Pathways to the DNP

Our Doctor of Nurse Practice program has an option that fits your goals and experience, whether you:

  1. have your BSN
  2. have your master's in nursing or a related field
  3. are already a nurse practitioner
  4. are looking to change your specialty.

Through these DNP pathways, you'll be able to focus your energy and resources on only those courses that you need to achieve your goals. 


What DNP pathway do you choose?

I have a … BSN

Master’s in Nursing* or a Related Field

Doctoral Degree (DNP or PhD)

What is your situation? You’re interested in a career as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist. You want to become an advanced practice registered nurse. You’ll choose a specialty.  You’re already an advanced practice registered nurse or you’re not interested in becoming one. You want to add or change your area of specialty. 
Why is it a good fit? The DNP allows you to specialize in one of eight areas in which you can excel in direct patient care. The program will prepare you for board certification. The DNP allows you to specialize in one of eight areas in which you can excel in direct patient care. The program will prepare you for board certification. You want to earn a DNP. No need to retake all the courses you took to earn your master’s degree. Complete only those courses necessary to earn the DNP.

You’ll complete a post-doctoral certificate that allows you to take only those courses necessary for certification in that specialty.**

How many credits? 80-93 48-93 as few as 37 13-62
Your pathway ... post-baccalaureate DNP with specialty post-master's DNP with specialty post-master's DNP post-doctoral certificate
  (See below for more information on each DNP pathway.)

* If you have a master’s specialty in education, please call us for information about the best pathway to your DNP.
** This option is not yet available for our Neonatal Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthesia specialties.


DNP Pathway Details

Post-Baccalaureate DNP with Specialty

This option is designed for nurses who have a:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

And who are interested in a career as a:

The program will also prepare you for board certification.
 
Depending on your prior coursework, it will take 80-93 credits for you to complete this pathway.

Post-Master's DNP with Specialty

This option is designed for nurses who either:

  • have a master's degree in nursing*

If you have a master’s specialty in education, please call us for information about the best pathway to your DNP.

or
  • possess a bachelor's degree in nursing
  • possess a master's degree in a relevant field, such as an MBA, MPA, or MPH
  • currently utilize your master's preparation in an area of advanced nursing practice such as health services leadership management, nursing informatics, or community and public health

And who are interested in becoming:

  • an advanced practice registered nurse.

How It Works:

Post-Master's DNP

This option is designed for nurses who either:

  • have a master's degree in nursing*

If you have a master’s specialty in education, please call us for information about the best pathway to your DNP.

or
  • possess a bachelor's degree in nursing
  • possess a master's degree in a relevant field, such as an MBA, MPA, or MPH
  • currently utilize your master's preparation in an area of advanced nursing practice such as health services leadership management, nursing informatics, or community and public health

And who:

  • want to earn a DNP
  • are already an advanced practice registered nurse or are not interested in becoming one.

How It Works:

  • There is no need to retake all the courses you took to earn your master’s degree.
  • You'll complete only those courses necessary to earn the DNP.
  • Depending on your prior coursework, it will take as few as 37 credits for you to complete this pathway.

Post-Doctoral Certificate

This option is designed for:

  • doctoral-prepared nurses who want to add or change their area of specialty.

How it works:

  • You’ll complete a post-doctoral certificate that allows you to take only those courses necessary for certification in that specialty — there's no need to repeat coursework you've already taken.
  • Your personalized plan of study will be determined at the time of admission.

Available specialties: 

Depending on your prior coursework, it will take 13-62 credits for you to complete this pathway.