Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP

The Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP program prepares students to treat patients 13 and older for brief, but severe, episodes of illness, injury, or trauma in hospitals, ambulatory care facilities or short-term stay settings.

Our Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP program features flexible, online coursework and weekly on-campus labs, during two semesters only, that provide essential skill-training not replicable in an online format. This ensures our students obtain expert proficiency in the field to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.

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Please note: this program requires students to attend sessions on campus, beginning in the first semester. While the program includes flexible, online coursework, not all courses are offered online.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP Career

Graduates of our Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP program meet criteria required to take exams for Adult-Gero Acute Care NP (AGAC-NP) certification. The market for these advanced practice nurses continues to expand because of the aging population, changes that limit the hours of medical residents and the need for specialty care providers. Often, students are hired in an area in which they completed practicum experience.

Aspiring nurse practitioners who want to work in non-acute care settings should instead expore the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care specialty.  

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP Required Experience

Students must have a minimum of one year of RN work experience in the adult acute care setting before applying. We encourage students to have excellent assessment skills at the generalist level before undertaking advanced practice. We offer a part-time program option to allow nurses to continue working while gaining valuable skills.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP Clinical Hours

Students complete a minimum of 504 clinical practicum hours. Clinical placements are determined by students' areas of interest and career goals, as well as preceptor availability.

Clinical hours are typically completed in numerous health care systems in the region and include a two-week intensive rotation (as many as 80 hours a week) at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in the surgical ICU.

The remaining 500 hours are focused on a DNP project. This quality improvement project is grounded in a clinical problem, and students work closely with a DNP advisor to formulate a capstone project.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP Curriculum

Full- and part-time options are available for the program. Full-time students typically complete the program in nine semesters. Part-time students receive an individualized schema.

This program has face-to-face (on campus) requirements and also includes online course flexibility throughout the program. In addition, all DNP students must attend a one- or two- day, on-campus orientation in the first fall semester of their program and return to campus to defend their DNP project in the final semester of their program. For more information, visit the On-Campus Requirement page.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner DNP Schema

  • Total Credit Hours: 77-82
  • Total Semesters (full time): 9


If you have specific questions about the program, contact the Office of Student Recruitment at 513-558-8400 or