Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the highest level degree that you can earn in the field of nursing, and opens up many personally and financially rewarding career paths.
With your DNP, you can generally enter these advanced practice nursing roles:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Certified, Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Certified Nurse Midwife
Note: In the past, earning your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) was all that you needed to work in advance nursing practice. However, in 2006, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, or AACN, decided to change the needed preparation level for advanced nursing practice.
As of 2015, you will need to have a DNP degree to practice in some advanced nursing professions, such as nurse practitioner. Other advanced nursing practices may require a DNP as well in the near future. So, earning your DNP is going to soon be a standard in the field of advanced practice nursing.
In any case, advanced practice nursing is an excellent career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for highly qualified nursing professionals is expected to soar by 2020 – by at least 20%. Advanced practice nursing professionals, such as nurse practitioners, will increasingly serve the roles that traditionally were filled by physicians in the past. This will cause the demand for professionals in this field to continue to increase.
Salaries in advanced practice nursing fields continue to increase, as well. Many advanced nursing professionals will earn $75,000 per year or more, and a nurse anesthetist can earn as much as least $145,000 per year.
The recommended online DNP programs include:
- DNP: You can prepare yourself to be a strong leader in nursing by earning your online DNP from Capella University. You will find that because the DNP is focused on making practical contributions to the field of nursing, you will be able to complete it faster than a research-focused Ph.D. This entirely online doctoral program focuses on administrative, organizational and systems leadership principles so that you will be ready to succeed in many positions of nursing leadership. Capella is featured in our top Online Ph.D programs list for 2017.
- DNP: Build upon your expertise and knowledge to improve your nursing practice and to boost the delivery of vital healthcare services with this DNP degree from Walden University. This program covers healthcare advocacy and policy, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, information systems technology, and both organizational and systems leadership. Classes include Methods for Evidence-Based Practice, Best Practices in Nursing Specialties, Epidemiology and Population Health, and Theoretical and Scientific Foundations for Nursing.
- DNP: The DNP program at Northeastern University has advanced classes in leadership, translation of research, population health, health policy and informatics. The goal of this program is to prepare the next highly qualified generation of nursing leaders with more expertise so that they can collaborate effectively with various partners and to provide better health care leadership to boost safety and quality.
- DNP: The online DNP program at Nova Southeastern University will prepare you to excel in speciality practice or executive leadership. This program is designed for the professional with an MSN as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist or nurse manager. You will be prepared to lead in practical, clinically focused scholarship and evidence-based practice research. Most professionals can graduate from this online program in three years of full time study.
- DNP: The online DNP program at Gonzaga University is designed for the nursing professional who has experience and expertise in advanced nursing specialty practice. This program requires you to complete 30 credit hours, and you can do most of your classwork online. You will need to visit the campus once in Spokane, WA for an orientation session, and there are two other optional on campus immersions.
- DNP: The professional nursing preparation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will provide you with the most advanced coursework in leadership, research and clinical knowledge. In this accredited program, you may focus your studies on either becoming a family nurse practitioner or a public health nurse leader. Required courses include Theoretical Components of Nursing Science, Healthcare Quality, Research Methodology in Nursing, Leadership of Public Health Systems and Health Disparities and Social Justice.
- DNP: Chatham University offers a high quality DNP program that will ready you to practice as a nursing leader to promote the use of evidence-based practice in health care delivery systems. You will have an advanced skill set and competencies to function in many clinical and executive leadership roles. This online program consists of 27 credit hours that you can take in up to five semesters. You also will need to complete 500 clinical hours.
- DNP: At Wilkes University, the goal of this DNP program is to produce the most competent, knowledgeable and proficient advanced practice nurses possible. The major elements of this online degree program are applied research and clinical practice. These two key elements are infused in all of the courses in the program. After you graduate, you can become a primary care nurse practitioner, a mental health nurse practitioner, a clinical nurse specialist or a nurse executive.
- DNP: You can earn your Executive Leadership DNP from the University of San Francisco and do so entirely online. this program is designed to serve current nursing executives who have significant supervisory oversight of health services and functions. Most professionals will need four years to complete this online degree.