Choose the Best Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree Program for You

A Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP is a terminal degree, the highest possible practice-based degree in the field of nursing. Earning a DNP may lead to a broad range of advanced clinical nursing roles in clinical research trials as well as executive positions in patient care.

Over the years, DNP programs have evolved to better support the complex and evolving health care landscape, to ensure that professionals can execute advanced hands-on care and deliver the best patient outcomes possible.

A typical DNP program takes two to five years to complete. Program length depends on a number of factors, including your current level of education. If you are a registered nurse (RN) with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, for example, you may decide to enroll in a BSN-to-DNP program. Your decision to pursue part-time or full-time study will also determine total degree length.

Sponsored Online DNP Program

Georgetown University’s Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies’ (NHS) online Post-Master’s DNP program prepares APRNs to improve outcomes in clinical settings and implement systems-level change. The 30-credit curriculum can be completed part time in 20 mos.

Sponsored Online DNP Program

Simmons’ Leadership-Focused DNP Program for APRNs

 APRNs, earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice online from Simmons School of Nursing. Become a leader in your field and improve health care through evidence-based research. Master of Science in Nursing and RN license required.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs Online

There are many online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs across the United States. We’ve organized them into regions:

  • Pacific West: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
  • Mountain West: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
  • Midwest: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

Some of the programs found below may require campus visits, offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP degree, offer hybrid options and/or may focus on leadership or advanced practice if no concentration is listed. Be sure to check with your preferred university’s website for more information on campus visits, admission requirements and program options.

We have abbreviated some of the specializations for the tables below:

  • AG-CNS: Adult Gerontology – Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • AGACNP: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • AGPCNP: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • APRN: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
  • CNL: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • CNS: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • FNP: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • NM: Nurse Midwife
  • NNP: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • NP: Nurse Practitioner
  • PMHNP: Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • PNP-AC: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • PNP-PC: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • WHNP: Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Online DNP Programs in the Pacific West

Online DNP programs in other regions:

The Pacific West, for purposes of organizing the DNP programs, includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Of the 17 DNP programs available online in the Pacific West, seven are in California, where the most nurse practitioners are employed throughout the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This list was updated July 2021. The program’s website is always best for most up to date program information..

SchoolLengthClinical hoursEnrollment OptionsSpecializations
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, CA
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeNone
Boise State University
Boise, ID
3 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-TimeLeadership
Brandman University
Irvine, CA
20 months510 hoursFull-TimeFamily Across the Lifespan Nurse Practitioner and PMHNP
Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA
2-5 years360+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Hawaii Pacific University
Kaneohe, HI
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeFNP and PMHNP
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, OR
2-4 years360+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP, Nurse Anesthesia, AGACNP, Nurse-Midwife, PMHNP, PNP-AC, PNP-PC
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Diego, CA
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeNone
Samuel Merritt University
Oakland, CA
2-4 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Touro University Nevada
Henderson, NV
1-3 years528 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeLeadership
University of Alaska Anchorage
Anchorage, AK
2-4 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Hawaii at Hilo
Hilo, HI
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeNone
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGPCNP, FNP, Organizational Leadership
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV
2-3 years420-780 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGACNP, FNP, CNL, PMHNP, PNP-AC
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeExecutive Leadership, FNP, Population Health Leadership, PMHNP
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
San Marcos, CA
2-3 years540-1,000 hoursFull-TimeFNP, Nurse Executive
Western University for Health Sciences
Pomona, CA
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone

Online DNP Programs in the Mountain West

Online DNP programs in other regions:

The Mountain West, for purposes of organizing the DNP programs, includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Online DNP programs in Colorado and Texas make up more than half the programs in this region.

This list was updated July 2021. The program’s website is always best for most up to date program information.

SchoolLengthClinical hoursEnrollment OptionsSpecializations
Abilene Christian University
Abilene, TX
26 monthsUp to 1,000 hoursN/AAdvanced Practice Nurse and Executive Nurse Leadership
Aspen University
Denver, CO
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeLeadership Practice
Baylor University
Waco, TX
2-8 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeExecutive Nurse Leadership, FNP, NNP, Nurse Midwife, PNP
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction, CO
2 years700-1,000 hoursFull-TimeFNP
Colorado Technical University
Colorado Springs, CO
21-27 months1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Grand Canyon University
Phoenix, AZ
26 months500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
3 years405 hoursPart-TimeNone
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimePopulation Health Leadership
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
Up to 8 years240-1,000 hoursN/ANone
Regis University
Denver, CO
2-3 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
Provo, UT
2 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-TimeFNP and PMHNP
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX
2-4 years500-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Practitioner and Executive Leadership
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX
2-3 years500-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice and Nurse Administrator
Texas Wesleyan University
Fort Worth, TX
2-4 years500-1,035 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP and Nurse Anesthesia 
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
1.5-2.5 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Colorado
Aurora, CO
2-5 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAPRN, Public Health Nursing, Health Systems Leadership and  Veteran and Military Health Care Leadership
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO
2-3 years450 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
2-3 years500-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeClinical Concentration and Nurse Executive Organizational Leadership
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO
2 years1,000 hoursPart-TimeNone
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX
2-3 years500-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Texas at Tyler
Tyler, TX
3 years500-1,000 hoursFull-TimeClinical and Leadership
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Galveston, TX
3 years500+ hoursPart-TimeNone
University of the Incarnate Word
San Antonio, TX
2-3 years480-525 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeDirect Care and Executive Leadership
Westminster College
Salt Lake City, UT
1-2 years460+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone

Online DNP Programs in the Midwest

Online DNP programs in other regions:

The Midwest, for purposes of organizing the DNP programs, includes Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This region accounts for the most online DNP programs, with more than 10 programs in Illinois and Ohio.

This list was updated July 2021. The program’s website is always best for most up to date program information.

SchoolLengthClinical hoursEnrollment OptionsSpecializations
Allen College
Waterloo, IA
2-4 years400-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeSystems Leadership
Barnes-Jewish College
St. Louis, MO
2-3 years500+ hoursFull-TimeNone
Bethel University-Minnesota
St. Paul, MN
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Bradley University
Peoria, IL
3 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeLeadership, FNP or PMHNP (BSN Entry)
Briar Cliff University
Sioux City, IA
2 years480 hoursFull-TimeNone
Capella University
Minneapolis, MN
3-4 years500-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Chamberlain University
Downers Grove, IL
2 years512+ hoursFull-TimeNone
College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN
2-4 years450-675 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Concordia University Wisconsin
Mequon, WI
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Creighton University
Omaha, NE
Up to 4 years375+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNursing Administration and Leadership
DePaul University
Chicago, IL
Up to 7 years600 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGNP, FNP, Nurse Anesthetist, NP, CNS, NM
Edgewood College
Madison, WI
2-3 years500-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeExecutive Leadership
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, MI
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeNone
Fort Hays State University
Hays, KS
2 years600 hoursFull-TimeNone
Goshen College-Eastern Mennonite University DNP Consortium
Goshen, IN
2-3 years600 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Graceland University
Independence, MO
2-4 years600+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeClinical Leadership
Illinois State University
Normal, IL
2.5 years360 hoursPart-TimeNone
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeExecutive Leadership
Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, IN
2-4 years1,000 hoursN/ANone
Kent State University
Kent, OH
2 years525 hoursPart-TimeNone
Lewis University
Romeoville, IL
2+ years504 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Madonna University
Livonia, MI
2-3 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Marian University
Indianapolis, IN
3 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeFNP, Nurse Anesthetist
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI
Up to 5 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGPCNP or Health Systems Leadership 
Maryville University of St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
20-36 months1,000 hoursFull-TimeAGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, PMHNP, PNP
McKendree University
Lebanon, IL
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeEthical Leadership
Millikin University
Decatur, IL
3-4 years800+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP, Nurse Anesthesia 
Missouri State University
Springfield, MO
2-3 years528 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Columbus, OH
18 months500 hoursFull-TimeLeader in Clinical Practice, Executive Leader, Executive Academic Leadership
Mount St. Joseph University
Cincinnati, OH
3 years400 hoursPart-TimeHealth Systems Leadership
Nebraska Methodist College
Omaha, NE
2 years540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimePublic Health Policy Track Option
North Park University
Chicago, IL
3-4 years800+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP, Nurse Anesthesia
Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI
2-5 yearsN/APart-TimeFNP
Oakland University
Rochester, MI
2-3 years600+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeClinical Expert or Nurse Executive
Ohio University
Athens, OH
2 years400 hoursPart-TimeDirect or Indirect Patient Care
Otterbein University
Westerville, OH
2-3 years300+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAPRN or Nurse Executive
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS
2 years384 hoursFull-TimeAPRN or APRN with Education Emphasis
Purdue University
Chicago, IL
Up to 7 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Resurrection University
Chicago, IL
2 yearsN/AFull-TimeNone
Rush University
Chicago, IL
2-3.7 years504-1,176 hourPart-TimeAdvanced Public Health Nursing, NNP, Neonatal CNS, PNP-AC, PNP-PC, Pediatric CNS, PMHNP, Population Health, Systems
Saginaw Valley State University
University Center, MI
3 years360+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
Peoria, IL
3 years512 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeClinical or Leadership
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL
2 years500+ hoursFull-TimeNone
St. Louis University
St. Louis, MO
2-4 yearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR
2-3 years540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeLeadership
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH
1.5 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Detroit Mercy
Detroit, MI
6 semesters500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeOrganizational Leadership Bridge Option
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
2-3 years370-460 hoursPart-TimeNone
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL
N/AN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
8+ semesters500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Kansas
Kansas City, KS
3+ yearsVariesFull-Time or Part-TimeAGPCNP, FNP, NM, PMHNP, Organizational Leadership, Public Health Nursing, Health Informatics
University of Mary
Bismarck, ND
20 months300-800 HoursFull-TimeOrganizational Leadership
University of Michigan – Flint
Flint, MI
2-4 yearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeAPRN, Nurse Executive
University of Missouri – Columbia
Columbia, MO
2-3 yearsVariesFull-Time or Part-TimeAG-CNS, FNP, PMHNP, PNP, Pediatric CNS, Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health Care
University of Missouri – Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
2-3 years600 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Missouri – St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
3-4 years400 hoursPart-TimeNone
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE
2-3 years450 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND
2 years520 hoursFull-TimeNone
University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, IN
2-3 yearsVariesFull-Time or Part-TimeAPRN or Organizational and Systems Leadership
University of St. Francis
Joliet, IL
Up to 4 years700-1,400 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Toledo
Toledo, OH
2-3 years540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Madison, WI
2-4 years180-500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGNP, AG-CNS, AGACNP, AGPCNP, PNP-PC, PMHNP, Population Health, Systems Leadership and Innovation 
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI
3 years460 hoursFull-TimeNone
University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI
3-4 years1,000+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP
Ursuline College
Pepper Pike, OH
2-3 years500 hoursPart-TimeNone
Valparaiso University
Valparaiso, IN
2 years420+ hoursFull-TimeNone
Walden University
Minneapolis, MN
1.5+ years400+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeExecutive Leadership, AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, PMHNP, PNP-PC
Walsh University
North Canton, OH
16-32 months500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Washburn University
Topeka, KS
6-8 semesters years525+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP, PMHNP
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI
2-4 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, NNP, PMHNP, PNP-PC, PNP-AC
Wichita State University
Wichita, KS
2-3 yearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Clinical Practice
Winona State University
Rochester, MN
2-3 years540+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGACNP, AGCNS, FNP, PMHNP, Nursing and Organizational Leadership, Practice and Leadership Innovations
Xavier University
Cincinnati, OH
3 years500+ hoursPart-TimeNone

Online DNP Programs in the Southeast

Online DNP programs in other regions:

The Southeast, for purposes of organizing the DNP programs, includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Florida has the most online DNP programs in this area, but none were found in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This list was updated July 2021. The program’s website is always best for most up to date program information.

SchoolLengthClinical hoursEnrollment OptionsSpecializations
Anderson University
Anderson, SC
18-36 months500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Executive Leadership, FNP, PMHNP
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
5+ semesters420 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Auburn University at Montgomery
Montgomery, AL
6 semesters510 hoursFull-TimeNone
Augusta University
Augusta, GA
2-3 years524 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Executive Option
Bellarmine University
Louisville, KY
Up to 5 years420-620 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Nursing Practice, Executive Leadership
Clemson University
Clemson, SC
2 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursPart-TimeNone
Delta State University
Cleveland, MS
1.5-3 years420 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
4-7 semesters500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGNP, Executive Leadership, FNP, PMHNP
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
7-8 semestersN/APart-TimeNone
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
4-7 semestersN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Florida International University
Miami, FL
6+ semesters540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL
8 semesters540 hoursFull-TimePMHNP
Francis Marion University
Florence, SC
1-2 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, GA
5-8 semesters540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA
2 years630 hoursFull-TimeNone
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL
2-3 years270+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Leadership
King University
Bristol, TN
2-4 years280 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Hickory, NC
N/A340-1,000 hoursN/ANone
Loyola University
New Orleans, LA
Up to 5 years540+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Practitioner, Executive Leadership
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
2 years300+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Palliative Care
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus, MS
4-8 semestersN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Murray State University
Murray, KY
2 years540 hoursFull-TimeNone
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY
20 months500-1,000 hoursFull-TimeNone
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Shreveport, LA
2 years1,000 hoursFull-TimeNurse Anesthesia, Organizational Systems Leadership
Nova Southeastern University
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Samford University
Birmingham, AL
1-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeEmergency NP, FNP, Nursing Administration, PMHNP
South University
Savannah, GA
2+ years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdministration, Information Technology, Leadership, Public Health
Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, LA
4-8 semesters420 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN
4-7 semesters500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGACNP, Executive Leadership, FNP,PMHNP,PNP-PC, WHNP
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL
2-3 years540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP, Nurse Administrator, PMHNP, dual PMHNP/FNP
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL
32-52 months500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN
2-8 years300-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Union University
Jackson, TN
5-8 semesters660 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Anesthesia, FNP, PMHNP/FNP
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Executive Leadership
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
5 semesters528 hoursFull-TimeNone
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lafayette, LA
6 semesters420 hoursPart-TimeNone
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS
2+ years600 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Mobile
Mobile, AL
2 years540 hoursFull-TimeNone
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Wilmington, NC
2-3 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimePost-APRN, Nurse Executive
University of North Carolina Charlotte / Western Carolina University – Cullowee
Charlotte and Cullowee, NC
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL
N/AN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Nurse Executive
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL
5+ semestersUp to 1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGACNP, AGPCNP, CNS-Adult Health, Executive Nurse Administrator, FNP, FNP/AGACNP, FNP/Emergency NP, NNP, Nursing Informatics, PMHNP, PNP-AC, PNP-PC, Public Health Administration,WHNP
University of South Carolina
Columbus, SC
2-3 years1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Nurse Executive Leadership
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
N/A540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Chattanooga, TN
2+ years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Clinical Practice, Advanced Systems Practice, Executive Leadership Tracks

Online DNP Programs in the Northeast

Online DNP programs in other regions:

The Northeast, for purposes of organizing the DNP programs, includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. Pennsylvania is home to 20 online DNP programs while there were none found in Vermont and just three in New York. Metropolitan areas in NY, NJ, PA, and NH include the two areas with the highest employment of nurse practitioners in the country.

This list was updated July 2021. The program’s website is always best for most up to date program information.

SchoolLengthClinical hoursEnrollment OptionsSpecializations
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Bloomsburg, PA
2 yearsN/APart-TimeNone
Carlow University
Pittsburgh, PA
15-25 months1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Chatham University
Pittsburgh, PA
1-2 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Clarion University / Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Oil City, PA / Edinboro, PA
2 years501 hoursPart-TimeNone
Coppin State University
Baltimore, MD
2-3 years300+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
D’Youville College
Buffalo, NY
2-3 years1000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP
DeSales University
Center Valley, PA
2-3 years525+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeClinical Leadership, Executive Leadership
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA
2 years500+ hoursFull-TimeClinical Leadership, Executive Nurse Leadership and Health Care Management
Felician University
Lodi, NJ
2+ years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Executive Leadership
Gannon University
Erie, PA
4-6 semesters304+ hoursPart-TimeNone
George Washington University
Washington, D.C.
3 years1,000 hoursPart-TimeExecutive Leadership, Nursing Practice, Health Policy
Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.
Sponsored Program
20 Months300+ HoursPart-TimeNone
Gwynedd Mercy University
Gwynedd Valley, PA
2+ years400 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Holy Family University
Philadelphia, PA
1-3 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeLeadership, Leadership for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA
3-4 yearsUp to 1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice Nursing, Leadership in Healthcare Systems
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD
2 years448 hoursFull-TimeExecutive Track
La Salle University
Philadelphia, PA
N/A500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA
As little as 2 years560 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Educator Elective Options
Marymount University
Arlington, VA
6 semesters500+ hoursPart-TimeNone
Messiah University
Mechanicsburg, PA
As little as 2 years375-1,000 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNursing Leadership
Monmouth University
West Long Branch, NJ
6 semesters500 hoursPart-TimeNone
Old Dominion University
Virginia Beach, VA
2-3 years560+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Nurse Executive
Quinnipiac University
Hamden, CT
N/A480 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Leadership or Care of Populations
Radford University
Radford, VA
Up to 8 yearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Leadership
Rhode Island College
Providence, RI
2-3 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Robert Morris University
Moon Township, PA
2 yearsN/AFull-TimeNone
Salve Regina University
Newport, RI
As few as20 monthsN/AFull-TimeNone
Seton Hall University
South Orange, NJ
N/AUp to 1,000 hoursN/AAdvance Practice, Health Systems Administration
Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA
2 years500 hoursFull-TimeNone
Shepherd University
Shepherdstown, WV
3 years540 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeFNP, PMHNP
Simmons University
Boston, MA
Sponsored Program
27 months1,000 hoursPart-TimeNone
Stockton University
Galloway, NJ
3 years336-500 hoursPart-TimeNone
The Catholic University of America
Washington, D.C. 
N/AN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Pennsylvania State University
State College, PA
2-3 years450+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNurse Leadership
Thomas Edison State University
Trenton, NJ
18-36 months500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeSystems-Level Leadership
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA
2-5 yearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Upstate Medical University, SUNY
Syracuse, NY
2.5 years525 hoursPart-TimeNone
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Buffalo, NY
5-7 semesters400 (non-clinical) hoursPart-TimeNone
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT
2-3 YearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD
2-3 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA
2-3 years504 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, MA
2+ years400 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Lowell, MA
2-3 Years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH
18-28 months500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
2+ years420+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAGACNP, AG-CNS, AGPCNP, FNP Health Systems Executive Leadership, NNP, PNP-AC, PNP-PC, PMHNP
University of Saint Joseph
West Hartford, CT
2-4 yearsN/AFull-Time or Part-TimeClinical Leadership
University of Southern Maine
Portland, ME
N/A500+ hoursPart-TimeNone
Villanova University
Villanova, PA
2-4 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA
2-3 years500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
West Chester University
Exton, PA
3-5 years500+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV
3-4 years300+ hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Buckhannon, WV
Up to 5 yearsN/APart-TimeAdvanced Practice, Nursing Leadership
Widener University
Chester, PA
2-3 years560 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeNone
Wilkes University
Wilkes-Barre, PA
2 yearsN/AFull-TimeNone
Wilmington University
New Castle, DE
20-28 months500 hoursFull-Time or Part-TimeAdvanced Practice, Leadership

Additional Information on DNP Programs

DNP programs have evolved to online platforms in accelerated, full-time programs to part-time programs that allow students to set their own pace. Distance learning opportunities may offer additional access for nurses to accredited programs as well as the flexibility to incorporate study into their personal and professional schedules.

Online DNP programs offer coursework online with the opportunity to complete clinical hours in students’ local areas, while other DNP programs lean toward a hybrid program model involving occasional on-campus participation.

Types of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs

The main DNP degree paths available are:

BSN-to-DNP Programs

These programs are designed for registered nurses or nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The advantage of this type of program is that you don’t have to spend additional time and finances earning a master’s before earning your DNP. BSN-to-DNP students may be awarded a master’s by way of their DNP program. These programs allow you to fast-track your way to a DNP by way of earning an MSN to gain in-depth skills in specific fields of nursing.

MSN-to-DNP Programs

Most DNP programs are post-master’s programs. That means applicants must have a master’s degree, usually in nursing or a health-related field. These programs are designed for registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who already have an MSN and are ready to earn their DNP. The MSN-to-DNP curriculum builds upon the knowledge and skills you acquire as an MSN student.

Some DNP programs may offer different specializations. Specializations or concentrations require tailored plans of study and will often shape the intensity or length of the program. Some specializations include: family nurse practitioner (FNP), nurse-midwifery, acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP), pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), and adult gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP). Each of these specialty areas require certification before you can practice so you may need to sit for the certification exam.

If you’re set on working with a specific patient population or want to become an expert in a particular practice area, consider some of the DNP specialties below:

Online DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs

A DNP-FNP or DNP Family Nurse Practitioner is a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The DNP-FNP program prepares nurses for a career in primary care. Depending on the state, DNP-FNPs are eligible to set up their own practice, diagnose patients, prescribe medication, order and analyze diagnostic tests, and develop and administer treatment plans. DNP-FNP programs are a great option for nurses interested in advancing their skills in primary, urgent, ambulatory and home care.

Online DNP Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Programs

A DNP-WHNP program is one that teaches nurses to provide comprehensive care to women across the age spectrum. A DNP-WHNP, short for DNP Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, is another type of APRN, meaning they have advanced nursing skills in a specialization. This type of DNP program focuses on gynecological and reproductive studies but also includes courses in female primary care. Nurses with a DNP-WHNP can work in OB-GYN practices, sexual health education, women’s health clinics, and more.

Online DNP Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Programs

A DNP program with a focus in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner is one that prepares students to provide immediate care as an advanced practice registered nurse in the field of adult care and geriatrics. A DNP AG-ACNP program may focus on training nurses in critical care, meaning restoring stability to moderately to critically ill adults and geriatric patients. This type of DNP can be optimal for nurses interested in pursuing career paths in outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and assisted living homes.

Learn more on how to become an acute care nurse practitioner.

Online DNP Midwifery Programs

A DNP in Nurse-Midwifery program is similar to a WHNP as it focuses on providing full-spectrum gynecological care to women. However, a nurse-midwifery master’s program focuses on preparing nurses to assist in childbirth, provide prenatal counseling, and conduct postpartum examinations. Nurses who earn their DNP in nurse-midwifery may pursue career paths in maternity wings of hospitals, birth centers, or government health clinics.

What to Expect in Your Online DNP Program

A DNP program can be challenging so it is important for prospective students to be prepared for the educational journey, keep sight of their career goals and work hard. Start by learning about your program’s prerequisites and take time to review the course list for the program you choose to complete. Think about how your skills and professional experience set you apart from other DNP applicants and be prepared to talk about it if and when you are contacted for an interview with faculty.

Education Requirements for DNP Programs

Requirements and prerequisites vary widely across online DNP programs. Most DNP programs require a valid, unencumbered nursing license, plus at least a year of full-time professional nursing experience. A few programs offer slight flexibility in degree requirements for admission. For example, in lieu of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing, a candidate could hold an associate degree in nursing plus a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Most DNP programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0, and some favor applicants whose grades are 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

An admission essay and reference letters are also among the application materials DNP program administrators ask for. Contact your program or visit the website of the school you wish to attend for more information on required application materials.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Curriculum

A DNP program may include 30 to 75 credits in three parts: core courses, field experience (an average of 1,000 clinical hours), and a DNP project. A DNP curriculum typically includes courses on evidence-based practice, ethics, public policy, administrative leadership, and specialization courses. As with most doctoral programs, students are also usually required to complete a DNP capstone project to demonstrate accomplishment in their area of specialization.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Careers

Nurses who earn their DNP often do so because they want to pursue fruitful careers in a wide range of specialties and leadership positions and make an impact in a particular medical arena. There is a growing demand for doctoral-level nurse professionals who can teach, develop scientifically -based approaches to patient care, and lead the nursing field into an ever-more complex future, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Some are drawn to the profession for this reason.

DNPs with an emphasis in leadership or administration may pursue opportunities in a range of public health leadership roles or executive positions in clinics or hospitals. Other employment opportunities for DNPs include research-based roles, nurse faculty, and health advocacy.

Nurses who prefer to stay hands-on may pursue a variety of direct-care positions and APRN roles such as a certified nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, and nurse anesthetist.

As of July 2021, the median annual wage for nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists is $117,670, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Among this group of professionals, the highest 10% earned more than $190,900 in May 2020. The BLS projects that there will be 381,100 nurse midwife, nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist roles by 2029, up from 263,400 jobs in 2019.

Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs

Still wondering if a DNP is the best fit for your career goals? This list of basic questions and answers might help.

How long is a DNP program?

A full-time DNP program may take three to four years to complete. Part-time programs will take between four and six years to complete.

How much does DNP school cost?

Tuition for a DNP program varies by institution and type of program. Students may be eligible for outside grants and scholarships geared toward nurses completing their DNP degree. Search online nursing forums or speak with your colleagues for leads.

How much does a Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate make?

DNP salaries may depend on the type of work you engage in. According to the BLS on nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, APRNs who earn a doctoral degree may conduct research or work within an interdisciplinary team.

Is a DNP worth it?

A DNP is akin to earning a Ph.D., except your doctorate is for the practice of nursing instead of for research. The distinction of earning the degree can give you more autonomy and power to help shape the profession, whether through academia, government or executive suites.

The worth of a DNP depends on the career goals and level of expertise desired. Nurses interested in advanced care nursing roles are required to have an MSN. However, a DNP may lead to more responsibilities and leadership roles in the field. In a leadership position, DNP nurses can help influence patient care at a systemic level. Lastly, nurses interested in research-based positions may benefit from the scholarly emphasis of a DNP program.

Information on this page last updated in July 2021.