30 Best Online DNP Programs [2020 Guide]

We've ranked the 30 Best Online DNP Programs for 2020! You can also get your doctorate in less time with accelerated classes.

We’ve ranked the 30 Best Online DNP Programs for 2020! You can also get your doctorate in less time with accelerated classes.

Online DNP Programs

A DNP serves as the gateway between the theoretical world of academic research and the application of evidence-based medical service in the real world. Earning this degree allows nurses to provide cutting edge care to groups of patients and even entire communities, depending on the position.

Types of Online DNP Programs and Related Degrees

If you’re interested in earning a terminal degree in healthcare, you have some options besides becoming a DNP. Click on one of the degrees below to jump to that part of the page.

Each degree prepares for a different career field, so consider carefully which one will be most helpful in attaining your goal.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

nurse checking on a young patient

The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a program that focuses on developing experts in practice-focused nursing. It is one of the two terminal-level degrees in nursing science, which aims to build a foundation in quality improvement, systems leadership, and evidence-based practice.

With enough level of expertise in your chosen field, you’ll be able to publish scientific findings that can directly influence healthcare outcomes.


By becoming a DNP, you arm yourself with the knowledge and expertise needed for innovative healthcare programs, allowing you to be more effective in providing services in clinical settings.

It is taught by professionals who hold doctoral-level degrees, making it comparable to Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Psychology, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Pharmacy.

Nursing Leadership (DHA)

healthcare professionals filling documents during a meeting

The Nursing Leadership (DHA) is a program that focuses on providing evidence-based healthcare leadership and management. This degree also aims to provide students with a deeper foundation in leadership concepts, techniques, and theories.

Upon completion of this curriculum, you’ll have acquired skills in contemporary leadership roles, performance management, and strategic vision and planning.


By taking up this degree, you will arm yourself with the right set of skills that will make you a viable candidate for positions that tackle nursing management and leadership.

Earning a degree in Nursing Leadership will allow you to pursue higher leadership roles in healthcare, such as health administration chief, department director, or executive officer.

Nursing Education (PhD)

healthcare professionals in a meeting

The Nursing Education (PhD) is a program that develops professionals who aspire to solidify their career in teaching the discipline of nursing science.

You’ll acquire profound skills in knowledge development, which can directly affect the quality of healthcare, together with leadership and research that will create better learning environments for future nurses.


By taking up this degree, you will learn how to develop education strategies and conduct research that can make university programs more efficient, and improve nursing education and overall healthcare services.

Earning your degree in Nursing Education will expose you to different networking opportunities, which can boost your career in the healthcare sector.

Healthcare Administration (DHA)

healthcare administrator assisting a fellow healthcare professional

Healthcare Administration (DHA) is a program that focuses on helping professionals to prepare themselves for long-term positions in healthcare administration.

This curriculum is for people who are passionate about healthcare and would like to establish themselves as experts in administration and operation.

Pursuing this career path will provide you with a deeper understanding of nursing administration, making you more competitive in higher-paying opportunities.


Once you earn a degree in Healthcare Administration, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of organization and management, together with the ability to make critical decisions.

These skills will qualify you for different opportunities that specifically tackle administrative tasks and organizational leadership in healthcare facilities.

Healthcare Management (DHA)

healthcare manager talking to fellow healthcare professionals

Healthcare Management (DHA) is a program that can provide you with skills in organization, quality assurance, information technology leadership, and management.

This curriculum covers a wide range of subjects that provides a deeper foundation in clinical and health service duties, finance and business, and information systems.


Acquiring this rare set of skills will make you a viable candidate for different high-paying positions in healthcare management, both in private and public sectors.

This profound learning program also gives you a headstart in building connections and network with other healthcare providers, which can open up opportunities to work in an environment that suits your skills and personality.

DNP Concentrations

DNP Concentrations

If you do decide to enroll in a DNP program, you might want to specialize by taking classes in a certain concentration.

Nurse Educator

Nursing science is not all about direct patient care and providing healthcare services to different institutions. It also involves teaching and ensuring high-quality healthcare is given to every patient, both of which is the responsibility of a nurse educator.

They are preparing students and helping them become licensed practical nurses and registered nurses.

Nurse educators are teaching at the master’s, and doctoral levels, and aim to improve direct patient care and overall healthcare service. This degree also gives students the option to choose the specialized field that they can teach.

However, taking a concentration as a nurse educator will also require the student to have experience in real-life application, ensuring that lessons are evidence-based and applicable in practice.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners are registered nurses with a deeper foundation in providing family-focused healthcare. They often work independently, but can also collaborate with other professionals in the health sector.

The area of specialization for family nurse practitioners is broad, making them viable for different positions in healthcare.

By becoming a family nurse practitioner, you’ll have the option to pick an area of expertise, wherein you’ll be able to provide better healthcare services.

Completing this field of study opens up several opportunities, ranging from health promotion, disease prevention, direct care, counseling, adult, geriatric and pediatric health, and even psychiatric or mental health.

Nurse-Midwifery

Nurse-Midwifery is a DNP concentration that focuses on providing healthcare services to women, particularly in prenatal care, family planning, and gynecological exams.

This degree also provides students with skills for emergencies such as repair lacerations and surgical assistance during cesarean births. 55.3% of all degree holders in Nurse-Midwifery have reproductive and prenatal care as their primary responsibility.

By taking up this DNP concentration, you’ll acquire the skills that are necessary for providing primary health care to newborns and mothers.

Armed with a deeper foundation in prenatal care, you can also conduct seminars that educate new mothers about wellness, nutrition, and disease prevention for their newborns.

Courses for an Online DNP Program

medical students in a classroom

Different universities offer varying online programs for Doctor of Nursing Practice. However, the core courses of this study remain the same. Here are some of the classes that you need to complete when taking up DNP:

Health Care Economics is a course that aims to help you understand the basics of health care and health insurance, together with the key components that dictate the principles and pricing strategies employed by health institutions.

Best Practices in Nursing Specialties is a course that provides you with a deeper understanding of different fields of nursing specialization, allowing you to provide top-notch health care.

Transforming the Nation’s Health is a class that educates you with everything that you need for innovative healthcare services. You’ll learn all the skills for organization, administration, and effectiveness in nursing science.

Health Care Information Systems covers all aspects of managing and organizing data that are needed to determine the type of care that a patient needs.


Healthcare Policy and Advocacy is a course that gives you a deeper foundation in understanding the importance of striving to provide unparalleled health care while protecting the safety and rights of every patient.

Epidemiology and Population Health is a course that helps you understand the causes of impairments in the human population, together with all the sicknesses that can affect human reproduction.

Unlike a PhD in Nursing, an online DNP does not always require a dissertation.

This selection should serve as a fairly accurate barometer of what to expect from your DNP classes. However, it is important to keep in mind that your target institution can deviate from this list considerably based on the decisions of the program administrators and presiding faculty.

Difference between DNP and PhD in Nursing

Difference between DNP and PhD in Nursing

The difference between a DNP and a Doctor of Nursing (PhD) degree rests solely on your aspirations after you walk across the graduation stage on your big day. DNP recipients work in the field as practicing medical professionals, while the PhD members of the community remain in academia to teach others and participate in research programs.

With a DNP under your belt, you can expect to earn between $73,469 and $100,000 per year– according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – working as an advanced practice registered nurse, family nurse practitioner, or via a variety of other hands-on clinical positions.

On the other side of the equation, the BLS notes that PhD students who become professors generally earn about $88,000 in annual compensation.

DNP Career and Salary Outlook

DNP Career and Salary Outlook

Healthcare is a rewarding career path, and becoming a DNP will open up a lot of opportunities to further your growth.

As far as your prospects go once you’re done with school, the BLS reports that this field is experiencing significantly faster than average growth when compared to most other industries and markets.

In total, job opportunities projected to rise by 31 percent in the coming years for DNP degree recipients. This means that not only is there plenty of money to be made as an outpatient care provider, public health administrator, or other DNP specialist, but that a plethora of quality jobs are also available for those who graduate with this doctoral-level degree.

If you decide to pursue DNP as your career, here are some of the possible job positions that will be available for you, together with the median salary that you can expect for each career path.

Possible Job Positions Median Salary
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) $152,427
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) $150,305
Director of Nursing $130,964
Psychiatric Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $115,480
Cardiovascular Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $112,234
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $107,404
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) $106,231
Nurse Practitioner (NP) $100,720
Clinical Nurse Manager $99,882
Certified Nurse Midwife $99,613
Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) $98,683
Family Nurse Practitioner (NP) $98,020
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) $97,771
Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner (NP) $97,662
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) $95,010

Besides your level of education, your years of experience and location can play a large role in determining the value of your compensation package.

Professional Organizations for those with a DNP Degree

logos of Professional Organizations for those with a DNP Degree

Joining a professional organization provides you with the opportunity to stay up on industry news and network with peers.

  • American Association of Diabetes Educators: an organization that focuses on spreading diabetes awareness through lectures and programs. Since 1973, the AADE aims to equip patients with proper information regarding their condition and teach them how they can self-manage diabetes and minimize the complications without regularly relying on professionals.
  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists: one of the most prominent organizations of DNP, having 90% of nurse anesthetists in the United States. The goal of the AANA is to organize a qualifying exam and establish an accreditation program designed for universities that offer a degree in nurse anesthesia.
  • Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association: an organization that has been at the forefront of improving the lives of patients who are under palliative care since 1986. The HPNA aims to create an environment where professionals can exchange information and ideas that will enhance the healthcare services in hospice and palliative nursing.

If you don’t already belong to a professional organization, consider joining one as a student of the field.

Certification and Licensure Following a DNP Degree

professional receiving a certificate

Holding a degree is not enough to validate your professional skills. You’ll also need to complete one of these certifications.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners play a vital role in reducing the strain of shortage in physicians. To ensure that they are capable of providing high-quality healthcare, students need to complete a nurse practitioner program, then earn the board certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

It is valid for five years, and the process of renewal ensures they meet high standards of practice.

Oncology Nurse Practitioner

Before you can become a certified Oncology Nurse Practitioner and start offering healthcare services to cancer patients, you need at least 500 supervised hours in clinical procedures.

You’ll also need to take the exam for oncology nurses organized by the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation.

Once you’ve reached this milestone and passed the test, you can apply for a state certification that allows you to practice oncology nursing, which is valid for four years.

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

A Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner is an integral part of women’s healthcare. Before you can practice this profession, you need to apply to a WHNP Program.

Once you’ve completed the program, you’ll need to apply for the WHNP Exam of the National Certification Corporation. Upon getting your certification, you can submit your application for a license to practice in your state.

Admission Requirements

nursing student being interviewed during an admissions interview

Speaking requirements, there are a variety of requirements laid before potential members of an incoming DNP cohort that you need to be aware of before the application deadline arrives.

While some programs require a master’s degree in a relevant field, plenty of others will accept individuals who excelled at the undergraduate level. The big key here is having an undergraduate GPA that sits at – or near – the 4.0 mark.

Additionally, providing letters of reference, as well as a personal statement detailing your academic goals and aspirations, also factor in the admissions process. In some cases, you might also be required to conduct an in-person interview with the professors and administrators who conduct the DNP program.

Accreditation for Online DNP Programs

logos of the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Employers respect applicants who received their DNP from universities that are regionally accredited. This procedure ensures that they employ someone with a foundation of knowledge that meets the regional standards for healthcare service.

Accredited online DNP programs ensure that you’re investing your time in programs that will solidify your career path and will make you a viable candidate for higher positions. The regional boards include:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

You can also attend a program that is accredited by a field-specific board.

Online DNP programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education will lead to a rewarding career because these are the two major accreditation bodies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

DNP is a degree that offers different specialization and concentration, so it’s best to check online programs individually. These programs should have a transparent streamlined route that you have to take to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Financial Aid for DNP Students

screenshot of FAFSA website

Earning a DNP from online programs can be costly. However, you can apply for different financial aid opportunities that can help you reduce the cost of getting a DNP, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This program offers federally backed loans and grants that will allow you to pursue your studies as a DNP.

And besides the scholarships universities might offer you, you can also apply for the following:

If you’re currently working, talk to your employer about tuition assistance to further your education.

Questions Related to Earning Your DNP Online

Here’s some information on a few more items you might be wondering about?

Can You Get Your DNP Online?

Yes, you can get your DNP online. Universities are offering different online programs that will allow you to get your DNP off-campus.

Some of these universities even include tests, which can help you determine the best curriculum for you and to ensure that you get the most out of their online programs. These courses will give you access to recorded classes that provides you with a deeper foundation in healthcare.

How Long Are DNP Programs?

Typical DNP programs last six to seven years, which includes specialization in the career path that you want to take. However, you can complete this course in three to four years by studying full-time.

You can further reduce the time needed to get your DNP by taking online classes and testing credits.

What Is the Difference Between a DNP and an NP?

Nurse Practitioner is a degree that specializes in clinical patient care, such as developing patient care programs, performing medical procedures, and prescribing and administering medications.

A Doctor of Nursing Practice, on the other hand, is one of the two doctoral degrees in nursing and is the highest level of education in nursing practice.

How Much Do DNP Make?

A DNP makes an average of $135,830, but it depends on the available opportunities. Some DNP holders earn the position of Chief Nursing Officer that has a median salary of $152,427.

Finishing a DNP on-campus exposes you to different networking opportunities, which broadens the jobs that are available to you.

List of Schools Offering Online DNP Programs

Rankings Methodology

Each of these colleges and universities is fully accredited and offer DNP programs fully or partially online.

#1  Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University campus

Abilene Christian University was founded in 1906 and is located in Abilene, Texas. Its founding was backed by The Churches of Christ in Abilene.

The university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree aims to further develop one’s clinical and leadership skills as a medical professional. This is done through a combination of theoretical learning online and practical application in the Field.

The program can be finished in a minimum of 26 months, with 39 credit hours.

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Abilene Christian is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2  Augusta University

augusta university campus

Augusta University is the state of Georgia’s innovation center for education and health care. It is a research university and medical center dedicated to training the future innovators and leaders in health care. It is.

The university first offered the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2005. The program gives nurses the clinical and management expertise to improve healthcare outcomes.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Augusta is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).

#3  Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University campus

Azusa Pacific University is a Christian university in Los Angeles, California. It offers over 150 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

The university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is anchored on a strong scientific foundation and evidence-based practice. It is designed to prepare nurses at the top level of practice for the modern and complex field of healthcare.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

APU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

#4  Baylor University

Baylor University campus

Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, is a Baptist Christian university that was chartered in 1845.

Baylor offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice 100% online for registered nurses with a BSN or MSN degree. Upon completing the program, graduates will be able to show and master executive knowledge and competencies in leadership and transformative care models.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice online

Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#5  Capella University

Capella University campus

Capella University has offered online doctoral education for more than 25 years. They have expertly designed their programs to meet the unique needs of their diverse learners.

Capella University offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice online program with two different paths. One is designed for registered nurses who have a master’s degree in nursing, and the other is for those who have a master’s degree in another field.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Capella is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Chatham University

chatham university campus

Chatham University, established in1869, is located in Pittsburgh, PA. It offers more than 60 programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

Chatham’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice is offered with 27 credits, which can be completed within three to five terms. The program emphasizes evidence-based practice, scientific inquiry, and credible research. It aims to promote quality and safe healthcare provision.

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Chatham is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#7  Clarion University

Clarion University campus

Clarion University, in the state of Pennsylvania, is home to over 4,700 students from diverse backgrounds. The university offers over 175 academic programs and ensures the holistic development of its students through 160 student organizations.

Clarion University offers the online DNP program, 27-credit program, which provides opportunities for professionals to advance their skills through the study of leadership, policy, population health, and

clinical practice. Courses can be taken part-time and can be completed within 5 semesters.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Clarion is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#8  Concordia University – Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin campus

Concordia University is a Lutheran university committed to developing students in mind, body, and spirit. It is one of nine colleges and universities in the Concordia University System.

The university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is a 30-credit program for nurses with an MSN degree and current RN license, who want to excel in leadership at the highest level of nursing practice.

Upon completing the program, graduates will be able to demonstrate advanced level analysis in implementing evidence-based approaches to nursing roles.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Concordia – Wisconsin is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Coppin State University

coppin state university campus

Since 1900, Coppin State University has been inspiring students to achieve greatness in and out of the classroom. The school is a residential liberal arts university situated in the northwest section of the City of Baltimore.

The university’s DNP program is a post-masters option that provides nursing professionals with advanced education in nursing science, leadership, and evidence-based practice.

The curriculum is presented in traditional, hybrid, and online formats. It comes with executive-format course sessions, which are offered on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Coppin is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#10  Creighton University

Creighton University campus

Creighton University is located in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a Catholic Jesuit University, with a commitment to training students to lead through serving others.

Creighton University is the first nursing college in Nebraska to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Courses can be completed online or on campus, full-time or part-time.

This program provides students with both advanced scientific knowledge and the practical hands-on skills required to take on leadership roles in healthcare.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Creighton is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#11  Delta State University

Delta State University campus

Delta State University, established in 1924, is located in Cleveland, Mississippi. The university offers degree programs in the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate levels.

The university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice online program allows registered nurses at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s levels to advance their education and career in the field of healthcare. This program can be completed part-time or full-time.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online)

Delta State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#12  DePaul University

DePaul University campus

DePaul University is a Catholic university in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1898 by the Vincentians. It has ten schools and colleges and operates on a quarter system.

DePaul’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program provides students the leadership, business, and research skills required to work effectively with advanced health care providers, researchers, and administrators.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

DePaul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

#13  DeSales University

desales university campus

DeSales University is a Catholic, Salesian university located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1964 by the Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales.

The university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is a practice-based program that aims to prepare nurses for leadership roles and prepare them for the challenges in the management and delivery of quality healthcare. The program is anchored on the beliefs and tenets of Christian humanism.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Clinical Leadership
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Executive Leadership
  • DNP + MBA: Doctor of Nursing Practice – Clinical Leadership with MBA
  • DNP + MBA: Doctor of Nursing Practice – Executive Leadership w/MBA

DeSales is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

#14  Drexel University

Drexel University campus

Drexel University is a research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded by the philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel in 1891.

Drexel University offers the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program, which is designed for nurses seeking the most advanced degree in nursing practice. Furthermore, this degree offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs.

Students will be trained to evaluate patient care, use advanced communication skills, evaluate effective management strategies, and translate research into clinical practice.

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Drexel is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#15  Duke University

Duke University campus

Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina, is a research university founded by Methodists and Quakers in 1838.

Duke University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report 2020. DNP program graduates are expected to become nurse leaders in interdisciplinary health care teams, who work to improve the quality of healthcare.

The program can be completed online, providing flexibility for nursing professionals.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Duke is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

#16  East Carolina University

East Carolina University campus

East Carolina University ranks Number 1 in producing medical graduates who practice in N.C. It is also among the top 25% in the Best graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The courses in the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program are taught by highly trained and qualified faculty who have a wide range of nursing leadership experience.

The program offers an innovative use of new technologies, personalized mentoring, standardized patient experience, clinical site placement support, and an interprofessional curriculum.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

East Carolina is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#17  Edinboro University

edinboro university campus

Edinboro University is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. It was founded in 1857 as a private training school for teachers in Pennsylvania.

Edinboro University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice was developed with Clarion University and aims to train and develop future healthcare leaders. This 27-credit online program is flexible and affordable and can be completed part-time.

It is recognized as America’s Best Nursing Schools in the East, according to Nurse Journal.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Edinboro is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#18  Felician University

Felician University campus

Felician University is a Catholic Franciscan university, founded by the Felician sisters in 1942.

The school offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership and Doctor of Nursing Practice in Advanced Practice. These programs develop students’ complex decision-making and organizational leadership.

Graduates are prepared to shape and manage advances in healthcare policy, implement strategies, and evaluate outcomes.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Executive Leadership or Advanced Practice (Online)

Felician U is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

#19  Florida International University

Florida International University campus

Florida International University is a space grant research university located in University Park, Florida. It holds the distinction of receiving the “Emerging Preeminence” designation granted by the Florida Legislature.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at FIU is an online program designed to suit the schedule of the busy professional. It is offered100% online for registered nurses who want to earn the highest clinical nursing degree.

The program highlights convenient online courses, interprofessional collaboration, and no GRE requirements.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Florida International is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

#20  Florida State University

Florida State University campus

Florida State University is one of the country’s elite research universities. Its philosophy of learning is strongly based on the principles of critical thinking and liberal arts.

Florida State University College of Nursing offers the DNP Family Nurse Practitioner and DNP AG Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. The DNP program can be completed online for 8 semesters, with five sessions on the main campus of Florida State University.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Florida State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

#21  Georgia College and State University

georgia college and state university campus

Georgia College and State University is a liberal arts university where a practical education meets real-world experiences. It was founded in 1889 and has since been striving to instill a lifelong passion for learning.

Georgia College’s Nursing DNP is committed to training Nurse leaders through the mastery of professional nursing and clinical reasoning. The 37-credit program is conveniently offered online and in the executive style format. It can be completed within 5 semesters of full-time study.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

GCSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#22  Illinois State University

Illinois State University campus

Illinois State University was founded in 1857 and is the oldest government-funded university in the state. Their campus is located just in the vicinity of Illinois’ geographical center.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Illinois State University ensures that graduates will have the knowledge and competencies to meet the challenges of today’s healthcare environment. The program can be completed within 7 semesters.

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Illinois State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

#23  Indiana University

Indiana University Bloomington campus

Indiana University in Bloomington is the flagship university of the Indiana University System.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at Indiana State University provides quality training for nurse leaders to improve their quality of care. The coursework is delivered online and focuses on clinical decision making, leadership in complex systems, public health policy, population health management, and more.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Indiana State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#24  Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University campus

Since 1929, Quinnipiac University has been a leader in delivering quality higher education. It offers over 70 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice aims to lead the way for a positive change in the field of healthcare. It trains professionals in the advanced approach to clinical reasoning and best practices in health care.

It is a minimum 30-credit program, which allows for opportunities to explore specialized nursing leadership coursework.

  • Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (Online)

Quinnipiac is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

#25  Southeastern Louisiana University

southeastern louisiana university campus

Southeastern Louisiana University, established in 1925, is located in Hammond, Louisiana. It offers 60 degree programs across its 18 academic departments.

Southeastern Louisiana University’s DNP program focuses on advanced nursing practice for holders of Master of Science in Nursing. They will be trained to influence health outcomes for individuals in different areas of healthcare.

Most of this program’s coursework is done online, but students are still required to be on campus for the orientation and the defense of their DNP project.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Southeastern Louisiana is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#26  Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University campus

Southern Illinois University, founded in 1869, is a research university in Carbondale, Illinois. It offers over 200 programs at the associate, bachelor, and graduate levels.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at SIU is an evidence-based and practice-oriented program designed to prepare professionals in specialized, innovative, and advanced nursing practice. Students are usually expected to complete DNP projects at their places of employment.

Courses are completed online, at the student’s own pace.

  • Post Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice

SIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#27  University of Arizona

University of Arizona campus

Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona is the first university in the Arizona territory. Its main campus sits on a 380-acre land in Tucson, Arizona.

The University of Arizona DNP program accepts applicants who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing. It is a hybrid program that consists of a combination of online didactic coursework, on-campus intensives, and on-field practicum.

The program can be completed part-time or full-time.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

AU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#28  University of Massachusetts – Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst campus

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is a leading research university that takes pride in its excellent faculty and top-notch students who come from different parts of the globe. It is located in Amherst, Massachusetts and offers a rich and diverse multicultural environment.

The university’s DNP program prepares Advanced Practice Nurses to achieve the highest level of the nursing profession and to offer expert care to the clinical setting.

Applicants must comply with the eligibility requirements of a current professional license and an accredited baccalaureate or master’s degree Nursing to be considered for the program.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

UMass – Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#29  University of Texas – Arlington

University of Texas – Arlington campus

The University of Texas – Arlington offers accelerated online programs, with 100% online coursework, which allows adult learners and professionals to gain their degrees at a faster pace. With flexible start dates, students can start their courses whenever they are ready. They don’t need to wait for the start of each semester.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Texas Arlington is an accelerated online program that is geared toward Advanced Practice and MSN-prepared nurses who want to reach the highest qualification in Nursing. The program can be completed within 22-27 months, with 36 credit hours.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

UT – Arlington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#30  University of Utah

university of utah campus

The University of Utah takes pride in many regional and national distinctions. University of Utah’s College of Nursing was chosen by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing as the recipient of the New Era for Academic Nursing Award.

It is also ranked 5th by US News & World Report, as No. 9 in midwifery, and No. 19 in doctorate of nursing practice.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Utah integrates nursing science with ethical, biophysical, analytical, and organizational principles for advanced nursing practice. It is evidence-based, and students actively engage in interprofessional collaborations to improve the delivery of healthcare.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

U of U is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Is a DNP Worth It?

nurses working at the hospital

Yes, a DNP worth it. After graduation, you could be making between $135,000 and $152,000, you’ll have the satisfaction of having earned a terminal degree in your field.

Getting your DNP will require you to invest more time to specialize in a field and be an expert in nursing practice. However, more and more employers are looking for DNP when hiring healthcare professionals because they are more efficient and knowledgeable in their chosen field.

This preference makes the DNP degree a vital part of your career and is a worthy investment that significantly contributes to your growth.

The popularity of online DNP programs and the highly regulated curriculum ensures that you receive lessons that meet high standards.

Taking one of these online DNP programs will open up a variety of opportunities for your career and solidify your position in the fast-paced healthcare industry.

Daniel Nguyen
WRITTEN BY
Daniel Nguyen
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