2023 Best Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degrees
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A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest clinical degree a nurse can earn. Online DNP programs are often designed for current nurses who wish to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Graduates can apply for positions in managerial and administrative roles to manage teams and design health care programs. Students can choose an APRN specialization or a non-APRN specialization, depending on post-graduate career goals. Students with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can usually complete the program within one to two years, while students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) may take up to four years to complete an online DNP program.
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Online DNP Doctoral Degrees You May Be Interested In
Grand Canyon University
Annual Tuition: $11,074
2 Programs (view all)
Annual Tuition: $8,475
3 Programs (view all)
University of Arizona
Annual Tuition: $12,373
1 Programs (view all)
2023 Best Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degrees
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||Missouri State University||$168,518|
|# 2||University of Kansas||97||$160,586|
|# 3||University of Southern Mississippi||96||$157,573|
|# 4||Murray State University||95||$154,842|
|# 5||Drexel University||67||$126,366|
|# 6||Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center||67||$126,301|
|# 7||The University of Texas at Arlington||65||$125,276|
|# 8||The George Washington University||64||$124,241|
|# 9||Maryville University||62||$122,942|
|# 10||University of Missouri - Kansas City||57||$120,212|
#1 Missouri State University
Missouri State University - Springfield (MSU) is a large, public institution that offers two online doctorate programs in nursing: (1) Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (CRNA to DNAP) and (2) DNP (Post-Masters to DNP). The first program, which takes 26 credit hours to complete, is designed for certified registered nurse anesthetists and requires online students to meet twice each semester. The latter program is entirely online, requiring 29 credit hours and 528 clinic rotation hours to complete.
At MSU, online students complete coursework — both synchronously and asynchronously — on Blackboard. Online student resources include tutoring, IT support, and career services. Both program requirements vary, though a master’s degree and a minimum 2.75 GPA are generally needed for admission.
#2 University of Kansas
At the University of Kansas (KUMC), a large, public institution, students can pursue an online (1) DNP (Post Master’s), totaling 32 credits hours, or a (2) DNP (Post Bachelor’s), which varies by specialty tracks. The DNP (Post Master’s) program is for nurses within a nursing specialty who want to take their careers to the next level. The DNP (Bachelor’s) program has eight specialty tracks, including Family Nurse Practitioner and Public Health Nursing.
KUMC’s online students complete coursework both synchronously or asynchronously on Blackboard. Online student support includes a student success center and a library. Admission requirements vary between both programs. However, a bachelor’s or master’s degree, nursing license, background check, and a minimum 3.0 GPA are typically required.
#3 University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a public institution with a medium-sized student population. USM offers five online DNP programs based on their area of study interests. The DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (BSN to DNP) program is hybrid, with students completing coursework online and visiting the campus once every semester, plus clinical requirements at a local clinic.
At USM, online students complete coursework asynchronously or synchronously on the platform, Canvas. Online students at USM have access to a writing center, bookstore, student success center, and IT support. Each program has varying requirements, though a bachelor’s or master’s degree, official transcripts, and a nursing license are typically required for a DNP program.
#4 Murray State University
Murray State University (MSU) is a medium-sized, public institution offering several online DNP programs. MSU’s DNP programs, which are all delivered in a hybrid format, include the following: (1) Family Nurse Practitioner-Baccalaureate (BSN) to DNP, (2) Nurse Anesthetist-Baccalaureate (BSN) to DNP, and (3) MSN to DNP. Students can expect to complete the first two semesters (Fall and Spring) online, and complete the rest of the program in a combination of online and in-person classes.
At MSU, online students complete coursework in a hybrid format on Canvas. Online student resources include career services, counseling, and disability support. MSU’s admission requirements include a bachelor’s or master’s degree, nursing license, references, and a minimum 3.0 GPA (or 3.5 for master’s program).
#5 Drexel University
Drexel University (DU) is a medium-sized, private nonprofit institution offering an online DNP program that totals 45 credit hours. The program is broken into four 10-week quarters per year, with 1,000 clinical hours required before graduation. Sample coursework includes Health Policy and Politics: Nurse Influencing Health, Applied Epidemiology, and Health Law and Clinical Practice/Organizational Ethics.
DU uses Blackboard for online coursework, delivered in an asynchronous and synchronous format. Online student resources include academic advising, career services, a writing center, counseling, and a library. The program’s requirements include a nursing license, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a CV or resume.
#6 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is a small, public institution that offers an online DNP (Post Master’s) totaling 45 credit hours. The program prepares licensed nurses to deliver high-level patient care in a health care environment. Sample coursework includes Population Health and Epidemiology, Health Care Economics and Finance, and Health Care Innovations in Chronic Illness.
At TTUHSC, online students complete coursework asynchronously on Canvas. Online student support includes counseling and disability services. Admission requirements include a registered nursing license, an MSN or BSN, official transcripts, and a personal statement.
#7 The University of Texas at Arlington
At the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), students can pursue an online DNP, which totals 36 credit hours. This accelerated program is designed for MSN nurses who want to expand their expertise in the field. Sample coursework includes Health care Policy, Population Health, and Translational Research.
UTA facilitates online coursework in an asynchronous and synchronous format on Canvas. Academic advising, tutoring, and career development are the available online student resources at UTA. UTA’s admission requirements for this program include an active registered nursing license, minimum 3.5 GPA, current NP practice or Nursing Administration practice.
#8 The George Washington University
The George Washington University (GWU) is a medium-sized, private nonprofit institution that offers six online DNP programs, including a DNP in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Post-BSN), DNP in Executive Leadership (Post-MSN Opportunity), and DNP in Health Policy (Post-MSN opportunity). Each program helps licensed nurses become experts in their desired specialty. DNP graduates can work in a variety of settings, like hospitals, clinics, schools, and private practices, to name a few.
GWU facilitates online learning on Blackboard in an asynchronous and synchronous format. Online students have a wide range of resources available to them, such as tutoring, disability support, and an online library. The program’s admission requirements include a BSN or MSN, minimum 3.3 GPA, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, resume, and nursing license.
#9 Maryville University
At Maryville University (MU) — a private nonprofit institution with a medium-sized student population — students can pursue two online DNP programs: (1) a BSN to DNP, ranging from 68 to 77 credit hours, and (2) a DNP. The BSN to DNP program has five concentrations, including Family Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Meanwhile, the DNP program offers five specializations, such as DNP-NP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and DNP-NP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
MU’s online students complete coursework in an asynchronous and synchronous format on the platform Canvas. They also have digital access to advising, the college library, IT support, counseling, life coaching, and more. Prospective students must contact MU to get information on each program’s admission requirements.
#10 University of Missouri - Kansas City
The University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) is a medium-sized, public institution offering an online DNP. The program provides the foundation needed for licensed nurses to take on higher-level roles in the nursing field. Prospective students can choose from five specializations for their program.
At UMKC, online students complete coursework both asynchronously and synchronously on the platform, Canvas. These students have access to online tutoring, disability support, IT help, and a digital library. The program’s admission requirements include a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing, nursing license, personal statement, and official transcripts.
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