  • Describe significant experiences that have contributed to your interest in pursuing a clinical doctorate in advanced practice nursing (the DNP degree). Reflect on why the time is right for you professionally and personally to make the significant commitment of time, energy, and resources that graduate school requires.
  • Specify outcomes you wish to gain from doctoral study (refer to the DNP Essentials at above and beyond becoming an advanced practice nurse, which you will address in Essay Part 2.
  • Why is the UW the right place for doctoral study to facilitate your career goals?

Part 2: Track Selection

  • Indicate the track for which you are applying (AGNP-AC, AGNP-PC, FNP, NM, PNP-AC, PNP-PC, PCNS, PH, PNS, PMHNP).
  • Please explain why you are interested in this particular role (e.g., CNS, NM, NP, or PH) and patient population (e.g., women, pediatric, communities, etc.) for your future practice. Include a discussion of specific experiences that led you to make this decision.

Part 3: Health Equity

Assessing implicit bias is important for health equity promotion. Write an essay defining implicit bias using one established reference published in the last five years.

With your definition in mind and understanding of how it differs from explicit bias, identify at least one example of how implicit bias might affect health or nursing care practice and then elaborate upon one strategy you as a nurse might implement to address implicit bias. The strategy can relate to care provision, health promotion, workforce development, community collaboration, or other concrete areas.

Logically state how your one stated strategy promotes health equity and be sure to define health equity using a reference published in the last five years.

Use either the American Medical Association (AMA) or American Psychological Association (APA) citation styles for all essays as indicated. References do not count in the word limit.

7. Write an optional statement

There may be areas of your background you want to share that are not addressed in other parts of your ABSN or DNP application.

For example, if you think your transcripts, resume, or admissions questions do not accurately reflect your abilities and readiness for study in the ABSN program, or if you have any breaks in education or employment, you may explain why in this optional statement.

We highly value the support and development of a diverse community of scholars. You can also use this optional statement to share:

  • Instances where you achieved academic merit despite major obstacles in pursuit of higher education
  • If you are the first in your family to attend college, or
  • If your academic participation, scholarship, and research explore and support cultural diversity
  • Any other circumstances you would like to present to the admissions committee

Your optional statement should be no more than 1,000 words.

8. Save the date for the ABSN proctored essay

All ABSN applicants must write the proctored essay. If you do not write the essay, your application will no longer be considered for admission.

Applicants who live in the greater Seattle area are expected to come to the UW Seattle campus to write the proctored essay. Out-of-area applicants for whom it is unreasonable to travel to UW Seattle should designate an official who will proctor the essay.

The proctored essay is scheduled for 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, 2018. Directions to the Health Sciences Building can be found here, and you will receive the room number once you have submitted your application.

There are NO early or make-up sessions for the proctored essay.

If you will need disability accommodations to write the proctored essay, please read our instructions for accommodations confirmation.

9. Save the date for the DNP online interview

DNP applicants will complete an online interview shortly following the application deadline. Please save the dates of October 22 – October 24, 2018 for this interview.

This interview is done online and can be completed at any time during the timeframe above. You will give two verbal responses and one written response.

Please reserve a minimum of 45 minutes to complete the entire interview.

Review the best practices for completing your online interview successfully.

10. Apply now

The 2019 ABSN application is now open. The 2020 DNP application will be available September 1, 2018.

Begin your ABSN application