Best Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees 1Jobs in this economic climate may be uncertain, but graduates of online nurse practitioner programs will continue to be in demand.

That’s for a couple of reasons. One, the healthcare field in general is growing rapidly. Two, nurse practitioners are able to do many of the same things as doctors, which helps relieve the national shortage of doctors. So if you’re looking for a career with solid job prospects and the opportunity to make a big difference in peoples’ lives, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in.

What kind of online nurse practitioner degree should you get?

Most nurse practitioners today are graduates of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs. In fact, seventy percent of the schools that educate advanced practice nurses currently offer only the MSN. But that may be changing. In 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing established a policy that the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) should be the standard for nurse practitioner education.

Therefore, this ranking contains two separate lists: the 15 Best Online MSN Degrees for Nurse Practitioners and the 10 Best Online DNP Degrees for Nurse Practitioners. Online education is becoming more popular by the year, and if you’re interested in learning more about it, take a look at College Choice’s ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.

How much money do people make with an online nurse practitioner degree?

While job security and new skills are both prime considerations for nurses considering MSN and DNP degrees, an increase in pay is a significant attraction too. According to Payscale.com, nurse practitioners can earn $91,000 a year and up—with much higher salaries in some specialized fields.

While the MSN isn’t in immediate danger of being phased out as a credential for nurse practitioners, the trend towards the doctorate may accelerate in future years.  Before choosing a program, you should research whether your state is considering changes to its certification policy for advanced practice nurses in the future, and bear in mind that nurses with a DNP will be increasingly in demand.

What can you do with an online nurse practitioner degree?

With either an MSN or DNP and certification as an advanced practice nurse, you are able to deliver many of the same services as physicians. In addition, you can take on a leadership role in the healthcare team both in medical offices and in hospitals. Especially given the ever-changing realities of health insurance and reimbursement patterns, nurse practitioners and similar professionals will increasingly find their skills are needed to provide quality care to everyone.

What are the requirements for an online nurse practitioner degree?

Officially known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Nurse Practitioners face stringent standards. Many start out as Registered Nurses (RNs) already. Either way, your first step is to get your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). Then you need to decide which Nurse Practitioner degree to pursue.

When considering return on your tuition investment, you’ll have to weigh the options of an MSN versus a DNP. The Master’s degree requires about 45 to 48 credit hours to complete. Most current DNP programs require around 33 additional credit hours to complete after the MSN. That’s more schooling, and thus more money, though it’s also the direction the field is headed in.

What are the best online nurse practitioner degrees?

We’ve ranked the top 25 online nurse practitioner programs that can help you take the next step in your nursing career, including the top 15 MSN-NP programs plus the top 10 DNP programs. Our rankings take into account factors including reputation, graduation rates, selectivity, and faculty resources. Each program has specific requirements for licensure and previous work experience for admission, and not all online programs lead to certification in every state. So check those requirements and licensing regulations carefully so that you can find the program that best fits your needs.

15 Best Online MSN Programs for Nurse Practitioners

1

Duke University

College Choice Score: 100

Tuition per credit hour: $1,568

Website

Overview

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program at the Duke University School of Nursing offers seven advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) majors, with the additional option of adding a specialty to their course of study. You can choose to major in the following areas:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Regardless of which major you choose, you’ll be prepared to take a leading role in providing care to patients in partnership with physicians and PA’s.  

Features

In addition to the major, groups of courses related to advanced practice specialties are available in some programs. Students who wish to include a specialty in their course of study should consult their advisors in order to determine if the specialty is appropriate for, and available in, their majors. The following specialties are currently available:

  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Veterans Health Care Concentration (for AGNP-primary care students)

Each major requires the student to complete 11 credit hours of clinical core courses. As a capstone experience, students are required to complete a clinical residency under the mentorship of an experienced clinician in their area of expertise. In total, the minimum number of credit hours required for completion of the MSN degree varies by major, ranging from 42 to 49 credit hours.

Notables

Although many courses are offered online, all nurse practitioner students participate in required on campus activities at least once every semester. You’ll stay at Duke for two- to five-day intensives with faculty and other experts where you’ll participate in face-to-face interactions, simulation, and hands-on activities. The clinical experience requirements for the MSN degree meets or exceeds the requirements of national credentialing organizations such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP), American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), National Certification Corporation (NCC) and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). Upon graduation, students are qualified to sit for the appropriate certification examination. Duke University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2

Georgetown University

College Choice Score: 86.3

Tuition per credit hour: $1,863

Website

Overview

The Nurse Practitioner programs at Georgetown University prepares registered nurses to fulfill the role of a competent, dedicated practitioner responsible for managing the care of families in the primary and acute care settings. FNP’s are clinical experts who implement a holistic approach that emphasizes both care and cure. They apply cutting-edge science and manage the health needs of patients in primary care settings. The focus of the Georgetown FNP program is to provide the academic knowledge and clinical skills necessary for health promotion, disease prevention, assessment, and management of common acute and chronic illnesses.

Features

Earning your FNP certification can position you for tremendous career advancement and give you the tools you need to make a greater impact on the well-being of patients across the lifespan. The program is available in either a full- or part-time format and consists of:

  • 44 credits/19 months to complete for full-time students, 44 credits/27 months for part-time students
  • 5 total terms for full-time students, 7 total terms for part-time students
  • 650 clinical hours
  • 2 required on-campus intensives

In addition to the general primary care FNP program, you can also choose to specialize in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Nurse Midwifery, and Women’s Health.

Notables

Graduates will be eligible to sit for the Nurse Practitioner certification exams offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Georgetown graduates regularly achieve outstanding first-time pass rates on their exams – from 98 to 100%. Georgetown University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the MSN program is accredited by CCNE.

 

3

Ohio State University

College Choice Score: 69.6

Tuition per credit hour: $746

Website

Overview

Ohio State’s Nurse Practitioner programs are designed to prepare graduates for advanced practice nursing in clinical settings that range from private practices, clinics, hospitals, and businesses to managed care organizations and governmental agencies. Coursework, clinical experience, and research allow students to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for advanced practice nursing roles. You can choose specializations that lead to certification as a family nurse practitioner in primary care, neonatal nurse practitioner, or psychiatric nurse practitioner.  Each of these programs is available to students in an online format for convenience and accessibility, with clinical experience gained in your own community.

Features

The MSN nurse practitioner program meets the nurse practitioner curriculum guidelines of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Advanced Nursing Practice: Curriculum Guidelines and Program Standards for Nurse Practitioner Education, as well as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification criteria.

As the program website explains, graduates enter the workforce with the skills and competencies to:

  • Provide health promotion and primary health care for families and individuals in the context of their families
  • Apply theory and research in practice with individuals and families
  • Develop, implement, and assess nursing strategies to assure quality of care
  • Utilize leadership skills for positive change at the local, regional, and national level
  • Provide advocacy for all participants in the healthcare environment
  • Establish a climate of consistent learning and innovation that positively contributes to the advancement of the profession
  • Adapt professionally to the constantly changing healthcare industry

As colleagues of one the country’s most comprehensive university health sciences centers, Ohio State students benefit from their access to cutting-edge research and knowledge, a diverse selection of elective courses, and interdisciplinary collaboration among health care professionals.

Notables

Students who already hold a BSN, or who have an RN and a bachelor’s degree in another field, are eligible to take all courses online and complete their clinicals near their own community. Like all online programs, Ohio State’s distance learning degrees must be legally authorized in a state prior to offering courses or programs to students who live there. Double-check the status of your state of residence to determine if Ohio State has authorization to offer online courses and programs where you live. Ohio State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN program is accredited by CCNE.

4

George Washington University

College Choice Score: 68.6

Tuition per credit hour: $1,030

Website

Overview

Located in Washington, DC, George Washington University is home to a major urban teaching hospital and hosts an MSN program for nurse practitioners among its many degrees in the health professions. Students have three specializations to choose from: family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. Regardless of the major you select, you’ll benefit from an educational experience that combines online learning, in-person training and simulation, and interactions with faculty who are leaders in improving health care, especially for underserved communities.  

Features

The family nurse practitioner program teaches students to care for patients of all ages in a primary care setting, including the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual needs of individuals, families and communities. The adult-gerontology primary care degree is especially well-suited for students who hope to work with older patients in home health, long-term care, assisted living and other settings. Students interested in palliative care can also achieve a concurrent graduate certificate in that field while studying for the MSN. Meanwhile, the acute care major will prepare you to care for adolescents and adults in urgent care centers, critical care units, and inpatient units. Because acute care is a high-intensity environment that requires fast-paced critical thinking, you’ll develop those skills throughout the program. While each specialty requires 48 credit hours of coursework, clinical requirements vary from 620 to 700 hours, usually in a local setting with a preceptor of your choosing.  

Notables

GWU also offers an RN-to-MSN program for nurses who don’t yet have a bachelor’s degree. Requirements for that program vary based on transfer credit and a portfolio review of previous experience. While the other majors allow clinical placements in any location, the acute care specialty is limited to Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. You must be able to commute to any of these locations while enrolled in the clinical courses. George Washington University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the MSN program is accredited by CCNE.

5

St. Xavier University

College Choice Score: 67.6

Tuition per credit hour: $690

Website

Overview

The Nurse Practitioner program at Saint Xavier University prepares professional nurses to practice as specialists in the delivery of primary care to individuals and families in a wide variety of settings. The program emphasizes health promotion and wellness as well as the management of common and complex health problems. Graduates are eligible to take the family nurse practitioner certification exam.

Features

There are two options for participating in the family nurse practitioner program.

  • As one of three options under the graduate MSN program, or
  • As postgraduate option, for nurses who already hold a master’s degree in nursing and want to become certified as a family nurse practitioner

In this program, you’ll be prepared for advanced practice as a direct provider of primary health care to individuals and families in their communities. You’ll learn how to deal with health maintenance, health promotion, disease prevention, disease management and health restoration. The FNP option is designed to address the core competencies for nurse practitioner practice and meet the certification guidelines for the educational preparation of Family Nurse Practitioners like the American Nurses Credentialing Center and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. In addition to 27 credit hours of core courses, FNP students complete 20 credit hours in specialty courses that provide the scientific foundation and clinical base for advanced nursing practice. Clinical practice experiences (600 hours) focus on the development of competencies required for the management of patients in primary care settings.

Notables

Students admitted as postgraduate certificate students develop an individualized plan of study in consultation with the program director. This certificate plan will vary in total number of credits, depending on the student’s previous graduate level coursework in nursing. Graduates of both programs are eligible to take the family nurse practitioner certification exam. Saint Xavier University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN program is accredited by CCNE.

6

Georgia College and State University

College Choice Score: 59.8

Tuition per credit hour: $373

Website

Overview

Georgia College and State University, the public liberal-arts college of the State of Georgia, offers the MSN degree leading to certification as a family nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The program is designed to educate nurse leaders who follow evidence-based practice, participate in lifelong learning, and contribute to the life of their communities. Coursework follows a fully online curriculum that’s available on a full or part time basis. In addition, if your ultimate goal is a DNP, you can complete both the MSN/FNP and the DNP programs in a total of three and a half years.

Features

The program consists of a total of 40 semester hours. 9 semester hours are required in core nursing classes that cover topics including research and statistical methods, the economics of health care, the managed care environment, and the intellectual and technical skills needed to manage clinical outcomes. An additional 9 semester hours are required in medical science topics including pharmacology and physiology. Finally, 22 semester hours are required in the family practice or psychiatric specialty. FNP students learn about the primary care of children, adolescents, and adults, including the particular healthcare concerns of women. Meanwhile, psychiatric nurse practitioner students take specialized courses in the care of people with mental illness as well as in psychopharmacology. In addition to your coursework, you’ll also complete clinical rotations in your chosen areas of practice, for a total of 630 clinical hours.

Notables

Because GCSU is a state-supported institution, regulations require that all clinical rotations must be completed in the state of Georgia. As a result, this program may not be right for students who live outside of commuting distance to in-state hospitals. Georgia College and State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN programs are accredited by CCNE.

7

Stony Brook University SUNY

College Choice Score: 57.8

Tuition per credit hour: $925

Website

Overview

The nurse practitioner program at New York’s Stony Brook University prepares nurses to serve as expert providers of primary health care to people of all ages in a variety of settings. In addition to their clinical expertise, graduates also learn how to serve as educators, leaders, consultants, and advocates in their chosen field. You can choose from a wide range of specialties, including:

  • Adult-Gerontological Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Along with the master’s degree, online postgraduate nurse practitioner certification programs are available for nurses who already hold an MSN.  

Features

Throughout the 45 credit hour program, students will gain the knowledge and skills to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Integrate scientific findings from nursing and related sciences to improve nursing care across diverse settings.
  • Work collaboratively to design, coordinate, and evaluate of patient care outcomes.
  • Apply quality and safety principles within a healthcare organization
  • Integrate theory, evidence, clinical judgment, research and interprofessional perspectives to improve practice and health outcomes
  • Ethically use data, information and appropriate technology to deliver effective care
  • Understand the political and economic aspects of the healthcare system
  • Communicate effectively with patients and other members of the provider team
  • Understand the ecological, global and social aspects of health and deliver care in a culturally appropriate manner
  • Participate in continuing professional engagement and lifelong learning.

While classes are delivered online, some on-campus visits are required throughout the program.

Notables

Students are prepared for and eligible to sit for the national certification exams for nurse practitioners administered by the ANCC and AANP. Before applying, you should also check with the program administrators to make sure that clinical sites are available in your area if you live outside New York. Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York system, is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The master of science in nursing program is also accredited by CCNE.

8

University of South Carolina

College Choice Score: 54.9

Tuition per credit hour: $1,303

Website

Overview

The University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing offers graduate programs in three different  advanced practice nursing and leadership specialties, depending on your interests and career goals:

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program prepares nurses to care for acutely ill adults and elderly patients with complex health problems. The Family Nurse Practitioner program focuses on primary health care for people of all ages. FInally, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program prepares the nurse to provide psychiatric mental health services to patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Features

Each degree program includes a total of 45 credit hours: 9 in nursing core topics, 21 in the major, 3 in research, and 16 in clinical work. Graduates will be prepared for work in advanced practice nursing settings as they learn how to:

  • Apply knowledge from core courses in the assessment of clients
  • Integrate core and clinical course content in the diagnosis and treatment of clients
  • Use core and clinical course content within the context of the community
  • Apply theory to practice problems, analyze practice guidelines, and conduct an evidence based practice project
  • Understand the laws governing advanced practice, understand the scope of practice, and apply evidence based practice knowledge in treatment planning

In order to graduate from the program, students are also required to pass a comprehensive examination and complete either a three-hour applied research course or a six-hour thesis sequence.

Notables

While USC’s degree programs are offered online, students may be required to come to campus a minimum of twice a semester during their clinical rotations. All MSN programs provide eligibility to apply for national certification examinations such as AGACNP, FNP, or PMHNP.  The program also meets the standards for the American Nurses Association Credentialing Center, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty, and the AACN Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing. The MSN degree at the University of South Carolina is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the University as a whole is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  

9

Duquesne University

College Choice Score: 52

Tuition per credit hour: $1,218

Website

Overview

Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University has been educating nurses since 1937, and it has an extensive history of online programs going back to 1997. Duquesne’s online MSN program for family nurse practitioners is designed to prepare students to care for individuals across their lifespan. As a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP), you’ll be qualified to provide primary care for patients of all ages in a number of different environments.

Features

In total, the program consists of 45 credit hours of coursework: 24 credit hours in the core curriculum and 21 credit hours of primary care curriculum that covers the needs of adults, adolescents, children, and infants, as well as women’s health issues. Graduates may find themselves working in settings that include:

  • Physicians offices
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Urgent care centers
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Retail clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Hospice organizations

The degree is based on criteria set by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF). In addition, Duquesne is noted for teaching the Synergy Model for Patient Care, developed by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). The Synergy Model is built around the belief that the needs or characteristics of patients and families influence the nurse’s characteristics or competencies.

Notables

Graduates of Duquesne’s program boast a 96% pass rate on their nurse practitioner credentialing examinations. With small class sizes and a high retention rate, it offers students a high level of individual support and faculty interaction. At the same time, the program only requires two on-campus visits over the course of the degree, making it attractive for students who are unable to travel frequently. Duquesne University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the nursing program is accredited by CCNE.   

10

University of Cincinnati

College Choice Score: 49

Tuition per credit hour: $655

Website

Overview

The University of Cincinnati is one of the 50 largest universities in the United States, with an enrollment of over 44,000 students. Many of those students choose to pursue their education online, combining the convenience of distance learning with the support and resources of a major public research university. Among UC’s many online programs is a master of science in nursing with three available tracks for specialization:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Each program is intended for licensed RN’s who already hold a BSN degree and are ready to move into the world of advanced practice nursing.  

Features

While each specialty track differs in the number of courses and clinical hours required, each can be completed within 24 months or 6 semesters if you study full-time. The Adult-Gerontology program requires 44 credit hours of coursework, 504 hours of clinical experience and 42 lab hours. This degree focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of common and complex medical conditions in patients over the age of 13, and is especially geared towards promoting health in culturally diverse and high-risk populations.  Meanwhile, the FNP online program requires 50 total credit hours, plus about 672 hours of clinicals, and 42 total lab hours. This program teaches students how to provide primary care to individuals of all ages. Finally, the women’s health specialty focuses on women from adolescence through adulthood, and particularly on assessing, diagnosing and managing the sexual and reproductive health concerns of women. It requires 48 total credit hours, 672 hours of clinicals, and 42 lab hours.

Notables

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner graduates are eligible for both the the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) certification exams. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner graduates are eligible for the National Certification Corporation exam, which is the speciality certification for obstetric, gynecologic, and neonatal nursing in the United States. The University of Cincinnati is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN program is accredited by CCNE.  

 

11

Graceland University

College Choice Score: 47.1

Tuition per credit hour: $775

Website

Overview

Iowa’s Graceland University offers online Master of Science in Nursing programs with a specialty track designed to prepare you to become a family nurse practitioner. Like all of Graceland’s online graduate nursing programs, it’s designed to provide working RNs the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in nursing through the completion of a combination of online cohort courses, on-campus focus sessions, and faculty- and preceptor-guided practicum experiences in the student’s local community.

Features

Graceland’s online FNP master’s program allows you to specialize in either family primary care or gerontology acute care tracks through a total of 47 semester hours of coursework. The family nurse practitioner specialty track prepares the RN to care for individuals and families in a wide variety of health care settings, including clinics, community-based settings, long-term care facilities and hospitals. Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP’s) are trained to provide a wide range of care to a diverse group of patients. They focus on health promotion and disease prevention beginning in childhood and continuing throughout the aging process, and are trained to diagnose and develop treatment plans for acute and chronic diseases. Meanwhile, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners assess and manage acutely ill patients within the hospital setting, working across departments from clinic to hospital environments such as the ER, ICU, acute care wards and many other specialties.

Notables

Over the course of the MSN program, students will be required to attend a two-day focus session located at Graceland University’s School of Nursing satellite campus in Independence, Missouri. This Master of Science in Nursing focus session is scheduled in conjunction with the Advanced Practice Competencies Lab. Students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program are also required to complete 720 hours of practicum work that can be done in the student’s own community, anywhere in the U.S., Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. During the practicum, the student’s hands-on experiences are directly supervised by an approved local preceptor as well as a member of Graceland’s nursing faculty. Graceland University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

12

University of Alabama Birmingham

College Choice Score: 45.1

Tuition per credit hour: $1,157

Website

Overview

Located in one of the world’s largest academic health centers, the MSN at UAB prepares nurses for advanced specialty practice in advanced nursing roles and offers countless opportunities to develop advanced practice innovations both locally and globally.  The MSN also prepares graduates for entry into doctoral studies in nursing, in either the School’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a practice-focused terminal degree that prepares graduates to practice at the highest level in specialty practice or to assume leadership positions in healthcare or nursing education; or in the School’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing.

Features

If you’re looking for a wide variety of options for specialization, UAB may be the right fit for you. Students can choose from the following majors to prepare for certification:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary & Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

You can also select a subspecialty if you want to gain focused, advanced knowledge and training in several in-demand areas including:

  • Advanced Forensic Nursing
  • Advanced Palliative Care Nursing
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • Oncology Nurse Practitioner

As an example, the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty consists of 45 total credit hours, 32 of which are classes and 13 are clinical practicums involving 600 total hours of direct patient care. Other majors have similar, but not always identical, requirements. Through your coursework and clinical experiences in a variety of primary care and specialty clinic settings, you’ll be well prepared for the advanced practice role in your chosen field.

Notables

Students who start course work in the summer semester generally take seven semesters to complete the program, while those starting in the fall usually take six. Several visits to the UAB School of Nursing campus in Birmingham, Alabama are required, both for orientation and for three multi-day residential intensives. Once students successfully complete the program, they are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing degree and are able to apply to take national certification exams. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN programs are accredited by CCNE.

13

Ball State University

College Choice Score: 41.2

Tuition per credit hour: $579

Website

Overview

Indiana’s Ball State University offers a program for family nurse practitioners that prepares students to provide health care for people of all ages. You’ll learn how to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, design treatment plans, and educate patients about their health. In addition to the classroom requirements, you’ll complete 690 supervised clinical hours in primary care settings caring for adults, children, women, and families.

Features

All of the course work for the degree can be completed online, with preceptors and clinical supervisors assigned in your own community. In total, 47 credit hours are required for graduation:

  • Research Core (6 hours): Data analysis, statistics, and research methods
  • Nursing Core (8 hours): Nursing theory, information technology, and disease prevention
  • Primary Care (33 hours): Pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, and primary care of adults, women, and children

Upon completing the program, you will be eligible to apply for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam given by the ANCC or AANP.

Notables

As with all online nursing programs, check first to see if Ball State’s program is authorized in your state to avoid state licensing or clinical placement issues. Applicants are required to have an unencumbered license as a registered nurse in their state of practice and attend a one day, on-campus orientation if admitted. Ball State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

14

East Carolina University

College Choice Score: 35.3

Tuition per credit hour: $957

Website

Overview

Located in Greenville, East Carolina University was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1907. Today it has greater than 27,000 students and is the third largest university in North Carolina. Offering degrees at the baccalaureate, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels, East Carolina University is one of the 16 constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina. Along with its well-regarded medical school, ECU also offers a number of nursing degrees including a master of science program for nurse practitioners. Specializations available include:

  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (new program pending final approval)

ECU also offers a DNP, whose available specializations include:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Each program is designed to educate clinical scholars who can integrate the science and art of nursing, articulate the unique contributions of nursing, and apply their knowledge in rapidly changing environments.

Features

The 42-credit hour program includes core courses, clinical core courses, and practice concentration courses. All classes are offered online, and the clinical experiences are arranged in a location convenient to you. As the program website explains, graduates of the MSN program will have the knowledge and clinical skills to achieve the following learning goals:

  • Integrate theories and research from nursing and related disciplines to guide advanced clinical practice, to administer nursing systems and to influence health policy decisions
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the ability to critically test theory-based interventions in practice and to participate in studies, which advance professional practice and expand knowledge
  • Function independently within an interprofessional framework to provide or direct expert care that is ethical and sensitive to the needs of a culturally diverse population
  • Exercise nursing leadership in collaboration with professional colleagues to maintain, reformulate or refine systems of healthcare that are effective, efficient and responsive to the needs of all people
  • Demonstrate a strong professional identity characterized by a commitment to continued learning, ethical decision making, scholarly work and the capacity to effect desirable changes
  • Acquire a sufficient knowledge of nursing theory and research on which to base doctoral study in the discipline
  • Integrate a global health perspective in the development of visionary solutions to health care problems for all citizens but particularly for those in rural underserved areas

Once admitted to the program, students develop a comprehensive plan of study with their faculty advisor. Part-time plans of study typically take 7 semesters to complete, while full-time students typically finish in 5 semesters.

Notables

ECU also offers six post-MSN certificate programs that offer registered nurses advanced practice education, qualifying them to take national certification exams. Post-graduate certificates in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership, Nurse-Midwifery, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist (NCNS), and Nursing Education are offered online. Students who aspire to enter a doctoral program directly from the bachelor’s degree can apply to East Carolina’s BSN to DNP track in either Family Practice or Adult-Gerontology Primary Care. East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  

15

Old Dominion University

College Choice Score: 34.5

Tuition per credit hour: $538

Website

Overview

Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University’s graduate nursing program enjoys a close collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School. ODU’s FNP program is one of only 17 programs in the country that is funded to provide a technology supported preceptor infrastructure. You’ll be taught by ODU faculty who are involved in national healthcare projects, developing innovative solutions to improve care to rural areas through telehealth technology.  Throughout the program, you’ll gain expertise in theory, research, and advanced nursing practice through academic courses and clinical experiences that take a holistic approach to health and nursing care.

Features

The program consists of a total of 50 credit hours, including a clinical practicum in your community as well as periodic hands-on training on the Norfolk campus – usually once each semester. Through ODU’s collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School, you’ll hone your diagnostic skills through the Standardized Patient Program, where trained actors of all ages portray patients suffering from various diseases.  As a graduate, you will be qualified to apply for FNP certification from the ANCC or AANP, and can look forward to a career in a wide range of healthcare settings including:

  • Family practice/primary care clinics
  • Life stage medicine such as pediatrics and gerontology
  • Specialties including internal medicine, oncology, infectious disease, cardiovascular care, and women’s health
  • Health education and disease prevention
  • Research and education
  • Public health and community health clinics
  • Acute care and emergency services

Regardless of where your work takes you, you’ll be prepared to lead as part of an innovative and compassionate team of providers.

Notables

Nurses who work in rural areas of Virginia may participate in a grant-funded program to train in evidence-based telemedicine and telehealth solutions that can improve care in underserved areas. The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the FNP program is approved by the Virginia Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine. ODU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  

10 Best Online DNP Programs for Nurse Practitioners

1

Duke University

College Choice Score: 100

Tuition per credit hour: $1,568

Website

Overview

Duke University’s top-ranked and highly competitive DNP program is designed for advanced practice nurses who need a practical and convenient alternative to typical on-campus degree programs. All academic courses in the DNP degree program are offered using distance-based technology, with executive on-campus residencies of 2-3 days per session required in February, June, and October. The curriculum also includes a comprehensive orientation program, where you’ll meet your fellow students and establish ongoing relationships with faculty mentors who are leading scholars and teachers in the field. Graduates of the Duke DNP program are prepared to be nurse leaders who work in interdisciplinary teams to improve patient outcomes, systems of care, quality, and safety.

Features

One of the most noteworthy features of Duke’s DNP program is its flexibility. It is open to nurses who already hold an MSN and are working in advanced practice positions, as well as to students with a bachelor’s degree who want to pursue a DNP and enter advanced practice at the same time. Registered nurses with an earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree who are admitted to the program will be awarded both an MSN and DNP degree after successfully finishing 73 to 94 credit hours of coursework depending on their chosen specialty. (The tracks available to post-BSN applicants can be found under Duke’s MSN program description above.) Post-master’s nurses with advanced practice credentials earn the DNP after 35 credit hours, which usually can be completed in two years.

Another feature of the program is its emphasis on research. All doctoral students are required to participate in a four-semester scholarly project designed to address a practice issue affecting groups of patients, health care organizations or health care systems. Regardless of where you start, you’ll be prepared for interdisciplinary nursing leadership. By providing care based on scientific knowledge, you will be able to improve safety, effectiveness, timeliness, efficiency and equity in patient-centered care. Graduates of the program may take a leadership role in a clinical setting, apply their skills in administration, or combine teaching with clinical practice.

Notables

Duke also offers several highly-regarded specialized doctoral programs for nurses who hope to move from advanced practice into research or administration. For post-MSN nurses with career goals in senior management, Duke offers an online DNP with an Executive Leadership concentration. This program is intended for senior nurse leaders who have five to ten years of experience in a supervisory position, and who aspire to an executive role. Finally, the PhD in nursing prepares nurse scientists to lead interdisciplinary research teams, design and conduct research studies, and publish their findings for scholars in nursing and related healthcare disciplines.  Duke University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2

Johns Hopkins University

College Choice Score: 98.9

Tuition per credit hour: $1,509

Website

Overview

Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University is one of the top medical centers in the nation, and its nursing school has already made the shift from the MSN to the DNP for all nurse practitioner students. You’ll learn to provide complete, advanced care in this rigorous doctoral program that combines theoretical learning with evidence-based clinical experiences in a wide variety of community-based practice settings. With access to the renowned faculty and resources of Johns Hopkins, you’ll hone your skills in direct care as well as promoting health by educating patients and families. You’ll also learn to approach patient care in a broader context, taking into account each family’s physical, emotional, mental, and sociocultural systems.

Features

Students can choose from a number of speciality tracks that focus on different patient populations, including:

  • DNP Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with HIV-Primary Care Certificate
  • DNP Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with HIV-Primary Care Certificate
  • DNP Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

While all of the tracks require 784 clinical hours and 224 DNP practicum hours, the credit hours of coursework vary slightly from program to program. All of the primary care specialties involve 81 credit hours, while the acute care track requires 74. Within the primary care tracks, you can also choose a concentration such as HIV/AIDS, pulmonary care, cardiovascular, occupational, and environmental health, or integrated complementary healthcare.

As a doctoral-level nurse practitioner in primary care, you can work as a first-line provider in a wide range of settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, health clinics and maintenance organizations, student health services, private medical offices, correctional facilities, and emergency rooms. Acute care nurse practitioners are needed in some of the most demanding and complex areas of medicine: critical care, post-operative care, and intensive care units in hospitals, specialty services, and medical evacuation and transport units. Each specialty teaches students to apply the concepts of evidence-based medicine to acute and chronic diseases, and to integrate the biomedical, psychological, and social aspects of nursing into healthcare.

Notables

The advanced practice DNP program offers both face-to-face and online courses, so students can engage in hands-on clinical and healthcare leadership studies with fellow students while also having the flexibility of online courses to meet the needs of working professionals. Students with a particular interest in HIV/AIDS care can also prepare for the Advanced AIDS Certified Registered Nurse examination by earning a certificate in addition to the doctoral degree. Johns Hopkins University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the nursing program is accredited by CCNE.

3

Rush University

College Choice Score: 92.4

Tuition per credit hour: $1,066

Website

Overview

Chicago’s Rush University has a sole focus on preparing health professionals to provide care in a wide range of care settings. Its national reputation for clinical excellence helps make the graduates of Rush’s graduate nursing programs highly sought after by top healthcare employers around the country. Today, over 7,000 baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral students have graduated from Rush University College of Nursing. Current nursing programs are offered from the master’s through the doctoral (DNP and PhD) levels.

Features

A noteworthy feature of Rush’s program is the number of nurse practitioner specialties available to DNP students. You can choose to major in any of the following advanced practice fields to prepare for a career as a nurse practitioner:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The acute care nurse practitioner programs will prepare you to work as an advanced practice nurse in critical care and acute care settings as well in specialty practices. The emphasis of these programs is on clinical practice with acutely or critically-ill adults across the lifespan, from infants to older adults. The primary care and family practice specialities focus on health promotion, disease prevention and the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic common health problems conditions in a variety of primary care settings.

Notables

Each program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, and they take approximately 2.5 to 3.5 years to complete. Most didactic coursework is delivered online, but a number of courses may be taken in a weekly on campus format for students who live in the Chicago area. Rush University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at the College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

4

Georgetown University

College Choice Score: 84.8

Tuition per credit hour: $1,863

Website

Overview

WhIle some programs focus on clinical skills, the DNP degree at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies is known for its strong emphasis on health policy.  Students learn to address the changing needs of health systems by integrating nursing science with organizational leadership and ethics. Because today’s healthcare environment is so complex, it needs systems-level thinkers and leaders who can manage critical issues like patient safety, performance improvement and quality of care, and assess the health needs of their communities. Taught by faculty with academic backgrounds who also work in the field as practitioners, the program is designed to accommodate students from across the country who are also busy practicing clinicians. Students are required to come to campus once each semester for executive sessions, but the rest of the coursework is delivered online.

Features

Georgetown’s practice-based doctorate in nursing is intended for nurses who already hold a master’s degree in an advanced nursing specialty area and have extensive clinical experience. Consisting of a total of 38 credit hours, the DNP program is offered only as a part-time program of study taking 7 semesters to complete. Class topics include a wide range of policy, management, and ethical topics like the following:

  • Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • Reflective Leadership and Ethics in Health Care Systems
  • Communication and Collaboration in Health Care Systems
  • Epidemiology and Population Health
  • Health Care Policy and Advocacy
  • Health Care Issues and the Law
  • Personalized Health Care

Other features of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program include interdisciplinary research across multiple departments, optional Lean Six Sigma quality management certification, and a final Translational Research Project. This capstone project gives you the opportunity to translate evidence from original research into best clinical practices that can be implemented in real-world healthcare settings.

Notables

Another unique feature of the program is that it includes courses taught by the Department of Health Systems Administration on topics like Quality and Performance Measurement, Information Systems, and Health Care Economics. And, as with all degrees at Georgetown, you’ll learn to apply the principles of ethical leadership in your daily work – and throughout your career. Georgetown University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the DNP program is accredited by CCNE.

5

University of Pittsburgh

College Choice Score: 61.7

Tuition per credit hour: $1,039

Website

Overview

Pitt Nursing introduced its DNP program in 2006, designing it to provide the required competencies and to meet the AACN’s mandate to incorporate “preparation with distinct specialties that require expertise, advanced knowledge, and mastery in one area of nursing practice.” The DNP-prepared nurse 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 both in terms of individuals and populations (groups of people who live in a specific area or who deal with a specific condition).

Features

For advanced practice nurse practitioners, the DNP degree is available with six different specialty concentrations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family (Individual Across the Lifespan)
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Psychiatric Mental Health

In addition, students can choose to broaden their career options with a DNP in Health Systems Executive Leadership. Regardless of your specialty, your core coursework will explore topics in advanced evidence-based practice, organizational and systems leadership, clinical research and analytical methods for evidence-based practice, informatics and patient care technology, health care policy and finance, ethics, and inter-professional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes. Clinical experiences are carefully supervised placements that hone competencies in the chosen area of study.

There is also a research component to the program of study. Before you graduate, you’ll complete a capstone project that synthesizes and applies your knowledge in order to develop and test a solution to a significant quality improvement issue. The DNP is designed to prepare expert clinicians to use the science developed by researchers to improve patient and system-level outcomes.

Notables

The school has developed both BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs to serve students with differing educational backgrounds. The online option is only available to applicants with a master’s degree in same specialty focus, except for the Health Systems Executive Leadership degree.  Pitt’s accessible distance learning platform is widely recognized and has won the Blackboard Catalyst Award for four years in a row. The University of Pittsburgh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

6

Medical University of South Carolina

College Choice Score: 59.8

Tuition per credit hour: $985

Website

Overview

The DNP program at the Medical University of South Carolina is designed to address the most contemporary aspects of expert clinical practice and in depth knowledge and experience in leadership, health systems design and evaluation, evidence-based practice, health policy, and applied research.  Through coursework and clinical training, it is designed to prepare graduates who can practice nursing at the highest clinical level. While the program is offered online, there are a few courses and program milestones that require a visit of 2-3 days length to campus.

Features

MUSC is an academic health sciences center ranked within the top 100 in the nation for federal research funding. With a focus on Translational Science – from lab bench to bedside to community – nursing plays a critical role in transforming health care within the state of South Carolina and in the nation. With numerous funded research centers and special initiatives, many possibilities exist at MUSC for collaborative work to nurture student projects. The DNP program consists of four post-baccalaureate clinical specializations, all with a primary care focus: adult-gerontology, pediatric, family, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. In addition, a post-master’s option is available for advanced practice nurses who already hold a master’s degree. Along with your nursing courses, you may also elect to take education courses to broaden your areas of competence.

Notables

This is a practice-focused doctoral program in nursing that awards both the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and the terminal professional degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) upon graduation. Graduates have found jobs in primary care settings, hospitals, public health agencies, and schools of nursing.  The Medical University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

7

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

College Choice Score: 58.7

Tuition per credit hour: $750

Website

Overview

Open since 2006, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s program was one of the very first online BS to DNP programs in the nation, and it has won a number of national and regional awards for excellence in online education. Students and graduates are pleased with their experience as well. The program has a history of consistent positive student outcomes and a wealth of experience, expertise, and high student satisfaction levels for online nurse education.

Features

The program is designed to help you develop the advanced practice knowledge and skills you need to manage patients as well as lead health care systems, evaluate and apply research and other forms of evidence, enhance and evaluate clinical outcomes, and help facilitate progress toward more effective and sustainable health care. You can choose one of the following advanced practice concentrations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Public Health Nurse Leader (PHNL)
  • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

If you’re already a certified advanced practice nurse with an MSN, you can choose the all online DNP Completion program, requiring a minimum of 36 semester credits and a plan of study designed individually by portfolio review.

Notables

At present, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is not accepting applications or registrations for online courses, degrees or certificate programs from residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota and North Carolina.  The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

8

Drexel University

College Choice Score: 53.3

Tuition per credit hour: $953

Website

Overview

Drexel’s accredited online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. The mission of the DNP program is to prepare individuals to assume leadership roles as executives or practitioners and to apply evidence-based practice to improve individual, family, and community health outcomes.

Features

There are two specialization tracks available within the DNP program. The practitioner track is for students who want to remain in clinical practice post-graduation. Meanwhile the executive track is designed for students who want careers in executive nursing and health care management, but who still prefer a nursing doctorate with a connection to clinical practice. As the program website explains, graduates of each program will develop the knowledge and skills they need to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Evaluate patient care delivery approaches to meet the current and anticipated needs of patient populations based on outcomes and scientific findings
  • Translate research into clinical practice and policy to improve care and outcomes
  • Use advanced communication skills – to lead quality improvement and patient safety
  • Use principles of business, finance, economics, and health policy to develop and
  • implement plans to improve the quality of healthcare delivery
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to diversity in patients and providers
  • Evaluate effective strategies for the management of ethical dilemmas that can occur in the course of healthcare delivery

Nurses who graduate from Drexel’s DNP program are well-equipped to fully implement the science developed by nurse researchers in PhD, DNSc, and other research-focused nursing doctorates.

Notables

A total of 500 clinical hours are required for the degree, including 250 hours of clinical practicum courses and 250 hours of a capstone project. Successful applicants will need a master’s degree in any field, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, experience as an advanced practice nurse, and current United States licensure as a registered nurse. Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the DNP program is accredited by CCNE.

9

Loyola University Chicago

College Choice Score: 52.2

Tuition per credit hour: $1,103

Website

Overview

Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program to develop the knowledge and skills of nurses in advanced practice. Building on current master’s programs, it gives students further education in the methods and theories of evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking.  As the terminal degree for nurses, the DNP offers a practice-based alternative to research-focused doctoral programs such as the PhD. These clinical nurse leaders are well-positioned to advance the practice and translate the science of nursing as managers, clinical faculty, and practitioners.  

Features

Loyola’s program is designed as a two-year, post-MSN cohort program. Courses are offered online, but a required two to three day residency including coursework, seminars, and presentations is held once each semester at the Loyola University Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, IL. The program is centered on the concept of the “Health of the Public,” and how to translate evidence-based practices into the clinical setting to improve outcomes.  You’ll learn how to promote and implement effective care for populations at risk for disease, populations that are experiencing alterations in health, and populations across the nation and globe. You’ll also learn how to manage the systems that promote safe and efficient health care environments.  Finally, you’ll complete a faculty-supervised Capstone Project to demonstrate your expertise.

Notables

Two optional specializations are available within the DNP program. The Healthcare Quality Using Education in Safety & Technology (H-QUEST) track is designed for quality and safety management in hospitals and other institutions, and offers the choice of a focus on either Outcomes Performance Management or Healthcare Informatics.  Loyola University Chicago also offers an Infection Prevention DNP designed as a post-BSN degree that can be completed in a total of 71 semester hours. Loyola University Chicago is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

10

Graceland University

College Choice Score: 41.3

Tuition per credit hour: $720

Website

Overview

As a private liberal arts college with a long history of nursing education, Iowa’s Graceland University recently started its first doctoral program in response to the movement towards the DNP as the terminal degree for nurse practitioners. The goal of this online DNP program at Graceland is to prepare nurses for advanced practice roles and as leaders within their organizations. As clinical scholars skilled in the application of theory and research, graduates apply evidence-based practice, advanced clinical practice, measurement of patient outcomes, and transformation of health care systems to ensure quality and safety.

Features

In total, the program includes 36 credit hours of classwork in addition to extensive experience in clinical practice. Through theoretical learning and clinical application, you’ll build the knowledge and skills you need to:

  • Use relevant information systems/technology to advance research, education and health outcomes.
  • Synthesize, interpret and apply knowledge from nursing practice, research and theory to create, implement and evaluate practice interventions, health delivery systems and clinical teaching.
  • Assume complex leadership roles at the organizational and systems level to improve health outcomes of individuals, families and populations.
  • Advocate for social justice, equality and ethical policies in health care.
  • Evaluate policy, care delivery and organizational systems for current and future health care for individuals, families and populations.

Graduates of the program are likely to seek practice leadership roles in a variety of settings, such as executives in healthcare organizations, directors of clinical programs, quality improvement managers, and faculty members responsible for clinical program delivery and clinical teaching.

Notables

As a DNP student, you’ll also complete a Practice Improvement Project that you design to improve clinical outcomes, or to resolve the gap between the best evidence and the reality of clinical practices. In this immersive capstone experience, students select a specialty practice site where they fulfill their required clinical hours and complete their project under the supervision and mentorship of an expert in the student’s home community as well as an assigned faculty advisor. This site may be any healthcare practice setting including, but not limited to, a clinical agency, school, health department, private provider practice setting, educational institution, or government organization. Graceland University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

 

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