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Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was developed to meet the demand for nurse leaders in an increasingly complex healthcare industry.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP program offers a unique opportunity for bachelor’s-prepared nurses to obtain both a master’s level and DNP education in an abbreviated time span.

For nurses who have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), we offer a post-MSN to DNP program.

Information Sessions

Did you miss our most recent information session? Listen to a video recording to find out more information about our BSN to DNP programs.

Career Opportunities

The DNP graduate is well-prepared to serve as a practice leader within health care systems or academic settings. Opportunities include organizational and system leadership, development and implementation of health policy, and the planning, management, and evaluation of programs for health promotion, risk reduction, and health restoration.

Nursing Education Certificate Option

Prepare for roles in nursing education by adding the Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education to your degree program. Complete four additional online courses in conjunction with your DNP curriculum to earn an additional certificate in Nursing Education. This certificate provides essential knowledge and skills that will prepare you as a future educational leader in academic and practice settings.

Some quick details about the certificate include:

  • It's online, so you will be able to take this flexible course load while pursuing your DNP.
  • A total of 12 semester hours (4 courses) on topics such as learning-centered teaching, curriculum design, student and program assessment, instructional technology, and role of the academic nurse educator.
  • A professional practicum that provides hands-on experience before you graduate.

Here are example schemas for full-time and part-time options.

DNP Program Objectives

  1. Provide and/or direct exemplary patient care within the scope of practice for the specialty.
  2. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from biophysical, psychosocial, political, economic, organizational and analytical sciences as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice.
  3. Apply concepts related to clinical prevention in developing and evaluating interventions and programs to address health promotion/disease prevention efforts.
  4. Demonstrate leadership for the delivery of ethical, safe, cost-effective, high quality health care through expert collaboration, consultation, analysis and administration.
  5. Develop quality programs designed to improve health care of individuals, populations, or society through the use of multidisciplinary teams.
  6. Demonstrate the conceptual ability and technical skills to develop and execute an evaluation plan involving data extraction from clinical information.
  7. Formulate strategies for the development of institutional, local, or national health policy.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

The requirements for conferring the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree include successful completion of:

  1. a minimum of 42 semesters credit hours post-MSN; 90 semester credit hours post-BSN of required courses taken in the appropriate sequence for the enrolled major;
  2. Completing the appropriate forms with the University Graduate School by the defined deadline;
  3. Payment of all delinquent university/college obligations; and
  4. Completion of program requirements within 5 years from matriculation date.

Critical Requirements

Prior to beginning course work, accepted students must provide satisfactory evidence of:

  • A current license to practice as a registered nurse; and
  • A health history and required immunizations.

Major Requirements

The minimum number of required credit hours of study in each major varies. The majors are designed so that graduates are eligible to meet certification requirements in their chosen specialty. For information regarding requirements for each major contact the College's Office of Student Affairs. A minimum enrollment is required for a major or course to be offered.


Contact the Office of Student Affairs at or (513) 558-3600.