February 23, 2018

 

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Top 50 Online Doctor of Nursing Practice 2018

HCMTop Doctoral Graduate Programs

We created a ranking of the top 50 online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to help you find the perfect program to meet your personal and professional needs. Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice is a great way to take your nursing career to the next level, into management and leadership roles. Online DNP programs can provide you with the clinical experience and leadership skills to shape the future of the nursing profession. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) encourages all nurses in advanced practice or administrative roles to earn their DNP to provide better health outcomes for the patients in their care, and the population as a whole.

We created this list of the top 50 online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) to provide potential students with information on the top schools offering this degree. There are almost 200 DNP programs in the United States. To narrow out list to the best 50 DNP programs online, we considered only schools that had Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Accredited Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.

From this list, we narrowed our focus to those schools with the majority of coursework offered online in a flexible format allowing nurses to continue working while they earn their degree.

We created a ranking based on important criteria included in College Navigator such as student to faculty ratios and their average graduate tuition rate. We recognize that tuition rates and ratios may differ for a DNP program, but these measurements are provided for each school and allow us to consider affordability and individualized attention.

We then awarded points for areas of concentration. Students earn their DNP for a variety of reasons. We felt it was important to highlight areas of specialization as an indicator of quality and flexibility needed in an online learning environment.

We then ranked the programs using the methodology below to come up with our list of the top 50 online doctor of nursing practice programs 2018.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Student/Faculty ratio:

  • 11:1 or less- 3 points
  • 12:1 to 17:1- 2 points
  • 18:1 and above- 1 point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate:

  • Less than $10,000- 3 points
  • $10,000 to $18,000- 2 points
  • Greater than $18,000- 1 point

Specialization Areas:

  • 1 Point for Each Area of Specialization

#50. Capella University-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,526/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 3
What’s Unique
The top online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at Capella University uses AACN standards to deliver a quality, online program. Students benefit from an interprofessional education, sharing courses with other health care professionals to gain insight and perspective into a variety of areas. The integrated approach allows students to combine a capstone and a practicum, working with mentors to solve real world challenges facing nurses today. The curriculum is reviewed by an expert advisory board, ensuring it is developed with the support and insight of leaders in the field.

#49. Walden University-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $12,844/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 3
What’s Unique
The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) online program at Walden University provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to change the lives of the people they serve. Nurses will be well positioned for advancement in their field by gaining experience in:

-healthcare policy and advocacy

-quality improvement

-evidence-based practice

-advanced nursing practice

-leadership.

The program incorporates fieldwork so students have the opportunity to apply their learning in a real-world professional setting.

#48. Clarion University and Edinboro University-Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,592/year in-state and 417,400/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 3
What’s Unique
Clarion University and Edinboro University have partnered to offer an exceptional DNP online that is both affordable and rigorous. The 27 credit hour program is designed to prepare APN practitioners for the rising standards in their field. Students will study leadership, policy, population health, and clinical practice. The program is offered part-time to provide the flexibly that working professionals need to be successful.

#47. University of Arizona-Tucson, Arizona

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,372/year in-state and $31,124/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 3
What’s Unique
The University of Arizona offers a flexible online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) for nurses with either a BS in Nursing or an MSN. Both full-time and part-time options are available and students only need to come to campus for a residency once per year. Students will learn to stimulate research, improve clinical outcomes, lead collaborative teams, and drive policy initiatives. The intensive residency experiences allow students to collaborate with peers, meet with advisors, and become immersed in research.

#46. Felician University-Lodi, New Jersey

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,000/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) at Felician University is a three year, 36 credit hour program. Students will study the organizational and systems leadership needed for exceptional health care delivery in multiple health care settings. Students only need to come to campus for two short intensives, making this a great choice for working professionals. Faculty are doctoral level professionals with experience in nursing leadership and advanced clinical practice in a variety of specializations.

#45. Azusa Pacific University-Azusa, California

Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,224/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
Azusa Pacific University features a top online DNP program using an evidence-based clinical approach emphasizing nursing leadership. Students will learn to lead effective interpersonal healthcare teams and improve care systems for better clinical and safety outcomes. This 39 credit hour practice-focused DNP requires students to have ongoing clinical work experience to meet the requirements of the AACN. Students complete an evidence-based project as part of the program, showing their ability to transfer and utilize research evidence into their advanced nursing roles.

#44. Chamberlain University-Downers Grove, Illinois

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,960/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Specializations: Healthcare Systems Leadership Specialty Track
Points: 4
What’s Unique
Designed especially for Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, the top Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online at Chamberlain University. It provides students with the skills and confidence to make a positive transformation in healthcare. There are no on-campus residency requirements as courses are delivered 100% online. The practice focused curriculum includes practicum experiences that can be completed at a location of the students’ choice. Students also have the option of completing a Healthcare Systems Leadership Specialty Track.

#43. Brandman University-Irvine, California

Post-Masters to DNP Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,160/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
Brandman University offers a post-masters to DNP online designed for APRN or CNS with a master’s in nursing. Students have the opportunity to add a new NP specialty (AGACNP, FNP or PMHNP) during the program. The program emphasizes leadership skills and using evidence-based medicine to improve patient outcomes and deliver quality care. Students can earn their degree in as little as 20 months of study. The curriculum is delivered through online lectures, demonstrations and exercises during the immersion sessions on campus. Students have the opportunity to complete a Clinical Scholarly Project. This allows them to demonstrate their ability in applying research principles to a clinical problem in a healthcare setting.

#42. Florida International University-Miami, Florida

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,912/year in-state and $21,393/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 27:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The top online DNP program at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Florida International University is a great choice for advanced nursing professionals who want to earn the highest clinical degree in nursing.

The program is available to nurses with a master’s degree, a post master’s certificate in an Advanced Practice Nursing specialty, and those with an advanced practice certification in their degree specialty. An interactive online learning platform allows students to watch lectures, collaborate with peers, and get valuable feedback from expert level nursing faculty. The program can be completed in just six semesters with convenient start dates in the fall and spring semesters.

#41. Illinois State University-Normal, Illinois

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,466/year in-state and $15,036/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
With almost 100 years of delivering high quality nursing programs, the Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University is definitely a school to consider in your search for the best online DNP program. Students can earn their online DNP from ISU in just seven semesters including summers.

The program is designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of nursing in the 21st century including improving healthcare outcomes for patients and facilities. U.S. News and World Report considers ISU to be one of the Top 100 Public Universities and Washington Monthly included ISU in its list of the Top 50 Best Bang for the Buck Colleges.

#40. University of Texas-Arlington, Texas

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,141/year in-state and $15,638/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The accelerated online doctor of nursing practice program at the University of Texas -Arlington is designed for active, APRNs and MSN prepared nurses who want to evaluate and implement evidence-based practices to improve outcomes. Students will be well prepared for leadership in clinical practice, consultative or policy-setting roles through a curriculum taught by DNP-prepared faculty. The program can be completed in just 22-27 months of study. The 100% online coursework makes it convenient for those with busy schedules.

#39. California State University-Fresno, California

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,738/year in-state and $15,666/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The California State University online DNP originated in 2012. It has grown into two CSU post-master’s DNP degree programs, but only the Fresno-San Jose State Joint Program is primarily online. The entire program is a distance learning educational experience. Online courses technologies as Zoom, Skype, and other video/audio conferencing.

Synchronous and asynchronous learning methods are used so students have the opportunity for independent learning and peer collaboration. Students will receive Technology training is part of orientation to the DNP program.

#38. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Illinois

Post-Master’s DNP Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,312/year in-state and $11,156/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The online Post-Master’s DNP program at Southern Illinois University is a flexible option for nurses with a master’s in APN. It is also good  for those with a bachelor’s in nursing and a master’s related to their advanced nursing practice role. Students will learn to design new models of care, improve their practice through evidence-based research, evaluate outcomes, and manage the health care needs of individuals and populations in an effective manner.

#37. Duke University-Durham, North Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $49,500/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Specializations: Executive Leadership
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The Duke University School of Nursing features a flexible online DNP for nurses who are post-BSN or post-MSN who want to lead interdisciplinary health care teams and help improve health care outcomes. Students will learn to assess evidence-based research to inform their practice, improve systems of care, and make changes to enhance or improve quality of care. Duke University is ranked 1st in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in its ranking of Best Nursing Schools for Doctor of Nursing Practice for 2018.

#36. DeSales University-Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,560/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Specializations: Clinical Leadership; Executive Leadership
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Fast and flexible are the key elements of the online DNP program at DeSales University. Students can earn their degree in just seven semesters, or continue on to earn an MBA with an additional five semesters of study. This top DNP online includes options such as a DNP in Clinical Leadership (with or without an MBA) or a DNP in Executive Leadership (with or without an MBA). Graduates are prepared for leadership positions as advanced practice nurses who will positively affect outcomes for their patients and health care organizations.

#35. Chatham University-Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,254/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The CCNE accredited online DNP program at Chatham University prepares nurses to be leaders who promote evidence based practice in health care delivery systems. The program has been ranked in the top 100 online programs by U.S. News and World Report and has a strong reputation for quality nursing education.

The 27 credit hour program is one of the shortest clinical doctorate programs in the field. Courses are 14 weeks long and students can earn their degree attending part-time or full-time. Students with specific interests can tailor their capstone project to include their focus.

#34. Concordia University-Mequon, Wisconsin

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,170/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The CCNE accredited online DNP program at Concordia University is focused on both the professional and spiritual challenges facing today’s nursing professionals. Students can earn their degree in just 18 months through an inclusive and supportive cohort format. The curriculum follows the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Practicum/residency hours can be completed in the student’s area of professional interest.

#33. Ball State University-Muncie, Indiana

Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,388/year in-state and $20,698/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The DNP online program at Ball State University is an innovative program designed for post-master’s students working as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives.

Students will gain the skills and knowledge needed for leadership positions to improve health outcomes at an individual, clinical, and organizational level. This part-time program is offered entirely online. Students complete their clinical experiences in their own community and annual one-day meetings can be attended on campus or online through an integrative learning platform.

The program curriculum incorporates The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

#32. University of Colorado-Denver, Colorado

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,714/year in-state and $22,374/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
In 2005, the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Nursing began offering the region’s first DNP program. Since then, the program has grown and developed into one of the best and most affordable online DNP programs in the country.

Students benefit from a competency based curriculum with courses available online and through in-class intensives designed for working professionals. Students residing in one of the 14 states included in the WICHE/WRGP are eligible for in-state tuition, saving a significant amount of money.

#31. Southeastern Louisiana University-Hammond, Louisiana

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,540/year in-state and $19,017/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The online DNP program at Southeastern Louisiana University is focused on advanced nursing practice to positively influence health outcomes for individuals in a variety of different populations. Both Post-MSN DNP and BSN-DNP applicants are eligible for the admission. Most of the coursework is offered online, with the exception of two residencies to complete orientation and defend the DNP project. Practicum hours can be earned in the student’s own community.

#30. Delta State University-Cleveland, Mississippi

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,298/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The top online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at Delta State University is one of the most versatile programs in our ranking. With program options for students at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s level, it is flexible enough for students at any point in their career. Students with their RN can complete the program in just 4.5 years while those earning their post-master’s FNP DNP can earn their degree in just three semesters.

There are seamless entry/exit points throughout the program and students can attend on a full or part-time basis.

#29. Boise State University-Boise, Idaho

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,232/year in-state and $20,682/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Boise State University offers an accredited online DNP program for nurses in a variety of roles including:

-direct care clinicians

-health care executives

-public health officials

-policy advocates.

The enriching curriculum prepares students to lead change, improve the quality of health care systems, and transform practice environments. Courses are primarily online with three, on-campus executive sessions to give students the chance for interaction and feedback from faculty and peers. A Scholarly Project is the centerpiece of the program, allowing students to work with a faculty advisor to showcase their research and analytical skills.

#28. Ashland University-Ashland, Ohio

Online DNP

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,713/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
With flexible program options, the online accredited DNP program at Ashland University is designed to meet the needs of both BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP students. The MSN-DNP program specializes in Health Systems Leadership while BSN-DNP students can earn their Family Nurse Practitioner specialization. Both programs are offered online, with short residency activities throughout the program. Course offerings include:

-healthcare informatics

-epidemiology and biostatistics

-advanced pharmacology

-primary care.

#27. Indiana University-Fort Wayne, Indiana

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,449/year in-state and $13,130/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
With more than 100 online programs, Indiana University is no stranger to online education. Offering a top online DNP for nurses in any advanced-practice role, IU is committed to providing an accessible, top notch education for nurses planning to earn this terminal degree. The 37 credit hour program is practice-focused.

Coursework covers areas such as:

-nursing informatics

-healthcare outcomes,

-clinical epidemiology

-evidence based research

Online forums allow for plenty of interaction and some courses even use videoconferencing for enhanced interaction.

#26. Georgia College and State University-Milledgeville, Georgia

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,187/year in-state and $18,486/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The 37 credit hour online DNP program at Georgia College and State University features incredibly affordable tuition rates, ideal for students on a budget. The online, executive style format is perfect for working professionals. Students can earn their degree in just five semesters of full-time study or eight semesters if attending part-time. Residency requirements are minimal. Only four days of on-site immersion experience are required, with the rest of the curriculum delivered in a convenient online format.

#25. University of Central Arkansas-Conway, Arkansas

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,594/year in-state and $9,188/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The University of Central Arkansas features an online doctor of nursing practice suited for nurses prepared for advanced nursing practice. Applicants should hold a master’s degree in nursing. The focus can be in any role or specialization. This part-time program is available online with two intensive on-campus days each year. Coursework can be completed in six semesters, with the capstone project taking up the final two semesters.

#24. Western Carolina University-Cullowhee, North Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,348/year in-state and $14,755/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The online DNP program at Western Carolina University is a post-master’s program designed to prepare nurses for leadership positions in clinical practice. Students can earn their degree in just five semesters of study, with the majority of coursework offered online. New cohorts begin each fall semester.

The program is offered between the School of Nursing at WCU and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Residency experiences are required at the beginning of each semester and rotate between the two schools.

#23. Briar Cliff University-Sioux City, Iowa

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $3,996/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Following a tradition of excellence in nursing, Briar Cliff University features an online accredited DNP using a cutting edge online learning platform. Courses are delivered online with some residency requirements throughout the program for faculty and peer collaboration.

Students work with local clinical preceptors to find clinical settings that allow students to make a difference in rural, underserved, or multicultural settings. Faculty are experienced teachers and nursing professionals who work with students throughout the program to prepare them for success.

#22. Drexel University-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $32,184/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Specializations: Practitioner Track; Executive Track
Points: 6
What’s Unique
Drexel University offers an accredited DNP online for students with a master’s degree. Students who do not possess a master’s in nursing must have at least a bachelor’s in nursing. There is no GRE requirement for admission. The program is focused on leadership in an executive role and advanced practice role. Graduates are well prepared to implement evidence-based practices developed by Ph.D., DNSc, and other research focused nursing professionals.

#21. Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,536/year in-state and $28,128/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Leadership; Practice
Points: 6
What’s Unique
The post-master’s online accredited DNP program at Rutgers University is an  executive model program for students in clinical practice, leadership, or a community setting. Faculty are actively engaged in teaching and clinical practice in every specialty area offered at Rutgers, providing students with relevant mentoring and advisement services. Graduates are well prepared to make a positive income on health and health care delivery through the design and implementation of programs in a multitude of settings.

#20. Allen College-Waterloo, Iowa

Doctor of Nursing (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,940/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Specialization: Family Nurse Practitioner
Points: 6
What’s Unique
Allen College in Waterloo, Iowa offers an accredited top online DNP program for nursing professionals with a master’s in nursing from an accredited institution. Faculty believe in a holistic approach to nursing through a dynamic interaction between teacher, student, and their environment. The program accepts students living out of the state or out of the country due to a flexible online format. Students can earn their degree in just six semesters of study.

#19. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Massachusetts

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $13,524/year in-state and $29,644/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP); Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP); Public Health Nurse Leader (PHNL)
Points: 6
What’s Unique
Does earning an accredited online DNP from a top ranked research institution sound good? The University of Massachusetts at Amherst offers a 100% online DNP with no on-campus residency requirements. Faculty are renowned professors, well published in the field. Multiple specialization areas are available at the BSN-DNP level. Clinical internship experiences are required as part of the program, but students have the option to complete them in their own community. This provides students with the opportunity to develop professional connections.

#18. University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Arkansas

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,379/year in-state and $18,842/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Points: 6
What’s Unique
The University of Arkansas features a top online DNP program with concentration areas available in FNP or Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Graduates of the BSN-DNP program are eligible to sit for the ANCC certification exams. MSN to DNP students can earn their degree in about two years of full-time study (three years if attending part-time). They are exempt from GRE requirements for admission.

BSN-DNP students can earn their degree in about four years and are required to submit GRE scores. Students can expect to learn to solve complex health issues, provide evidence-based strategies and practices to improve health outcomes, and be leaders in the field of nursing. There are minimal on-campus requirements for this program and clinical practicum hours can be arranged locally with qualified preceptors.

#17. University of Central Florida-Orlando, Florida

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,916/year in-state and $25,759/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 30:1
Specializations: Nurse Executive; Advanced Practice Nurse
Points: 6
What’s Unique
This program is designed especially for nurses who have already earned their MSN with a specialization as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialists. The online DNP at the University of Central Florida prepares nurses for executive leadership positions in a variety of health care settings.

This 43-45 credit hour program can be completed in just five semesters of part-time study or seven semesters of full-time attendance. Courses are offered online with short, on-campus intensives. Graduates will be prepared to completely redesign health care systems based on evidence based research and best practices.

#16. University of Oklahoma-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Doctorate of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,575/year in-state and $18,897/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Points: 6
What’s Unique
The University of Oklahoma features an online doctor or nursing practice available to both part-time and full-time students. Students are required to come to campus for a new students orientation at the start of the program and then work with their advisor to determine if any additional residencies are required.

Full-time students can earn their degree in about two years while part-time students typically take about three years. This top online DNP program requires students to have completed an MSN degree from an accredited university in order to be considered for the program.

#15. Quinnipiac University-Hamden, Connecticut

Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,730/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Care of Populations; Nurse Anesthesia; Nursing Leadership.
Points: 7
What’s Unique
The post-master’s DNP online program at Quinnipiac University features three different specializations and a flexible online format ideal for working professionals. Students will learn to provide holistic health care for a variety of individuals and communities through interprofessional collaboration. This 30-35 credit hour program includes coursework in:

-biostatistics

-epidemiology

-health policy

-clinical scholarship.

Students complete two portfolio synthesis seminars in their area of specialization.

#14. The College of Saint Scholastica-Duluth, Minnesota

Bachelor’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNO)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,160/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Specializations: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 7
What’s Unique
The College of Saint Scholastica features a top online DNP degree program that can be completed in just four years. On-campus residency requirements are minimal. The program is designed for students with a BS, BA, or BSN and offers three specializations. The program focuses on nursing practice and leadership in both rural and underserved areas.

Students also learn telecommunication strategies which can provide these populations with access to health professionals. Courses are offered online and through short on-campus residencies. Clinical experiences are arranged at sites close to the students’ own community when appropriate.

#13. Idaho State University-Pocatello, Idaho

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,789/year in-state and $20,870/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 7
What’s Unique
The accredited online doctor of nursing practice program at Idaho State University is a flexible online program for both BSN-DNP and post-master’s students. Students interested in the BSN-DNP program can choose to take the FNP or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner track.

The majority of coursework is delivered online, with short residencies on campus for clinical intensives. Graduates will be prepared for advanced nursing practice in their area of specialization while improving health care outcomes through evidence based practice application.

#12. New Mexico State University-Las Cruces, New Mexico

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,088/year in-state and $14,254/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 7
What’s Unique
New Mexico State University features an online DNP with specialty tracks in either FNP or Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. While coursework is web-based, there are clinical components that need to be considered before deciding to pursue this advanced degree. DNP graduates will be prepared for leadership positions in both direct care and direct care policy development and implementation.

#11. University of Missouri-Saint Louis, Missouri

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,668/year in-state and $26,184/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Specializations: Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist; Family Nurse Practitioner;
Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health Care
Points: 8
What’s Unique
The Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri features an accredited DNP online for students who aspire to work at the highest level of nursing practice. Students come from a variety of backgrounds including those with a BSN and those with a master’s, with or without an APRN specialty. There are five different areas of specialization offered through this top online accredited DNP program.

The program focuses on rural and underserved populations, with the opportunity to complete a variety of electives to support that mission.

#10. George Mason University-Fairfax, Virginia

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,628/year in-state and $29,306/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Nursing Administration
Points: 8
What’s Unique
George Mason University features a top online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program with options for both BSN-DNP and MSN-DNP students. Courses are offered either in an executive format with monthly in-person meetings, online, or in a traditional on-campus format.

Concentrations are available in four different areas to meet the professional needs of nursing students. Graduates are eligible for certification from the AANP or the ANCC upon completing their degree.

#9. Purdue University-West Lafayette, Indiana

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,208/year in-state and $28,010/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Specializations: Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Primary Care Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Points: 8
What’s Unique
Purdue University has one of the top online DNP programs in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report. Partnerships with the Regenstreig Center for Healthcare Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, the Purdue University Homeland Security Institute and the Center on Aging and the Life Course allow students to develop leadership skills in solving complex clinical problems they will face in their career.

Students have two options to earn their degree, depending on their educational attainments. The hybrid option is available for post-BSN RNs, current MS nursing students, and those with an MSN degree. Students enjoy online learning with limited on-campus time to complete their degree.

The Collaborative DNP option is only available to MSN graduates and includes one on-campus leadership institute.

#8. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing-Peoria, Illinois

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,500/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Specializations: Clinical; Leadership
Points: 8
What’s Unique
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing offers concentrations in both clinical and leadership. The online DNP can tailor its program for students interested in going either direction with their degree. The coursework is offered primarily online and is designed for nurses who already have a master’s degree. Students are able to attend on a part-time basis, balancing this top online DNP program with home and work obligations.

#7. East Carolina University-Greenville, North Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,656/year in-state and $17,547/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Specializations: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Advanced Practice Registered Nurse; Leadership
Points: 8
What’s Unique
The online doctor of nursing practice program at East Carolina University features program tracks for both BSN-DNP and Post-Master’s DNP students focused on rural, underserved populations. Coursework is delivered primarily online, with short on-campus residencies required each semester. There is no GRE requirement for students with a 3.4 GPA or above. Students benefit from an interprofessional curriculum and personalized faculty mentorship throughout their DNP project.

#6. George Washington University-Washington, DC

Online DNP Post-Masters

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $28,800/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Specializations: Executive Leadership; Health Care Quality; Nurse Practice; Family Nurse Practitioners; Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Points: 9
What’s Unique
The online post-master’s DNP program at George Washington University prepares experts in advanced nursing practice through opportunities in leadership, clinical practice, and policy development. Students will develop the skills needed for executive leadership in their organization while creating meaningful change in their health care settings.

The majority of coursework is offered online and students only need to come to campus for two residencies. Students complete a virtual project between their first and second year of study to prepare for a formal clinical research project at the end of the program.

#5. East Tennessee State University-Johnson City, Tennessee

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,992/year in-state and $22,248/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Executive Leadership; Family Nurse Practitioner; Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 9
What’s Unique
The College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University features an online DNP program focused on rural clinical practice in a primary care setting. Considered one of the top 100 DNP programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report, ETSU delivers a quality program.

Coursework is offered in a blended format and students have the opportunity for interprofessional experiences. ETSU boasts a 100% pass rate for graduates on their PMHNP Certification Exam and a 90.1% pass rate on the FNP Certification Exam.

#4. Coppin State University-Baltimore, Maryland

Nursing Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP) Post-Masters

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,670/year in-state and $10,440/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Specializations: Nurse Practitioner; Clinical Nurse Specialist; Nursing Administration; Health Informatics
Points: 9
What’s Unique
The online DNP program at Coppin State University is a post-master’s program for students in either direct care advanced practice or an indirect care specialty. The program begins each fall and coursework is primarily online, with executive format course sessions offered on Fridays and Saturdays.

Graduates will benefit from a solid theoretical foundation that allows them to utilize analytical methods to review literature and evidence to determine the best practices for their health care practice.

#3. University of Utah-Salt Lake City, Utah

Nursing Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP)

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,473/year in-state and $22,848/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner; Nurse Midwifery
Points: 10
What’s Unique
With low tuition and a variety of specialization areas, the University of Utah is definitely a school to consider when searching for a top online DNP program. Five areas of specialization are available through distance delivery, using both asynchronous and synchronous coursework, on-campus visits, and clinical experiences.

On-campus residencies are used for students to complete an orientation, participate in educational experience, take exams, and defend their project or synthesis. Clinical experiences may be taken in the student’s own community.

#2. Augusta University-Augusta, Georgia

Doctors of Nursing Practice Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,144/year in-state and $17,544/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Specializations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP; Family NP; Pediatric NP; Psychiatric Mental Health NP; Nursing Anesthesia Program
Points: 10
What’s Unique
Augusta University has a long standing tradition of offering a quality online DNP program, being the first college in the state of Georgia to offer the degree. The top DNP online program includes seven different degree tracks for post-BSN and post-MSN students. Students can attend full or part-time while continuing to work. Courses are offered online and taught by experienced online instructors. Students complete a capstone or practice project that aligns with the student’s area of expertise.

#1. Creighton University-Omaha, Nebraska

Nursing (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,760/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Specializations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner; Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Neonatal Nurse Practitioner; Pediatric Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (Dual); Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Cardiology; Education; Oncology
Points: 14
What’s Unique
Our top online doctor of nursing practice online is offered by Creighton University. Creighton is the first nursing college in the state of Nebraska to offer the DNP program, giving students an alternative to traditional research-focused doctoral programs. Students can attend on a full or part-time basis and they do not have to submit a thesis or take the GRE exam. The curriculum is primarily online, but students will need to come to campus a few times each semester.

A variety of specializations allow students to choose their focus based on their passion. U.S. News and World Report ranks Creighton one of the best regional universities in the nation offering online graduate nursing programs.