With an upcoming shortfall in doctors— the American Medical Colleges predicts a deficit of approximately 46,000 to 90,000 doctors—advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) will be in high demand.  From primary care to the many possible specializations, as a DNP credentialed nurse you will never be out of work.
And if you’re already an Advanced Practice Nurse with an MSN degree, you’re probably aware that the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has recommended that the DNP degree become the minimum credential for APRN practice.
If you have a BSN and are thinking of becoming an APRN, it just makes good financial sense to go straight into a DNP degree program.
What kind of DNP degree should you get?
With the influx of nurses seeking DNP degrees, schools have been getting in gear to provide quality programs both online and on campus. Both modes of delivery have their advantages, but online programs have come a long way in recent years.
Online programs provide students the opportunity to study without leaving their jobs or other commitments. You can expect the same degree as an on-campus student, sometimes at a lower tuition. For more information, check out our list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.
All good DNP programs, whether online or on campus, will provide education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and leadership, among other key areas. Make sure to look into practicum possibilities (i.e. can you complete it at your place of work?) and any campus visit requirements before you commit.
How much money do people make with a DNP degree?
Becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in the current healthcare environment pretty much guarantees steady employment for as far as statisticians can see. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 31% job growth rate through 2024 – that’s much faster than average growth.
And APRNs can expect not just steady employment, but the potential for pretty lucrative pay. The BLS puts the 2016 median pay for APRNs at $107,460 per year.
What can you do with a DNP degree?
The DNP is a terminal degree in nursing practice that offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. There are so many different kinds of DNP programs, with so many specialties, that the options are almost limitless. No matter what your particular interest, there is probably a niche with your name on it.
Depending on your chosen focus area, a DNP degree can prepare you to work as a:
- Healthcare Administrator
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Anaesthetist
- Nurse Midwife
What are the requirements for a DNP degree?
DNP programs vary widely, but all programs on our ranking will equip you with both the best research and real-world experiences. Unlike the research-intensive DNS degree, the DNP is a practice-focused doctoral program that stresses the application of research findings. That means that a practicum or capstone project is an important part of DNP programs.
There are many pathways to the DNP degree, with some schools offering a BSN-DNP or an MSN-DNP program. All programs will require that you have a BSN degree at a minimum, as well as an up-to-date RN licensure. Some schools require a year or more of practice in your field.
What are the best DNP degrees?
Because of the demand for DNP credentialed APRNs, there are a lot of programs out there. We’ve found the top 25, and laid them out for you in an easily digestible format. Our research methodology takes into consideration institutional reputation, return on investment, and student satisfaction.
We weigh criteria like reputation scores, tuition costs, early career earnings, and peer assessments from a variety of sources to come up with a composite score that reflects academic excellence and the probable return on your tuition dollar.
We hope this College Choice ranking helps you in your search for the best DNP Program!
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $19,950
Founded in 1838 by Quakers and Methodists, it’s never surprising to see Duke University at the top of a ranking. A private research university with a stellar reputation, Duke ranks among the top ten national universities in the country. The School of Nursing continues the tradition of excellence, topping U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 ranking as the best School of Nursing in the country.
The School of Nursing at Duke University offers a flexible DNP program with three entry points. The program is designed for practicing nurses who wish to extend their practice to improve systems of care. And you’ll learn to assess published evidence from faculty with broad experience in advanced clinical practice, leadership, and patient safety. Program options include;
- BSN to DNP
- MSN to DNP
- PhD to DNP
Duke’s DNP programs are flexible enough to accommodate nurses working in advanced practice positions as well as BSN students wishing to pursue a DNP. Designed to be as manageable as possible for working students, you can complete the DNP project at your place of employment. Courses are delivered online, with four executive on-campus sessions (two to three days per session).
Ohio State University
College Choice Score: 97.06
Average Net Price: $17,971
One of the country’s largest and most comprehensive universities, Ohio State University is a public research institution that ranks among the best national universities in the U.S. The school is known for excellence in both teaching and research (a highly sought after combination) and their College of Nursing is one of the top 5 in the nation (U.S. News and World Report).
Ohio State’s College of Nursing offers an online DNP program with two possible pathways and many areas of specialization. The curriculum offers customized learning opportunities that will hone your skills in evidence-based practice or healthcare administration. Whatever your career goals, Ohio State’s online DNP program will help you balance the rigors of study with the rest of your life commitments. The two possible pathways are:
- Post-Master’s DNP (Clinical Expert or Nurse Executive tracks)
- BSN to DNP (with three online specialties)
Students in Ohio State’s MSN to DNP program can complete the program in two years of full-time or three years of part-time study. For those in the BSN to DNP track, you can expect four years of full-time or five years of part-time study. The specialties that are currently available online are Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Johns Hopkins University
College Choice Score: 93.42
Average Net Price: $27,352
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University is an elite private research university and a founding member of the prestigious American Association of Universities. The school is known for its top-ranked graduate schools, including the School of Nursing, which the NLN designates a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
The School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins offers an online Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP program with three specialization opportunities. The program promises to build your skills in clinical theory and research-based nursing practice—providing opportunities to deliver direct patient care, organize resources, and educate nurses to improve healthcare. You can choose to specialize in:
- Adult/Gerontological Health
- Adult/Gerontological Critical Care
- Pediatric Critical Care
On graduation, students in Johns Hopkins’ Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP program will be ready to pass the American Nurses Credentialing Center Clinical Nurse Specialist Exam. For admission, you must have a BSN degree or entry-level nursing master’s degree, and one year of experience as an RN is preferred. You can complete this degree on a three or four-year plan.
College Choice Score: 93.17
Average Net Price: $39,820
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walden University is a regionally accredited (HLC), for-profit university which has been providing higher education for working students since 1970. Today the school enrolls over 51,000 students in all 50 states and over 114 countries…….
Walden University offers a CCNE-accredited, online DNP program that will help you make a difference in your patients’ lives. The curriculum is designed to strengthen advanced nursing practice, augment healthcare delivery, and improve patient outcomes. Designed for RNs who have already completed an MSN program in an area of advanced practice nursing, core courses include:
- Methods for Evidence-Based Practice
- Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology
- Best Practices in Nursing Specialities
Walden’s online DNP degree program is built around eleven core courses and incorporates fieldwork to allow you to apply your learning in a real-world environment. Walden also has a generous transfer policy which allows you to bring up to 23 credits of relevant graduate credit into the program. Most students take over two years to complete their doctoral study or DNP project.
Medical University of South Carolina
College Choice Score: 92.16
Average Net Price: $28,659
Founded in 1824, the Medical University of South Carolina is one of the oldest continually operating medical schools in the U.S. The school is now a state university and offers some of the best graduate nursing programs in the country. Notably, in U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 ranking, MUSC’s online DNP program ranked at #2.
The College of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina offers an online DNP program in Nurse Executive Leadership and Innovations. You’ll gain expertise in advanced executive nursing practice, clinical scholarship and analytical methods to improve healthcare delivery. The program also covers quality improvement, leadership, collaboration, health care policy and finance. Students may choose from one of two tracks:
- Post-BSN DNP
- Post-MSN DNP
MUSC’s top-ranked online Nurse Executive Leadership and Innovations DNP program includes coursework, mentoring, and interaction with faculty. Students can complete the MSN to DNP program in five semesters full-time or eight semesters of part-time study. Students entering with a BSN will take seven semesters of full-time and ten semesters of part-time study. This program does require campus visits.
College Choice Score: 92.12
Average Net Price: $39,021
Located in in Philadelphia, PA, Drexel University is a highly innovative private technological university. The school was the first to have a completely wireless campus, and its cooperative education program, one of the nation’s largest, means that students graduate with extensive work experience. Drexel‘s online graduate nursing programs rank in the top 50 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers an online DNP program that will prepare you to assume leadership roles as an executive or practitioner. You will learn to apply evidence-based practice to improve individual, family, and community health outcomes and be well equipped to apply research to clinical settings. Core courses include:
- Health Policy and Economics
- Applied Epidemiology
- Scientific Foundation of Nursing Knowledge Development
Drexel’s online DNP program is comprised of 46 credits of core coursework, practica, and a DNP Project. Courses are delivered in four accelerated 10-week quarters for faster completion. A master’s degree is a requirement for admission to the program (if your master’s degree is not in the field of Nursing, you need a BSN as well). You’ll also need to have some experience working as an APRN.
Catholic University of America
College Choice Score: 89.83
Average Net Price: $36,009
Founded by US Catholic Bishops in 1887, The Catholic University of America is a private, Catholic University and the national university of the Catholic church. The school has a reputation for being a good value in higher education and students at the highly regarded School of Nursing will find themselves surrounded by faculty who not only teach but who are practicing experts in their fields.
The Catholic University of America’s School of Nursing offers a post-master’s DNP program that will help you become an expert clinical practitioner or administrator. This practice-based program will deliver the experience and skills you will need to improve your nursing practice and the health care delivery system in America. Courses include:
- Emerging issues in health care and challenges in nursing
- Standards of practice and health care ethics
- Principles of epidemiology
CUA’s online DNP program is comprised of 32 credits of courses, a residency, and an evidence-based practice project. You’ll complete the DNP project under the close guidance and support of faculty members. And CUA’s DNP program has a stellar reputation, ranking #56 among the top online graduate nursing programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
College Choice Score: 88.06
Average Net Price: $34,538
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Rush University is a Health Sciences-focused private research university. The school is one of the most frequently ranked nursing schools on this list, having seven specialty programs at the graduate level ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report. Rush University currently ranks in the top one percent for its Doctor of Nursing Practice.
The College of Nursing at Rush University offers a DNP program which promises to prepare new and practicing nurses to be leaders in the nursing profession. Students will benefit from college faculty who are nationally and internationally known for their expertise across departments, encompassing the full spectrum of nursing. The College’s national reputation for clinical excellence helps make their graduates highly sought after by top healthcare employers. The College of Nursing offers several DNP specialties, including:
- Seven Nurse Practitioner focus areas
- Transformative Leadership: Population Health
- Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
Rush University’s College of Nursing offers two start dates per year for most specialties, and students have the option to study either part-time or full-time (with the exception of the Neonatal and Pediatric options which are part-time, online programs). Most specialties are offered in a hybrid of online courses combined with campus visits and clinicals.
University of Massachusetts
College Choice Score: 87.32
Average Net Price: $20,093
Located in the college town of Amherst, Massachusetts, The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research university and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. The largest public university in New England, UMass ranks among the top 100 national universities and is home to one of the top online graduate nursing programs in the country (US News and World Report 2018).
UMass Amherst’s College of Nursing offers an online DNP program with two pathways for entry. Students will benefit from a wealth of experience, expertise, and high student satisfaction levels. The Nursing faculty includes renowned professors whose widely published research puts them at the forefront of their fields and enriches the quality of their teaching. DNP options include:
- Post- Baccalaureate Role (with four population areas for specialization)
- Post- MSN DNP option (for current APRNs)
Whichever pathway you choose, UMass Amherst’s DNP program is completely online. All students will gain experiential learning through clinical internships to be arranged in your area. Degree requirements vary widely depending on the chosen specialty, though most post-BSN specialties take 4-5 years to complete. The post-MSN program is 36 credits and completed on an individualized study plan.
College Choice Score: 87.10
Average Net Price: $33,586
Consistently ranking among the top ten regional universities in the West, Gonzaga University is a private, Catholic, liberal arts university located in Spokane, Washington. The school, which embraces a Jesuit-inspired, liberal arts-based tradition of reflection and action, is known as a “best value” in education (US News and World Report). The school also has several highly ranked online programs, including their Graduate Nursing Program.
Gonzaga’s Department of Nursing offers an online DNP program that will equip you to serve and change the healthcare industry for the better. The DNP programs offer rigorous training in leadership, health policy, evidence-based practice, and teamwork. Gonzaga offers both a post-master’s option and a post-BSN option with the following specialties:
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Gonzaga’s post-master’s DNP program is for APRNs and is comprised of 31 credits of coursework and practicum hours. The Post-Baccalaureate DNP is for students with a bachelor’s degree and an RN licensure (students without a BSN will complete four bridge courses). Both DNP programs require campus visits.
University of Arizona
College Choice Score: 86.45
Average Net Price: $16,466
Located in Tucson, Arizona, the University of Arizona is a public research university that is a hub for medical and nursing education in the region. The school operates two medical schools and two academic medical centers. Their top-ranked College of Nursing offers some of the best online graduate nursing programs in the nation (U.S. News and World Report).
The College of Nursing at the University of Arizona offers an online DNP program with multiple options for post-BSN and post-master’s students. All students will be practice-ready and trained at the highest level in nursing theories and evidence-based practice. Students who are not already APRNs can choose from four NP specialties or the Nurse Anesthesia specialty. The three possible DNP pathways are:
- BSN to DNP with Specialty
- MS to DNP with Specialty
- MS to DNP
The BSN-DNP curriculum and the MS to DNP with specialty are both 64-85 credits depending upon the practice specialty selected. The MS-DNP curriculum for those who are already NPs or CRNAs is a 35 credit program. Part-time and full-time options are available, though nurse anesthetist students must attend full-time.
University of Pittsburgh
College Choice Score: 86.39
Average Net Price: $23,572
Founded in 1787, shortly after the end of the revolutionary war, the University of Pittsburgh is a historic public research university with a reputation as one of the best public universities in the country. Home to the renowned Pitt School of Nursing, the school is recognized for world-class faculty and a top-tier educational experience—both on campus and online.
The Pitt School of Nursing offers multiple DNP options for aspiring Advanced Practice Nurses. Students in their program will have the skills and knowledge to evaluate the evidence base—the most up-to-date research—and to determine how to use outcomes in daily practice, implement new methods of treatment and health care delivery, and improve patient health. Specialties offered include six NP concentrations, as well as:
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Health Systems Executive Leadership
- Nurse Anesthesia
- Nurse Midwife
Nurses who are looking to earn a DNP from the Pitt School of Nursing will have a variety of options for graduation. These include part-time and full-time study schedules as well as an option to study online for Pennsylvania students. This degree requires clinical experiences, a capstone project, as well as participation in the required courses.
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 86.02
Average Net Price: $34,934
Founded in 1870 by Jesuits, Loyola University Chicago is a private Catholic research university with two Chicago campuses. The nationally ranked school is one of the largest Jesuit institutions in the country and is home to the Niehoff School of Nursing which offers some of the best graduate nursing programs in the country.
Loyola Chicago’s Niehoff School of Nursing offers an online DNP program that will prepare you for leadership roles in healthcare organizations and community settings. The program has a focus on systems that promote safe and efficient healthcare environments for diverse populations across the nation and globe. Two specializations are available:
- The Healthcare Quality Using Education in Safety & Technology (H-QUEST)
- Infection Prevention Track
Loyola Chicago’s online H-QUEST DNP track is designed as a two year post-MSN cohort program. The Infection Prevention Track, on the other hand, is a post-BSN entry DNP program that is comprised of 71 credit hours. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skills to assume system-wide leadership as Infection Preventionists.
University of South Carolina-Columbia
College Choice Score: 81.70
Average Net Price: $19,913
Located in Columbia, South Carolina, the University of South Carolina is a public research university and the flagship of the University of South Carolina’s eight-campus system. The nationally ranked school offers over 350 programs of study, including top-ranking online graduate nursing programs.
The College of Nursing at USC offers an online DNP designed to prepare nurses as clinical practitioners and scholars to assume advanced practice clinical and leadership roles. The program will equip you to evaluate and apply research to improve patient care and participate in a nursing leadership program. Three pathways are available:
- Post-MSN DNP with no concentration (for APRNs only)
- Post-MSN DNP Nurse Executive Leadership
- Post-BSN (with three NP concentrations)
USC’s online post-master’s DNP program is a 33 credit program. Students holding an APRN certificate may choose the APRN concentration, and all students may choose the Nurse Executive concentration. Students entering the program with a BSN can expect to complete 60-75 credits depending on your chosen concentration. All students complete a graduate residency and a DNP final project.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 81.32
Average Net Price: $19,978
Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati is a large, nationally ranked public research university and a member of the University System of Ohio. The school has an international reputation for high-quality education and innovative research. The College of Nursing is no exception – their online graduate nursing programs rank at #5 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
The University of Cincinnati offers an online, post-MSN DNP program designed to prepare nurses to use evidence-based practice in patient care delivery. The primary areas of emphasis in this program are the advanced practice of nursing, utilizing best evidence in the delivery of nursing practice, and leadership in complex healthcare systems. Core courses include:
- Essentials of Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice
- Informatics for DNP Practice
- Epidemiologic Methods in Healthcare
UC’s online DNP program is comprised of 42 credits which includes a practicum and a DNP capstone. For admission, you must have an MSN degree with a specialty certification in one of the following areas: NP or CNS, Community/Public/Occupational Health, Nurse Administration, Nurse Anesthesia, or Nurse Midwifery. Students can complete the program on either a full-time or part-time basis.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 81.16
Average Net Price: $39,562
Founded in 1821 in downtown Washington, D.C., George Washington University is a private university which ranks among the top 100 national universities in the United States. The school has a reputation for being a good value in higher education, and their online graduate nursing programs rank at #26 nationally (US News and World Report).
The School of Nursing at George Washington University offers several DNP program options that allow students to continue their education while taking on an expanded role in clinical practice, policy or leadership. As a student, you’ll benefit from engaging and inspiring faculty that are nationally recognized leaders in nursing. Two entry points are offered:
- Post-Bachelor’s DNP (with three NP concentrations)
- Post- Master’s DNP (with three program options)
GW Nursing’s DNP program aims to be uniquely flexible for students. Most courses are offered completely online, with some on-campus experiences for testing and training—and students have the option of studying full-time or part-time. The school also offers an Advanced Practice Palliative Care Nursing Graduate Certificate that can be taken concurrently with the Family NP specialty.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
College Choice Score: 79.93
Average Net Price: $10,538
Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is a member of the university systems of both Indiana University and Purdue University and is Indiana’s premier urban university. IUPUI is home to a highly regarded School of Nursing which offers top-ranking online graduate nursing programs (US News and World Report).
IUPUI’s School of Nursing offers an online, post-master’s DNP program that promises to propel nurses into leadership roles. An innovative curriculum provides an organizational and systems leadership program with a nursing lens. Students work together to solve multiple case studies, acquiring the knowledge, skills, and abilities to graduate ready to lead in complex health systems. Courses include:
- Analytical Thinking for Evidence-Based Practice
- Relationship-Centered Leadership in Complex Systems
- Trans-disciplinary Approaches to Influencing Public Health Policy
IUPUI’s online DNP program is comprised of 37 credits which includes core coursework, leadership immersion experiences, clinical hours, and an integrative project. This is a cohort program in which students start in the fall semester and graduate 20 months later. Courses are available online with intensive campus-based immersion experiences.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
College Choice Score: 75.82
Average Net Price: $16,092
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a nationally ranked, public research university and part of the University of Alabama system. Also known as UAB, the school is home to a nationally recognized School of Nursing that ranks as one of the best graduate schools for nursing—both on campus and online (U.S. News and World Report).
The School of Nursing at UAB offers an online DNP program with both post-BSN and post-MSN options. All three programs offer a practice-focused terminal degree to prepare graduates to practice at the highest level in specialty practice or to assume leadership positions in healthcare or nursing education. Available pathways include:
- Post-BSN for Nurse Practitioners
- Post-BSN for Nurse Anesthesia (partly distance accessible)
- Post-MSN for APRNs (43 credits)
UAB’s DNP program requirements vary widely depending on the chosen pathway. The program is distance accessible which means that all core courses are offered in an online format. Students will be required to come to campus six times during the program, including a multi-day orientation to the DNP and one multi-day DNP intensive held in the spring semester.
Stony Brook University
College Choice Score: 75.58
Average Net Price: $13,615
If you’ve ever wanted a reason to visit New York, this might be it. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, Stony Brook University is a public research university and a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school ranks among the top 100 national institutions and offers some of the best graduate nursing programs in the country—both online and on campus.
Stony Brook’s School of Nursing offers an affordable, online DNP program for nurses at both the post-baccalaureate and post-master’s level. The program prepares diverse clinical leaders who can influence healthcare outcomes, critically appraise evidence and facilitate the transition of best evidence to best practices. The DNP program offers specializations in six population areas, including:
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
- Family-Primary Care
- Women’s Health
Stony Brook’s DNP program is offered through Distance Education with on-site requirements. Students who enter at the post-BSN level will complete 87 credits of coursework and 1000 hours of clinical practice. Current APRNs who enter at the post-master’s level will have to complete a minimum of 42 credits and 500 hours of clinical practice.
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
College Choice Score: 72.89
Average Net Price: $15,248
Founded in 1945, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is a nationally ranked public university and a campus of the University of Colorado system. The school boasts small class sizes and opportunities to interact with professors – as well as a highly diverse student body. UCCS’s online graduate nursing programs rank in the top ten nationally (US News and World Report).
UCCS’s Beth-El College of Nursing offers a post-master’s DNP program that is available 100% online with no required campus visits. The program builds upon master’s level preparation in Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialty programs to prepare leaders for the highest levels of nursing practice. Core courses include:
- Advanced Healthcare Police, Ethics, and Law
- Theoretical Foundations of Reflective Practice
- Organizational System Leadership & Quality Improvement
Unlike many distance education DNP programs, UCCS’s online DNP has no on-site requirements. Coursework is completed online, and the 33 credits are comprised of core courses, clinical residencies, and a DNP project. NP/CNS National Certification and an RN license are required for admission to the program.
University of Missouri-Kansas City
College Choice Score: 71.33
Average Net Price: $15,368
The University of Missouri Kansas City (known as UMKC) is a nationally ranked, public research university and a member of the University of Missouri system. The school’s healthcare faculties are known for their pioneering collaboration with local and state government—and the prestigious School of Nursing has an online graduate nursing program that ranks at #21 nationally.
The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMKC offers a multi-pathway, online DNP program. The program equips students to improve overall healthcare by anticipating, adapting, and evolving to the challenges in healthcare environments. Students will become active partners in improving health outcomes in complex healthcare fields. Four pathways are available:
- Post-MSN, APRN
- Post-MSN, APRN (returning for new or second role)
- Post-MSN, Non-APRN
Credit requirements for UMKC’s DNP program vary widely depending on your chosen pathway. For students adding an APRN role, online/hybrid tracks are available in six nurse practitioner population areas. The DNP program requires a mandatory summer residency every year at the Kansas City campus and all pathways include clinical residencies (in your own geographical area).
Loyola University New Orleans
College Choice Score: 66.97
Average Net Price: $24,119
Located just minutes from the French Quarter, Loyola University New Orleans is a private Catholic University and a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The school ranks among the top ten regional universities in the South and offers online graduate nursing programs that rank in the top 50 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
The School of Nursing at Loyola New Orleans offers an online DNP program for post-BSN and post-MSN students. The programs are rooted in the Jesuit tradition of social justice, care for the whole person, and values-based leadership. As a student, you will be prepared to lead teams, organizations, and individuals within the complex health care system. Concentrations include:
- Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN-DNP)
- Nurse Practitioner (MSN-DNP)
- Executive Leader (MSN-DNP)
Loyola’s online DNP programs feature an active-learning approach that blends the theoretical with practical, hands-on experience. Courses are delivered online, with one visit to New Orleans per year required. BSN-DNP students can complete the degree in three years full-time, and the MSN-DNP can be completed in two years of full-time study.
The University of Alabama
College Choice Score: 66.79
Average Net Price: $20,133
One of the first public universities established in the 19th-century southwestern frontier, the University of Alabama consistently ranks among the top 100 public universities in the nation. Located in Tuscaloosa, AL, the school is home to the Capstone College of Nursing which provides innovative programs for stimulating careers in nursing. Their DNP program ranks in the top 50 nationally (US News and World Report).
The College of Nursing at the University of Alabama offers an online DNP program. The program focuses on providing care to populations and communities with an emphasis on improving quality and access to underserved and diverse populations. As a graduate, you will be ready to advocate for reasonable, rational and data-driven health regulations, standards, and practices. The program offers two pathways:
- BSN-DNP (with single or dual NP specializations in Psychiatric-Mental Health or Family)
- MSN-DNP (for certified APRNs)
All DNP students at the University of Alabama complete a scholarly project that serves as the capstone experience of the program. Credit requirements vary widely depending on your chosen pathway and specialty. However, the BSN-DNP takes four to five years to complete, while the BSN-DNP can be completed in two years. The post-BSN DNP is currently only available to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi residents.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 65.56
Average Net Price: $14,761
Located a couple miles from downtown Gainesville, the University of Florida is a prominent public research university and a member of both the State University of Florida and the prestigious Association of American Universities. The school is home to a highly ranked College of Nursing whose DNP program ranks among the top 50 nationally (U.S. News and World Report).
UF’s College of Nursing offers an online DNP program for both BSN and MSN prepared students. The program focuses on innovative and evidence-based practice that prepares nurses with knowledge and skills for a complex healthcare environment. The MSN-DNP pathway is for current APRNs, while the BSN to DNP pathway offers five nurse practitioner specialties, including:
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
UF’s online MSN to DNP program is comprised of 35 credits and is designed to be manageable for working professionals. Students can complete the program in five semesters. Core courses in the BSN to DNP program are offered online, though the program requires supervised experiences with clinical preceptors in a variety of practice settings in the state of Florida.
MGH Institute of Health Professions
College Choice Score: 65.34
Average Net Price: $50,800
Located in Boston, MA, the MGH School of Health Professions is a private, graduate university of health sciences. The school was founded by the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1977 and offers academic programs in several medical professions. The MGH Institute is home to a prestigious School of Nursing whose DNP program ranks at #50 nationally.
The MGH Institute’s School of Nursing offers a post-master’s DNP program with an innovative, integrated, case-study based curriculum. Students receive one-on-one mentoring from faculty who are authorities in areas such as innovation, design and improvement science, leadership, population health, and informatics. Courses include:
- Translating Evidence into Practice
- Analyzing the Context of Health Systems Transformation
- Discovering the Theory and Science of Doctoral Nursing Practice
The MGH Institute’s 34-credit, post-master’s DNP program is taught online and designed to be manageable for working nurses. Students work in cohorts to complete one, fully integrated 9- credit course for each of the four semesters. You’ll also have the option to attend weekend-long intensives once per semester at the Boston campus. And all students receive one-on-one mentoring from a dedicated advisor to help develop and refine your concentration focus.