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School of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree prepares advanced practice nurses to step into top leadership roles and become an agent of change in health care policy and health care delivery systems, while providing the flexibility to continue working. More specifically, this program prepares you to:

  • Integrate nursing science and clinical reasoning with knowledge from other scientific disciplines to design, implement and evaluate care for the highest level of nursing practice.
  • Demonstrate leadership that systematically evaluates complex patient, organizational, environmental and system issues and implement quality improvements based on evidence-based practice. 
  • Evaluate existing research and evidence by the use of analytical methods to develop nursing practice and guidelines, and to improve patient and population health outcomes. 
  • Design, use and evaluate systems, which include health care delivery models, quality improvement programs, and information systems to transform health care. 
  • Influence policy at the organizational, local, state and federal level to improve health care delivery, regulation and financing. 
  • Establish, participate in and lead interprofessional teams to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  • Lead initiatives to promote disease prevention and population health.  
  • Demonstrate effective advanced nursing practice anchored in scientific theory, research and caring principles.

Program length

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is 34 to 40 credit hours and can be completed part-time in either six or eight semesters, summers included. 


Courses are offered online, with the exception of an on-campus orientation session during the first two days of class.


The curriculum includes 12 core courses covering advanced practice nursing, evidence-based practice and organizational leadership/policy, as well as five clinical scholarship courses. In each clinical scholarship course, you will earn clinical hours by completing one phase of your own evidence-based practice project. Six hours of electives are also required for students with an organizational, systems or aggregate focus.

Clinical hours

Completion of the DNP degree requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised practicum experience, with up to 500 hours credited from your master's degree program. Clinical hours will be focused on leadership activities (rather than direct patient care), such as conducting assessments at your selected community practice, participating in committees, and planning, implementing and evaluating your evidence-based practice project.

For more details and a course sequence, view the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree plan and Doctor of Nursing Practice course descriptions.


Tuition for the 2017-18 academic year is $692 per credit hour. Learn more about graduate fees/costs. ►

When can I start?

New cohorts are admitted once each fall. Applications are due in the spring.