State-by-State Guide: Top Picks for the 50 Best DNP Programs of 2020-21

Top DNP ProgramsA DNP says a lot about anybody who holds it. Earning one puts you in the top-tier of expert nurses, denoting the kind of in-depth knowledge, analytical skills, and practical clinical prowess to set you apart as an unquestioned leader, whether on the clinic floor or in the upper echelons of hospital management.

The DNP touches on things that are within the domain of a standard doctorate, like research, lab skills, experimentation, and documentation; and while those skills are valuable, it’s really the advanced practical, systems-thinking, decision-making, translational, and leadership-oriented studies that comprise the DNP core that elevates graduates to a whole other level of practice.

Earning your place at that level takes a lot of time, energy, and money, and with an investment like this it just doesn’t make sense to compromise. If you think you’ve got the chops to earn a prestigious degree like this, then it makes sense to earn it from the best school you possibly can.

That’s exactly what you’ll find here.

Could the DNP Soon Be the New Minimum for NPs and Other APRNs?

While DNP nurses tend to be found only at the pinnacle of the nursing profession today, in the near future there may be a lot more of them around. The American Association of Colleges for Nursing (AACN) has launched an effort to make the DNP the entry-level credential for all advanced practice RNs.

There’s a strong argument out there that a doctoral degree makes sense for APRNs. They often have prescriptive authority and offer many of the same diagnostic and procedural services as doctors do. In the constant quest to get state-level practice authority across the country in full alignment with the education and skill APRNs bring to the job, requiring the DNP may offer a definitive solution and an end to the debate once and for all.

In fact, nurse anesthetists have already made that jump: effective 2025, the NBCRNA will only certify new nurse anesthetists that hold a DNP, and since 2015 the Council on Accreditation only grants accreditation to doctoral programs.

With these kinds of changes on the horizon, it’s even more important to earn your degree from one of the best schools in the country.

Post-BSN and Post-MSN DNP Degrees

You’ll select a DNP entry-point based on the degree you currently hold.

You’ll find both options offer tracks in either advanced clinical practice or in an aggregate/systems/organizational focus like administration or informatics.

Post-BSN (BSN-DNP) – Designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing (or, occasionally, other fields).

  • Tracks available to prepare students for APRN licensure and certification in one of the designated APRN roles (nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse-midwife, nurse-anesthetist)
  • Tracks available in aggregate/systems/organizational focus areas
  • Combines masters and doctoral studies, with programs often conferring both a master’s and doctorate

Post-MSN (MSN-DNP) – Designed for current APRNs and other MSN-educated nurses who currently hold a master’s and wish to move up to a DNP.

  • Typically leaves out the specialty-specific training master’s-prepared nurses have already undergone in favor of advanced clinical and leadership skills
  • Tracks available in advanced practice or in an aggregate/systems/organizational focus

How We Picked the Top Doctor of Nursing Practice Degrees in the United States

It’s not easy to quantify greatness in higher education. For the uninitiated, a doctoral degree of any kind is an impressive thing. And while we agree with this general sentiment, we’ve spent enough time comparing programs and recommending options over the years that we know the elements of a program that need to come together to provide an exceptional student experience, and produce exceptional practitioners.

Every program has a personality colored by the culture of the school, students and instructors, local healthcare providers, and the broader community, and that’s one of the great things the college experience can give students. We’re not looking for programs that conform to a mold, but we have identified a handful of things that we feel every true top-level DNP program has in common.

Specialty Accreditation

Although we have aimed a lot higher than just finding accredited schools for our list, we have come to believe that accreditation is the perfect starting point. That means every school we considered for our list has earned accreditation from one of the two specialty accreditors that evaluate and accredit graduate-level nursing programs in the U.S.:

Both agencies are recognized by CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) and the Department of Education as having the capacity to validate the quality, effectiveness and outcomes of DNP and other graduate nursing programs. They maintain close ties with both professional nursing groups and the overall healthcare industry to ensure that their criteria for evaluating curriculum, instruction and clinical placement opportunities are closely aligned with the demands and practices in the field.

Schools have to offer up reams of documentation and undergo thorough on-site evaluations before qualifying. And after that, they have to undergo periodic reviews regularly to keep their status.

Put together, it all represents the baseline that healthcare organizations have come to expect out of highly trained DNP graduates, and for that reason we considered it the baseline for any school worth being considered for our list.

From there we moved on to the less-quantifiable, more nuanced aspects of our selection process; the ones looking at factors that really separate great programs from the ones we could confidently call the very best.

Instructor Experience and Qualifications

Your experiences as a student are only as impactful as the people you interact with…The curriculum is only as effective as the person presenting it… The clinical practice you participate in is only as meaningful as the guidance you receive.

All this is to say that the single most important consideration for a DNP program really should be the quality of the professors and other instructors.

We looked not only for instructors who have decades of nursing experience on the clinic floor; we also preferred schools where the professors are still engaged in active practice. Keeping up with the state-of-the-art in advanced nursing practices requires actually putting those skills to use on a regular basis. There’s nothing like learning procedures from someone who is still doing them, and gaining perspective from someone that’s living the experience first-hand.

But even that isn’t enough. We also prized programs where faculty hold advanced academic and research qualifications. Teaching is a skill of its own, and academic prowess is a gift that helps instructors present their own skills and knowledge to you in ways that are easy for you to understand. Research skills ensure that instructors not only teach you the latest nursing techniques, but that they’re actually involved in developing them. We always give a second look to schools where professors have a strong track record of publication in prestigious industry journals.

Major Healthcare Center Affiliations

In the same vein, the ways in which a school is connected with healthcare in the community is something you need to think about. At the best schools, it’s not just a pipeline for clinical rotations and potential employment for graduates, it’s a true partnership in which area healthcare providers and the broader healthcare community is either part of or partnered with the school of nursing.

We looked almost exclusively at schools that have affiliations with top-level healthcare organizations in their area. Whether that means they are associated with a prestigious teaching hospital, or simply have great connections through alumni and practicum slots with local and regional medical centers, those kinds of affiliations unlock valuable experience and options for students. It’s this connection that gives you the benefit of being supervised by, and learning from, some of the best medical professionals across a range of specializations.

Not only are you likely to get the sort of practicum placements you are interested in, but you are more likely to find them in well-equipped facilities, with the kinds of patients and cases that really give you the exact practical hands-on experience you need for the specific advanced practice leadership role you’ll be stepping into.

Almost every DNP program talks about interprofessional education; the schools that made our list deliver.

Emphasis on Evidence-Based Practice

Finally, we gave preference to schools that are really making a difference in the field right now. A major component of advanced nursing education is translating research findings into clinical practice, and out in the clinical environment is where where that research rubber meets the road and evidence-based practice is put to work. If you are going to move to the top tiers of the nursing field, it makes sense to go where that evidence is being discovered.

To align faculty research with advanced practice education, the best schools get students actively involved in that research… or even encourage independent projects. Whether it’s the chance to participate in writing a journal article with a highly respected instructor, or forging ahead with your own independent research project as part of your capstone work, all of the schools that made our list deliver meaningful, groundbreaking research opportunities for students.

2020-21 State-by-State Guide to the 50 Best DNP Programs in America

In an era when NPs, other APRNs and even nurses outside of direct patient care are becoming heroes, you owe it to yourself and your future patients and staff to get the best preparation possible. There are more than 200 outstanding schools out there offering fully-accredited DNP programs with both post-BSN and post-MSN entry points, and among them are 50 that stand even taller than the stand-outs. It’s these 50 schools that have earned  the distinction of being called the very best.


Alabama / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / District of Columbia / Florida / Georgia / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / Ohio / Pennsylvania / Tennessee / Texas / Virginia / Washington / Wisconsin

Alabama

 

University of Alabama at Birmingham (PU)
School of Nursing
Birmingham, AL
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Advanced practice nursing
    • Nurse executive

Cost Per Credit: $656 (in-state, out-of-state)

  • UAB’s School of Nursing has been designated a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence
  • Ranked among the top 10 public nursing schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding opportunities for scholarships, grants, and fellowships

Ranked among the top 10 public nursing schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, the University at Alabama Birmingham’s School of Nursing is where discovery and research come together to produce exceptional clinicians capable of providing the best outcomes for patients and their families. As a DNP student here, you’ll have access to outstanding scholarships, fellowships, and grants and opportunities to connect and collaborate thanks to the school’s superb clinical and research opportunities. And with a network of more than 16,000 alumni and growing, UAB’s nursing legacy is alive and well throughout the country, and the world.

Arizona

 

Arizona State University (PU)
Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation
Tempe, Arizona
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Acute care nurse practitioner
    • Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner
    • Innovation leadership
    • Pediatric nurse practitioner
    • Women’s health nurse practitioner
    • Advanced nursing practitioner

Cost Per Credit: $651 (in-state), $1,308 (out-of-state)

  • DNP program ranked 24th in the country by U.S. News & World Report
  • Convenient hybrid design requires minimal campus visits
  • Superb fellowship opportunities available

Ranked 24th in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Arizona State University’s DNP offers the perfect blend of convenience and academic rigor. Offered in a hybrid format that requires minimal on-campus visits that are combined with convenient online study, the Arizona State DNP is everything you’d want in a DNP program – and much more. Home to no less than 26 fellowships and an impressively long list of national faculty nursing awards, the Arizona State College of Nursing and Health Innovation is where nursing practice is advanced and elevated. It’s also the place for outstanding research opportunities thanks to the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the Center for Innovation in Healthy & Resilient Aging, and the Center for World Health.

Arkansas

 

University of Arkansas (PU)
Eleanor Mann School of Nursing
Fayetteville, AR
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Clinical

Cost Per Credit: $431 (in-state), $1,168 (out-of-state)

  • Online programs require minimal campus visits for outstanding convenience and flexibility
  • Recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its outstanding online grad programs

The University of Arkansas offers exactly what today’s DNP students are looking for: flexibility in learning, which is why their DNP programs are offered in an online format with minimal campus visits. In fact, the UofA DNP earned a spot among the Best Online Programs in 2020 according to U.S. News & World Report. Recognized as one of top public research universities in Arkansas and the world, UofA is where ideas and solutions are born, and nursing practice is elevated.

California

 

California State University-Fullerton (PU)
School of Nursing
Fullerton, CA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Nurse anesthesia
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Direct care

Cost Per Credit: $636 (in-state), $1,032 (out-of-state)

  • Nationally recognized nurse anesthesia DNP is offered in partnership with Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia
  • University consistently ranked a top value by trusted publications like Money, Forbes, and Washington Monthly
  • Post-master’s DNP offered through a Consortium of the School of Nursing at California

California State University Fullerton’s School of Nursing offers one exceptional DNP program in nurse anesthesia. Part of that has to with the fact that it’s offered in partnership with the Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia. This nationally renowned program has been recognized for its excellence by esteemed publications like U.S. News & World Report, which ranked it among the best in both 2016 and 2017. The post-master’s option is offered through a Consortium of the School of Nursing at California State University, bringing in the best minds at CSU from the Fullerton, Long Beach, and Los Angeles campuses. Choose the DNP here and you’ll be part of a longstanding program that’s produced more than 4,000 graduates over more than 40 years and part of a university that’s been consistently ranked among the top public schools in the West and among a top value by trusted publications like Money, Forbes, and Washington Monthly.

 

Samuel Merritt University (PR)
School of Nursing
Sacramento, California
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Family nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,238

  • Outstanding DNP cohort graduation rate average of 88% for the past three years
  • Superb 100% employment rate among DNP grads since 2015-16
  • Home to a host of excellent campus resources and opportunities to participate in service learning and medical service trips

Samuel Merritt’s DNP program comes with statistics that speak to its excellence in education and student success. In the last three years, its cohort graduation rate averaged 88%, while its employment rate has remained at 100% since the 2015-16 class. You’re sure to appreciate SMU for its outstanding campus resources, which include the Health Sciences Simulation Center and the Motion Analysis Research Center. There’s plenty of opportunities to make a difference here through community service learning, medical service trips, and research projects.

 

Point Loma Nazarene University (PR)
Graduate Studies
San Diego, California
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Management and Leadership
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Management and Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,160

  • Hybrid design requires just three on-campus intensives each year
  • University ranked 52nd in the nation by The Economist for academic excellence

Designed specifically for the working nurse, the Point Loma Nazarene University DNP program is a hybrid course of study that features three, short, on-campus intensives each year that are combined with convenient, online study. Point Loma Nazarene’s DNP is an outstanding program that supports the highest levels of nursing practice in today’s complex health systems. You’ll build upon your expertise as you elevate your leadership skills and advance your practice skills here. Choose the DNP here and you’ll be part of a university that was ranked 52nd in the nation by The Economist.

Colorado

 

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (PU)
Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Colorado Springs, CO
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Primary care nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Advanced practice

Cost Per Credit: $707 (in-state), $1,254 (out-of-state)

  • University named a top-10 public university in the West by U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding legacy of producing the next generation of nurses for more than 100 years
  • Superb campus learning through the Simulation Learning Center, the Primary Care Clinic, the Center for Active Living, the Aging Center, and the Veteran’s Health and Trauma Clinic

For more than 100 years, the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences has been producing the next generation of advanced practice nurse leaders in Colorado. Its DNP program continues this legacy of excellence in nursing, thanks to a distinct focus on teaching, scholarship, and professional service, all of which can be seen in the innovative laboratory and clinical experiences you’ll get here. As a DNP student here, you’ll learn from the best, as it is home to a large number of nationally and internationally recognized scholars. Just some of the campus resources designed to advance nursing practice include the Simulation Learning Center, the Primary Care Clinic, the Center for Active Living, the Aging Center, and the Veteran’s Health and Trauma Clinic.

Connecticut

 

Quinnipiac University (PR)
School of Nursing
Hamden, Connecticut
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Nurse anesthesia
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Care of populations
    • Nursing leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,055

  • Ranked among the top value universities in the nation
  • One of just 12 nursing schools in the nation to offer programs that are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation
  • Outstanding study abroad and research opportunities available

The Quinnipiac School of Nursing comes with a number of impressive accolades, including a ranking among the top 3% of universities for long-term value, and among the top 100 for the salaries the school’s graduates earn, according to a study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. If that weren’t impressive enough, the Economist and the Brookings Institute also recognized Quinnipiac for value, ranking it among the top 13% in the nation. Plus, it’s one of just 12 nursing schools in the nation to offer programs that are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. The focus on holistic care, and the commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration you’ll find here ensures that DNP graduates are able to confidently handle the challenges of modern healthcare. Choose the DNP here and you’ll have access to study abroad opportunities, global solidarity trips, and research opportunities, and you’ll connect and collaborate with your peers through clubs like the Graduate Student Nurses Association and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nurses.

District of Columbia – Washington, D.C.

 

Georgetown University (PR)
School of Nursing & Health Studies
Washington, D.C.
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Nurse-midwifery/women’s health nurse practitioner
    • Women’s health nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Leadership and ethics

Cost Per Credit: $2,139

  • Post-bachelor’s DNP features online study that’s complemented with on-campus intensives
  • Post-master’s DNP features online courses supplemented with on-campus executive sessions with your cohort
  • School of Nursing & Health Studies has a legacy of educational excellence that dates back more than a hundred years

Georgetown University’s School of Nursing & Health Studies offers DNP programs that accommodate your busy lifestyle. The post-bachelor’s DNP features a convenient online format complemented by on-campus intensives where you’ll work with high-fidelity simulations for critical hands-on training. Similarly, the post-master’s option is supplemented with on-campus executive sessions designed to provide you with fantastic opportunities to connect with your cohort and perfect your scholarly writing skills. Georgetown’s DNP programs are part of the School of Nursing & Health Studies legacy of nursing excellence that dates back to 1903. Choose Georgetown for your DNP and you’ll be part of a major international research university with prestigious hospital affiliations and some of the highest ranked programs in the nation.

Florida

 

University of Florida (PU)
College of Nursing
Gainesville, Florida
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Adult-gerontology acute-care nurse practitioner
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Pediatric acute-care nurse practitioner
    • Pediatric primary care nurse practitioner
    • Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Clinical

Cost Per Credit: $531 (in-state), $1,236 (out-of-state)

  • Ranked among the top 25 graduate schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Online delivery is designed to accommodate today’s working nursing professionals
  • Having developed the first DNP program in Florida, UF remains a pioneer in nursing education

The University of Florida College of Nursing is where innovation and evidence-based practice come together to prepare nurses well-equipped for the modern healthcare environment. The fact that it’s offered online makes this DNP perfect for today’s working nurses, while the innovative clinical sites and experiences ensure you get the best experiential learning available. In fact, UF has long been a pioneer in nursing education, boasting the first nurse practitioner program and the first DNP program in Florida. It’s no wonder UF is consistently ranked among the top 10 percent of all graduate degree-earning nursing schools in the nation.

 

University of Miami (PR)
School of Nursing & Health Studies
Coral Gables, Florida
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Nurse anesthesia
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Practice

Cost Per Credit: $2,100

  • DNP students enjoy superb opportunities for outstanding clinical experiences through an affiliation with the University of Miami Hospitals and Jackson Memorial Hospital, 13 advanced clinical rotation sites, and more than 250 community partners
  • Nurse anesthesia DNP features an intensive OB/pediatric, trauma, and pain management curriculum

The University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies is home to a world-renowned DNP program in nurse anesthesia – and among the first to satisfy the new minimum requirements for national certification in this critical APRN role. Between U of M Hospitals and affiliations with Jackson Memorial and other providers, students have access to no fewer than 13 clinical training sites and more than 250 community partners for immersive, real-world training. Choose the University of Miami for your DNP and you’ll be part of a major research university that’s been producing the next generation of change makers and leaders since 1925.

 

Keiser University (PR)
Graduate School
Naples, Florida
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Nursing practice
    • Nurse anesthesia

Cost Per Credit: $1,099

  • Unique program design features one class at a time for a more streamlined learning experience
  • Flexible class schedules and a blend of online, on-campus, and/or hybrid courses ensures convenience and flexibility

The Keiser University Graduate School delivers an intensive DNP program with a decided focus on quality, safety, and interdisciplinary collaboration. The innovate program gives students a chance to develop the skills needed to improve outcomes for every patient they care for, while bringing improvements to the nursing profession as a whole. The intensive program design takes you through one class at a time for streamlined learning, while small class sizes, personal instruction, and flexible class schedules round out the student experience in this innovative program.

Georgia

 

Emory University (PR)
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Atlanta, Georgia
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
  • Adult/Gerontology-Health Systems Leadership
    • Adult/Gerontology Acute Care-Population Health Track
    • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care -Health Systems Leadership
    • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care-Population Health
    • Emergency Nurse-Population Health
    • Family Nurse Practitioner-Health Systems Leadership
    • Family Nurse Practitioner-Population Health
    • Midwifery-Health Systems Leadership
    • Midwifery-Population Health
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner-Health Systems Leadership
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner-Population Health
    • Pediatric Acute Care-Health Systems Leadership
    • Pediatric Acute Care-Population Health
    • Pediatric Primary Care-Health Systems Leadership
    • Pediatric Primary Care-Population Health
    • Women’s Health-Health Systems Leadership
    • Women’s Health-Population
    • Nurse Anesthesia-Health Systems Leadership
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Health systems leadership
    • Population health

Cost Per Credit: $1,622

  • University ranked 5th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • School of Nursing ranked 4th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • DNP students have access to more than 500 clinical sites

Emory University has a reputation that precedes it. Ranked 5th in the nation by the National Institutes of Health for research funding, Emory University is where research and innovation come together to create an exceptional DNP program. Housed within the famed Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, one of Georgia’s top-ranked nursing schools, DNP students here have access to no less than 500 clinical training sites and enjoy a learning experience that places a distinct focus on nurse leadership, service learning, and global health. Choose the DNP here and you’ll be part of a community of researchers, scholars, and clinicians whose work have earned the Woodruff School of Nursing a fourth place spot on the U.S. News & World Report list of top nursing schools.

Idaho

 

Boise State University (PU)
School of Nursing
Boise, Idaho
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Health leadership and practice
    • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $402 (in-state), $1,107 (out-of-state)

  • Online cohort learning model ensures outstanding collaboration and support
  • University is designated as a doctoral research institute by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
  • University is ranked among the Most Innovative Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

Boise State University’s School of Nursing has a DNP that’s designed to be as convenient and flexible as it is rigorous. This program features a convenient, online course design…a dedicated and highly experienced staff of online educators…and a cohort learning model that ensures outstanding collaboration and support. Choose Boise State for your DNP and you’ll be part of a university that’s been designated as a doctoral research institute by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and ranked among the Most Innovative Schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Illinois

 

Loyola University-Chicago (PR)
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
Chicago, IL
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Oncology)
    • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (Oncology)
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,130

  • Option to study abroad through Loyola’s Rome, Italy campus
  • Convenient hybrid delivery is ideal for working professionals
  • Outstanding record of graduate success: 98% of graduates are employed within three months of graduation

Loyola University’s Chicago campus is home to the famed Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, which is rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition and designed to produce the next generation of leaders in healthcare. We love their record of success, which includes a 98% employment rate three months after graduation. The supportive learning environment you’ll find here comes complete with a career development center and the Loyola School of Nursing Career Network. And if studying abroad interests you, consider Loyola’s campus in Rome Italy.

 

Rush University (PR)
College of Nursing
Chicago, IL
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care-NP (hybrid)
    • Family-NP (hybrid)
    • Neonatal-NP (online)
    • Pediatric Primary Care-NP (online)
    • Pediatric Acute Care-NP (online)
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health-NP (online)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care-CNS (hybrid)
    • Neonatal-CNS (online)
    • Pediatric-CNS (online)
    • Advanced Public Health Nursing (online)
    • Nurse Anesthesia (campus)
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Transformative Leadership: Systems
    • Transformative Leadership: Population Health

Cost Per Credit: $1,110

  • Both the College of Nursing and the DNP programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Academic arm of Rush University Medical Center, a leading academic medical center

Rush University stands out from the crowd thanks to its national reputation for clinical excellence, while the College of Nursing has received its share of national recognition thanks to its position among “America’s Best Graduate Schools” according to U.S. News & World Report in 2020. Not to be outdone, the DNP by itself ranks in the top 1% of DNP programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The university enjoys a spot among the top health science universities in the nation thanks to its position as the academic arm of the Rush University Medical Center, one of the leading academic medical centers in the nation.

Indiana

 

Marian University (PR)
Leighton School of Nursing
Indianapolis, IN
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia

Cost Per Credit: $880

  • Consistently ranked among the top midwestern universities for its innovation, value, and academic excellence by U.S. News & World Report
  • Convenient hybrid delivery features an optimum blend of on-campus and online courses
  • Ranked among the top ten private universities in Indiana by the Wall Street Journal

Marian University’s DNP program brings excellence to clinical nursing education, while catering to the needs of busy working professionals. The convenient hybrid format delivers an optimum blend of on-campus and online instruction with courses grounded in policy and advocacy, advanced patient care, and quality improvement, among other vital areas. Choose the DNP at Marian and you’ll be part of a university that’s been recognized for its innovation, value, and academic excellence by U.S. News & World Report. This top midwestern university also enjoys a top-ten spot among the best private colleges in Indiana, as ranked by the Wall Street Journal.

Iowa

 

Clarke University (PR)
Dubuque, Iowa
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Family nurse practitioner
    • Health leadership and practice
    • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $860

  • Outstanding record of student achievement includes a 100% pass rate on national certification exams
  • Convenient hybrid design features twice-monthly on-campus meetings
  • College consistently ranked among the top in the nation

Clark University’s DNP comes with a record of academic excellence that speaks for itself—a 100% pass rate on national certification exams. But that’s not all; the DNP program boasts 1:1 preceptorship…a convenient hybrid course design that puts coursework online and requires just twice-monthly on-campus meetings…and small cohorts that are limited to just 20 students. It’s no wonder that Clarke has been consistently recognized by Forbes (“America’s Best Colleges” and “Top 120 Best Midwestern Colleges”), U.S. News & World Report (Best Regional Colleges in 2019 and Best Value Schools in the Midwest in 2019), and the Princeton Review (“Best Midwestern Colleges”), just to name a few.

Kentucky

 

Eastern Kentucky University (PU)
Richmond, KY
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s (online)

Cost Per Credit: $675

  • Fully online program requires no campus visits for the best in convenience and flexibility
  • Outstanding, one-on-one mentoring while completing your DNP project
  • EKU’s DNP program ranked among the top 50 best online graduate nursing programs in the nation

Eastern Kentucky University has online learning down to a science, and its online DNP is no exception. Just some of the perks of completing your online DNP through Eastern Kentucky include accelerated, eight-week terms, no campus requirements, and one-on-one mentoring when it comes time to complete your DNP project. It’s no wonder U.S. News & World Report ranked the DNP here among the Top 50 best online graduate nursing programs in the nation.

 

Bellarmine University (PR)
Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences
Louisville, KY
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s – Leadership (online)
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Advanced nursing practice
    • Executive leadership

Cost Per Credit: $855

  • Fully online program delivery for the best in convenience and flexibility
  • Students here get superb clinical experiences thanks to partnerships with more than 100 healthcare and community facilities
  • Home to a newly expanded state-of-the-art simulation laboratory

Following a fully online course delivery model, if you need a DNP program that comes with a convenient and flexible course design, the Bellarmine University Lansing School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences is where you want to be. We also love Bellarmine for its distinguished faculty, its state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, and its outstanding selection of clinical locations (more than 100 healthcare and community partners!). Other points of pride for the School of Nursing and Clinical Sciences include a newly expanded state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, faculty-led study-abroad opportunities, and an opportunity to become part of the Bellarmine Association of Nursing Students, an active professional membership group.

Louisiana

 

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (PU)
School of Nursing
New Orleans, LA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Executive Nurse Leader
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult Gerontology
  • Post-Master’s: Clinical (campus)

Cost Per Credit: $684 (in-state), $1,229 (out-of-state)

  • The School of Nursing earned the 2017 Stellar School Award from the National Student Nurses Association
  • The School of Nursing was recognized by the Louisiana State Nurses Association in 2016 as the Nightingale School of the Year for Graduate Degree Programs

The Louisiana State University Health Science Center immediately caught our attention for its long list of accolades. LSU’s DNP program is the pride of the School of Nursing, which was recognized in 2016 as the Nightingale School of the Year for Graduate Degree Programs by the Louisiana State Nurses Association. It was also a recipient of the 2017 Stellar School Award from the National Student Nurses Association. Plus, as a DNP student, you’ll enjoy opportunities to collaborate with the school’s nursing faculty as a graduate assistant and participate in a variety of nursing organizations, including the Doctoral Nursing Student Organization, the Student Nurses Association, and the Southeast Louisiana American Assembly for Men in Nursing.

Maryland

 

University of Maryland (PU)
School of Nursing
Baltimore, MD
Website

Degree

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Family

Cost Per Credit: $824 (in-state), $1,461 (out-of-state)

  • DNP program ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • DNP students have access to 28 clinical simulation laboratories and more than 350 clinical learning sites
  • School of Nursing boasts an outstanding 130-year history of academic excellence

University of Maryland’s School of Nursing is home to an outstanding selection of DNP programs for nurses looking to achieve the highest clinical nursing degree. A convenient hybrid course delivery ensures plenty of flexibility for working professionals, and the sixth-place spot it earned among all DNP programs in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report speaks to this program’s academic rigor. For more than 130 years, the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing has been advancing nursing practice through innovation in research and practical learning. Just a few of the perks of completing your DNP here include a convenient location near the University of Maryland Medical Center, 28 clinical simulation laboratories, and access to more than 350 clinical learning sites.

 

Johns Hopkins University (PR)
School of Nursing
Baltimore, MD
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid/online)
    • Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Pediatric Dual Primary/Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesiology (campus)
  • Post-Master’s: Executive (hybrid/online)

Cost Per Credit: $1,772

  • DNP ranked third in the nation among the best DNP programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings
  • World-renowned faculty includes Fellows in the Academy of Nursing
  • Curriculum highlights include a cohort learning environment and hybrid course delivery

Johns Hopkins University easily earned a spot on our best of the best list. The name speaks for itself, but there’s a lot more to this school than just its reputation. It offers a broad selection of DNP tracks, convenient hybrid courses that combine online coursework with onsite immersions, and its close-knit cohort model gives you a chance to connect and grow with fellow students. Choose the DNP here and you’ll learn from world-renowned instructors; nearly half of all full-time faculty here are Fellows in the Academy of Nursing. The learning experience here lives up to the Johns Hopkins reputation for healthcare innovation and quality care. In fact, the DNP here was ranked third in the nation among top DNP programs according to U.S. News & World Report 2021 rankings.

Massachusetts

 

University of Massachusetts Medical School (PU)
Graduate School of Nursing
Worcester, MA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psych Mental Health
  • Post-Master’s: Leadership (online)

Cost Per Credit: $875 (in-state), $1,130 (out-of-state)

  • DNP program features an optimum blend of online and on-campus learning
  • Part of Massachusetts’ first and only public academic health sciences center and one of the top medical schools in the nation

It’s no surprise why the University of Massachusetts’ DNP made our list of the best of the best. The UMASS Medical School is consistently ranked among the top 10% in the nation and is part of Massachusetts’ first and only public academic health sciences center. This world-class research institution is recognized as a center for research and is affiliated with major healthcare centers like Baystate Health, Berkshire Medical Center, St. Vincent Hospital, and Milford Regional Medical Center. Plus, as a DNP student here, you’ll benefit from the school’s low student-to-faculty ratio, an optimum blend of online and on-campus learning, and a state-of-the-art simulation center.

 

Simmons University (PR)
School of Nursing
Boston, MA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s: Practical Leadership (hybrid/online)

Cost Per Credit: $1,410

  • University enjoys partnerships with world-renowned teaching hospitals like Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Unique blended learning includes just two on-campus residencies per semester

Thanks to close partnerships with world-renowned teaching hospitals and research facilities like Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s, Simmons University’s School of Nursing is able to ensure outstanding clinical experiences for its DNP students. Other perks of this innovative program include a convenient hybrid course delivery model and world-class instructors. As a student here, you’ll attend classes on-campus just two weekends per semester, with the rest of the coursework completed online. And thanks to its prime location in the heart of Boston, you’ll have outstanding research opportunities at your fingertips.

Michigan

 

Wayne State University (PU)
College of Nursing
Detroit, MI
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Acute Care
    • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Primary Care
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse-Midwife
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
    • Psychiatric and Mental Health – Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s: Clinical (hybrid)

Cost Per Credit: $926 (in-state), $1,717 (out-of-state)

The Wayne State University College of Nursing has a serious selection of post-BSN DNP tracks to take your career to the next level with advanced practice NP skills in any population focus that interests you. For more than 75 years, the College of Nursing has advanced the practice of nursing by preparing the next generation of nursing innovators and leaders. The DNP here builds upon that history of excellence and features a hybrid design that ensures a truly convenient learning experience for busy, working professionals. Wayne State, Michigan’s only urban research university, comes with plenty of accolades, including the Carnegie Foundation’s highest classifications for research and community engagement and a ranking among the best nursing schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.

Minnesota

 

University of Minnesota (PU)
School of Nursing
Minneapolis, MN
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Adult Health/Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Adult/Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Health Innovation and Leadership
    • Nursing Informatics
    • Integrative Health and Healing
    • Nurse Midwifery
    • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s: Leadership (hybrid)

Cost Per Credit: $1,003

  • Outstanding facilities include an 11,000 square foot simulation center
  • DNP program is the second largest of its kind in the nation and is ranked among the top 10% of all DNP programs by U.S. News & World Report
  • Nursing informatics program is ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

We love the University of Minnesota for its outstanding selection of DNP tracks, all of which are offered through a convenient hybrid course design. Most of the coursework here is completed online and is complemented with short, on-campus residencies for lots of hands-on learning and opportunities to be mentored to ensure a well-rounded learning experience. As a DNP student here, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art facilities like the 11,000 square foot simulation center. The University of Minnesota is home to the second-largest DNP program in the nation and is ranked among the top 10% of all DNPs by U.S. News & World Report. Plus, the nursing informatics program here, which is ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, boasts mentoring in big data management, individual courses and workshops, and hands-on learning using the latest technology.

 

Augsburg University (PR)
Nursing Programs
Minneapolis, MN
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s: Family Nurse Practitioner (hybrid)
  • Post-Master’s: Transcultural Nursing Leadership (hybrid)

Cost Per Credit: $955

  • University ranked among com’s list of the 50 “Most Transformative” colleges in the nation
  • Outstanding opportunities to study abroad – more than 200 study abroad and study away programs available

Augsburg University made our list for its outstanding selection of study abroad opportunities available to DNP students. Because the university maintains locations in Central America, Mexico, and Southern Africa through its Center for Global Education and Experience, your options for international study are plentiful. In fact, the Center offers more than 200 study abroad and study away programs, including nationally recognized programs in Guatemala, Namibia, Nicaragua, Palestine/Israel, and more. It’s no wonder Money.com ranked the college among the 50 “Most Transformative” in the nation.

Mississippi

 

University of Mississippi Medical Center (PU)
School of Nursing
Jackson, MS
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nursing and Health Care Administrator
    • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s: Practice (hybrid)

Cost Per Credit: $485 (in-state), $1,422 (out-of-state)

  • Outstanding clinical opportunities through the Center’s four specialized hospitals (including Mississippi’s only children’s hospitals), the state’s only Level 1 trauma center, and a Level 4 neonatal intensive care nursery and organ transplant program
  • Clinical resources extend to the School of Nursing-managed clinics throughout the state and partnerships with more than 200 hospitals and related healthcare facilities

The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers a DNP with the most in-demand advanced practice tracks to choose from, all of them offered through a convenient hybrid model that allows you to tackle most of the curriculum online. It’s no surprise that clinical learning experiences here are second to none, given its affiliation with four specialized hospitals (including Mississippi’s only children’s hospitals), the state’s only Level 1 trauma center, and a Level 4 neonatal intensive care nursery and organ transplant program. In addition, there are several clinics (managed by the School of Nursing) throughout the state that provide students with outstanding practice and research opportunities, and more than 200 hospital and related healthcare partners that ensure outstanding clinical resources.

New Jersey

 

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Newark (PU)
School of Nursing
New Brunswick/Blackwood, NJ
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (also available online)
    • Leadership (online)
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (hybrid)
    • Nurse Midwifery
    • Dual Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Midwifery
  • Post-Master’s
    • Practice (campus)
    • Leadership (hybrid)

Cost Per Credit: $907 (in-state), $1,315 (out-of-state)

  • U.S. News & World Report ranked the DNP programs 14th in the nation in 2021
  • School of Nursing is home to Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences – the state’s largest collection of academic institutions devoted to the full spectrum of allied health careers
  • Most DNP specializations come with the option of earning an HIV Care certification

Rutgers doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its DNP programs, both in terms of selection and academic excellence. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school’s DNP programs 14th in the nation for 2021. The innovative DNP programs are housed within the famed School of Nursing, one of eight schools that comprise the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences center – the state’s largest collection of academic institutions devoted to the full spectrum of allied health careers. As a DNP student here, you’ll also appreciate the option of earning HIV Care certification alongside your DNP.

 

Monmouth University (PR)
School of Nursing and Health Studies
West Long Branch, NJ
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s: Organizational/Systems Leadership (online)

Cost Per Credit: $1,233

  • Fully online course design and a part-time delivery, with your option of taking one or two classes per semester, offers the best in convenience and flexibility for working professionals
  • University consistently recognized for its value, rigor, and academic excellence by esteemed publications like the Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, and Money Magazine

Monmouth University’s MSN-DNP program in Organizational/Systems Leadership is everything you’ve been looking for in a DNP program: a fully online course design and a part-time delivery for the ultimate in convenience and flexibility…the option to take one or two courses per semester…and a location in a university that’s been consistently recognized for its value, rigor, and academic excellence by esteemed publications like the Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, and Money Magazine.

New Mexico

 

University of New Mexico (PU)
College of Nursing
Albuquerque, NM
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Clinical
    • Nurse Executive Organizational Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $286 (in-state), $967 (out-of-state)

  • University consistently recognized both nationally and internationally as a top school in the southwest
  • Esteemed faculty includes Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing and the Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame
  • Excellent opportunities for research in a variety of areas

The University of New Mexico’s College of Nursing, which is both nationally and internationally recognized as a top school in the southwest, is home to the fully online MSN-DNP, a convenient program that allows students to focus on clinical nursing or nurse executive organizational leadership. As a student of the DNP here, you’ll be taught by a faculty that’s been honored through Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing and the Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame, and you’ll have access to superb research opportunities in the areas of rural and underserved populations, innovative education models, health policy and health equity, and symptom science and self-management.

New York

 

State University of New York Upstate Medical University (PU)
College of Nursing
Syracuse, NY
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s: Clinical (online)

Cost Per Credit: $1,047 (in-state), $1,340 (out-of-state)

  • Offered through a convenient and flexible part-time, online format
  • Prime location in an academic medical university – one of just 134 in the nation and the only one in Central New York

As a working nurse looking for a post-MSN DNP, one of the first things that come to mind is that you absolutely need convenience and flexibility in the way courses are delivered. With part-time scheduling and online curriculum delivery, the State University of New York Upstate Medical University DNP is exactly what you’re looking for. The DNP, which is designed for both nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, comes with everything you need for success, including access to more than 100 clinical sites, and a home in an academic medical university – one of just 134 in the nation and the only one in Central New York.

 

New York University (PR)
Rory Meyers College of Nursing
New York, NY
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus/hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health NP
    • Pediatric NP
  • Post-Master’s (campus/hybrid)
    • Direct Care Advanced Practice
    • Advanced Standing – Clinical Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,834

  • Outstanding history of student success: 93% job placement rate among DNP grads
  • Superb study abroad/research project opportunities in 15 countries and six continents
  • Access to a large number of affiliated programs and centers for outstanding practice experiences

New York University’s DNP programs, as part of the second-largest private university college of nursing in the nation, come with a truly impressive 93% job placement rate upon graduation. Choose NYU for your DNP and you’ll have access to research project opportunities in no less than 15 countries and six continents, including the school’s campuses in Shanghai and Ghana, courtesy of the Global Initiatives team at NYU. You’ll also enjoy outstanding practice experiences through the school’s many affiliated programs and centers, such as the Center for Precision Health in Diverse Populations, the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, the Clinical Simulation Learning Center, and much more.

North Carolina

 

Western Carolina University – Cullowhee (PU)
School of Nursing
Cullowhee, NC
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s: Nurse Anesthesia (campus)

Cost Per Credit: $618 (in-state), $1,052 (out-of-state)

  • 100% pass rate on the national certification examination
  • Program boasts state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories
  • Outstanding partnerships with a host of clinical sites

Western Carolina University’s Cullowhee campus offers the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program for BSN students who have aspirations of earning both their MSN and DNP through one, streamlined program. Some of the perks of completing your DNP through WCU include state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories and superb partnerships with a number of clinical sites, including Angel Medical Center, Asheville Surgery Center, Park Ridge Hospital, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, and more. This program also comes with small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio, and it all comes together with graduates demonstrating a track record for 100% pass rates on the national certification exam.

 

Duke University (PR)
School of Nursing
Durham, NC
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia

Cost Per Credit: $1,838

  • Part of the Duke University Health Care System, which is ranked first in North Carolina and first in the Raleigh-Durham region for 17 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report
  • Home to the Center for Nursing Discovery, the Duke Health Innovation Lab, and the Duke Advancement of Nursing, Center of Excellence
  • DNP was ranked fourth in the nation in 2021 by U.S. News & World Report

Duke University’s BSN-DNP program features the academic rigor you’d expect from a world-renowned university and healthcare system…hybrid course delivery for convenience and flexibility…a respected faculty engaged in research, scholarship and teaching…and a fourth-place ranking among DNP programs in the nation in 2021 by U.S. News & World Report. Choose the DNP at Duke and you’ll complete the majority of your classes online and then round out your program with four executive on-campus sessions. And through the university’s Center for Nursing Research, you’ll receive assistance when you conduct research in the areas of data science, health innovation, population health, or precision health.

Ohio

 

University of Toledo (PU)
College of Nursing
Toledo, OH
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental-Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Direct Care
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $736 (in-state), $1,178 (out-of-state)

  • DNP programs ranked among the best graduate programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Students of the DNP nurse practitioner programs boast a 99% practice exam pass rate
  • Travel abroad experiences include mission trips to places like Nicaragua and Haiti

If you’re looking for a university that comes with a fantastic track record of student success, then you need not look any further than the University of Toledo. The DNP nurse practitioner programs here boast a truly superb 99% practice exam pass rate–much higher than the national pass rate of 80%. UToledo has a long history of success preparing nurses in primary care roles and a solid reputation for its contemporary approach to an ever-evolving healthcare industry. The school recently partnered with ProMedica, a large, nonprofit healthcare system, to provide nursing students with opportunities for outstanding interprofessional research collaborations and diverse clinical experiences.

 

Case Western Reserve University (PR)
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Cleveland, OH
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Education Leadership
    • Practice Leadership
    • Nurse Anesthesia

Cost Per Credit: $2,133

  • DNP ranked 13th among the nation’s DNP programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2019
  • DNP program features an executive format and cohort design to accommodate today’s busy nursing professionals
  • Students enjoy small class sizes and a distinguished, world-renowned faculty

Case Western Reserve University is where nurses head for innovative, contemporary nurse programs designed with convenience and flexibility in mind. We love the DNP’s executive format and cohort design that boasts outstanding partnerships with a variety of academic institutions and hospitals across the U.S. Choose the DNP through Case Western and you’ll study in the famed Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, which enjoys a reputation for its distinguished faculty, small class sizes, and long-standing history of student success. Just some of the school’s major clinical partners include the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Health System, and the MetroHealth Medical System.

Pennsylvania

 

Temple University (PU)
College of Public Health
Philadelphia, PA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
    • Family-Individual Across the Lifespan
  • Post-Master’s (campus)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $977 (in-state), $1,358 (out-of-state)

  • University is designated an R1 highest research activity institution under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
  • DNP programs are delivered in the context of population health
  • Convenient program design features once-weekly campus courses that accommodate working professionals

Temple University’s DNP program is simply second to none in terms of innovation and educational excellence. Choose the DNP at Temple and you’ll enjoy nursing education within the context of population health…a convenient design that boasts once-weekly on-campus classes to accommodate busy, working professionals…and access to outstanding research opportunities in areas like adolescent health, human sexuality, community-based interventions, chronic disease prevention, and much more.

 

Thomas Jefferson University (PR)
Jefferson College of Nursing
Philadelphia, PA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Entry-level nurse anesthesia
  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Adult-Gerontology – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology – Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Community Systems Administration
    • Family/Individual Across the Lifespan
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Nursing Informatics
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Women’s Health Gender Related Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Practice

Cost Per Credit: $1,165

  • Ranked among the nation’s top 100 best nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report in 2021
  • Partnered with the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital – one of the highest ranked hospitals in the nation

The national healthcare community has long been impressed with Thomas Jefferson University. And these days it’s more impressive than ever, offering an outstanding selection of DNP tracks in both advanced practice and systems-focused roles, while being ranked among the nation’s top 100 best nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2021. Plus, the Jefferson College of Nursing is partnered with the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital – a premier academic health center and one of the highest ranked hospitals in the nation, so clinical experiences here are second to none.

 

Duquesne University (PR)
School of Nursing
Pittsburgh, PA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Clinical Leadership
    • Executive Nurse Leadership and Healthcare Management

Cost Per Credit: $1,441

  • Study abroad residences available in Italy or Ireland
  • Truly convenient program is offered entirely online
  • Outstanding faculty mentorship through a dedicated faculty member

The Duquesne University DNP earned a spot on our list of top DNP programs for its truly convenient and flexible online design. In fact, complete your DNP here and you’ll take all coursework through distance-based study. But don’t expect a disconnected program here; instead, you’ll be fully engaged through one-on-one faculty mentorship that includes an assigned faculty member who will guide you to success. And you’ll be studying in an online program that’s been nationally recognized for excellence – It was ranked 45th among the best online graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2020.

Tennessee

 

East Tennessee State University (PU)
College of Nursing
Johnson City, TN
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid/online)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Executive Nurse Leadership
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid/online)
    • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
    • Executive Leadership
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Cost Per Credit: $480 (in-state), $683 (out-of-state)

  • DNP was ranked among the Top 100 DNP programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2020
  • Outstanding history of student success: 100% pass rate on the PMHNP certification exam and 100% first-time pass rate on the FNP certification exam
  • Convenient online/hybrid format features mostly online courses that are supplemented with on-campus intensives just 1-2 times per semester

You’d be hard pressed to find a university that offers more DNP track options than East Tennessee State University. But it’s not just the selection of options that makes East Tennessee a winner. Other points of pride include a rank among the Top 100 DNP programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2020… a 100% pass rate on the PMHNP certification exam… a 100% first-time pass rate on the FNP certification exam… and a convenient blended/online course design (most courses are completed online, with on-campus intensives required just 1-2 times per semester). Earn your DNP through East Tennessee State and you’ll be part of the largest nursing program in Tennessee.

 

Vanderbilt University (PR)
School of Nursing
Nashville, TN
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Advanced Practice
    • Advanced Systems Practice
    • Executive Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,642

  • School of Nursing is ranked ninth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding history of student success includes a 100% employment rate among DNP graduates since 2016
  • One of the first schools of nursing to place APRNs in collaborative practices with physicians and within agencies

Vanderbilt University’s DNP comes with a national reputation for educational excellence. In fact, it was named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Grad Schools in 2021, and the School of Nursing was ranked ninth in the nation. In addition to its state-of-the-art curriculum, the post-master’s DNP here boasts innovative study tracks designed to address the needs of today’s complex healthcare systems. Plus, DNP grads have enjoyed a 100% employment rate since 2016! And it’s no wonder – Vanderbilt has always been on the cutting edge of graduate nursing education and was one of the first schools to place APRNs in collaborative practices with physicians.

Texas

 

The University of Texas at Tyler (PU)
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Tyler, TX
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Clinical Practice
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $449 (in-state), $930 (out-of-state)

  • Convenient, online coursework supplemented with on-campus intensives for a truly well-rounded program
  • Outstanding support from program professors

Nurses in the University of Texas at Tyler’s DNP program are able to study online and conduct collaborative scholarly projects while continuing to meet their professional and personal obligations where they live – it doesn’t get more convenient or flexible than that. In addition to convenient and flexible online courses, as a DNP student here you’ll participate in summer workshops and occasional on-campus intensives for a truly well-rounded, engaging program. Students of this program enjoy the best in personal support from professors who are there to ensure their success while they study alongside faculty members who are leaders in their field.

 

Baylor University (PR)
Louise Herrington School of Nursing
Waco, TX
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Executive Nurse Leadership
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse-Midwifery
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Anesthesia Nursing (campus)

Cost Per Credit: $1,100

  • DNP students enjoy a convenient, online course design and outstanding support from a dedicated student success advisor
  • DNP program is ranked in the top 10% among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Programs in 2020

Baylor University’s selection of DNP programs is sure to impress, but its online design is what caught our attention and landed it on our best of the best DNP list. That’s because in addition to offering a truly convenient online course design, it comes with the support that online learners need. With the help of a dedicated student success advisor, DNP students are able to achieve a healthy work-life balance and receive outstanding support throughout the program. In fact, online students here can expect the same academic excellence and student support as the on-campus nursing students enjoy. As a DNP student at Baylor, you’ll study within the famed Louise Herrington School of Nursing, which has graduated more than 6,000 nurses in the past 110 years. It’s little wonder why Baylor’s DNP was ranked in the top 10% among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Programs in 2020.

Virginia

 

Virginia Commonwealth University (PU)
School of Nursing
Richmond, VA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $700 (in-state/out-of-state)

  • Convenient, online study is complemented with just three on-campus intensives a year
  • Ranked among the top DNP programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Part of an academic health science campus that includes the VCU Health System

Virginia Commonwealth University’s DNP is specifically geared toward the working student, and with just three on-campus intensives a year, it’s designed to accommodate even the busiest nurse’s schedule. As a DNP student of VCU, you’ll be part of one of the top-ranked DNP programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report, and part of an academic health science campus that includes the VCU Health System – a Magnet-recognized hospital and Level 1 trauma center. You’ll also benefit from the program’s partnership with the Langston Center for Innovation in Quality and Safety…your choice of full- or part-time stud…and a renowned faculty that’s consistently placed the School of Nursing in the top tier of National Institutes of Health-funded nursing schools.

 

Marymount University (PR)
Malek School of Health Professions
Arlington, VA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (online)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (online)
    • Leadership

Cost Per Credit: $1,050

  • Superb executive design features online learning that’s complemented with virtual online meetings and two-day on-campus executive experiences at the end of each semester
  • Part of the renowned Malek School of Health Professions, which boasts exciting partnerships with leading healthcare organizations

Marymount University’s DNP comes with everything working professionals need to advance their education and earn the highest clinical degree in nursing. The DNP courses here are offered in an executive format that features a blend of independent online learning, virtual online meetings, and two-day on-campus executive experiences at the end of each semester. The program’s well-rounded design features a small cohort of students for outstanding collaboration and communication. As a student of the DNP, you’ll be part of the famed Malek School of Health Professions, which enjoys exciting partnerships with leading healthcare organizations, including the Inova Health System, Children’s National Medical Center, and the Virginia Hospital Center, among many others.

Washington

 

Pacific Lutheran University (PR)
Tacoma, WA
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (campus)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN-ARNP-DNP: Practice (campus)

Cost Per Credit: $1,125

  • Outstanding opportunities to train with a focus on the rural and underserved populations of Washington, thanks to a $2.8 million federal grant from the HRSA in 2019
  • Small learning cohorts ensure a collaborative, engaging learning experience

Pacific Lutheran University’s DNP programs come with everything you need to advance your education and your nursing career to the highest level. As a student of PLU, you’ll enjoy small cohorts that create a high-quality, collaborative learning environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to focus your education on the rural and underserved populations of Washington, thanks to a $2.8 million federal grant from the HRSA. The HRSA grant will support training for 72 DNP primary care nurse practitioner students beginning in the 2019-2020 school year and will last over four years.

Wisconsin

 

University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh (PU)
College of Nursing
Oshkosh, WI
Website

Degree

  • Post-Bachelor’s (hybrid)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Nursing Practice

Cost Per Credit: $802 (in-state/out-of-state)

  • Outstanding history of student success: 100% student pass rate on the clinical nurse leader and family nurse practitioner (both ANCC and AANP) certification examinations

The University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh immediately caught our attention (and it will yours, too) with its 100% student pass rate on the clinical nurse leader and family nurse practitioner (both ANCC and AANP) certification examinations. With one of the largest nursing programs in the state, the UW Oshkosh comes with everything you need for success.

 

Marquette University (PR)
College of Nursing
Milwaukee, WI
Website

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Post-Bachelor’s (campus)
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Anesthesia
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Dual Pediatric Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master’s (hybrid)
    • Practice

Cost Per Credit: $1,170

  • Choose from a variety of on-campus, online, and hybrid courses
  • Exciting study abroad and service learning opportunities
  • Outstanding academic support from dedicated advisors

Marquette University’s DNP boasts a personalized program to fit your needs…outstanding academic support from dedicated advisors…a variety of on-campus, online, and hybrid courses…superb opportunities in faculty research projects…outstanding service learning and study abroad opportunities. Choose the DNP through Marquette and you’ll enjoy a low, student-to-faculty ratio for excellent collaboration and communication and the best in innovative teaching strategies, including simulation.