November 15, 2019
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Top 50 Online Doctor of Nursing Practice 2020

HCMTop Doctoral Graduate Programs

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing. The American Association of Colleges and Nursing proposes that the DNP will be the entry level degree for all advanced practices nursing by the year 2020. We created this ranking of the top 50 online DNP programs to showcase the top programs in the nation and help you find the perfect program to meet your personal and professional goals.

There are almost 200 DNP programs in the United States. To narrow our list to the best 50 DNP programs online, we considered only schools that have 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.

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: $14,516/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 3
What’s Unique
The top online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at Capella University is a rigorous program for MSN graduates who want to take the lead in health care transformation. This CCNE accredited program is comprised of nine core courses and four capstone courses with a practicum. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • 21st century health care leadership
  • Global population health
  • Evaluation and interpretation of data in health care
  • Nursing technology and health care information systems

Online students benefit from doctoral advising, capstone mentors, and enrollment counselors who work closely with students to ensure their success.

#49. Drexel University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $34,155/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
Drexel University features a top online Doctor of Nursing Practice for nurses seeking an alternative to a research-focused doctoral program. Students will learn to translate research into practice by gaining advanced competencies that allow them to lead healthcare innovations. DNP students benefit from online coursework and an in-person experiential element that includes an orientation and an optional global engagement. Courses include:

  • Clinical and applied nursing ethics
  • Health information technology and information systems
  • Health policy and economics
  • Scientific foundation of nursing knowledge development.

#48. Baylor University – Waco, Texas

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $30,888/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Specializations: Executive Nurse Leadership
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The 100% online DNP at Baylor University is specifically designed for nurse leaders. The Executive Nurse Leadership focus is centered on the Adams Influence Model, a top framework for nurse leaders. There is no GRE or GMAT required for admission. Both the doctoral project and residency can be completed in the student’s own community. Featured courses include:

  • Resource attainment and allocation
  • Strategic economic and financial concepts
  • Creating excellence in professional practice environment

#47. Clarion University and Edinboro University – Clarion, Pennsylvania

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $12,384/year in-state and $13,368/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The top DNP online program at Clarion University and Edinboro University is a collaborative program preparing APNs for rising standards in the nursing field. This 27 credit hour post-masters to DNP completion program emphasizes:

  • leadership
  • policy
  • clinical practice
  • population health

This flexible online program is CCNE accredited. The part-time structure allows students to work while completing their degree.

#46. Brandman University – Irvine, California

Post-Masters to DNP Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,700/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The top online DNP program at Brandman University is a post-master’s program for APRN or CNS with their MSN who want to earn a clinical doctorate. Students can add an NP specialty in either FNP or PMHNP. Students can complete their degree in just 20 months. The curriculum emphasizes leadership and evidence-based medicine to improve patient outcomes. Students log in for online lectures and are engaged in demonstrations and exercises during short immersion sessions at the Irvine campus. Courses cover areas like:

  • Health communication
  • Healthcare policy, organization and delivery
  • Leading through innovation
  • Biostatistics for clinical practice

Students completing their BSN-DNP complete a clinical residency while post-masters students adding a clinical specialty complete a Clinical Scholarly Project.

#45. Concordia University – Mequon, Wisconsin

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,728/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
Concordia University Wisconsin features a faith-based top DNP online. This CCNE accredited program is designed for certified advanced practice nurses or advanced administrators. Students move through the program as a cohort, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment. Courses are delivered in an accelerated format, making this a great choice for working adults. This 30 credit hour program is delivered online with the exception of two cohort meetings on campus, one at the beginning and one the day before graduation. Courses cover areas such as:

  • Biostatistics and epidemiology
  • Advanced evidence-based practice
  • Six Sigma Process and Applicat
  • Economics and public policy of health care

#44. 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: 26:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
Florida International University features a top online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) through the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Courses are delivered in a convenient online format and the schedule is “working professional friendly.” Students have the opportunity for inter-professional collaboration through the Academic Health Center. Courses are offered in areas like:

  • Healthcare informatics
  • Analytical methods for evidence-based clinical practice
  • Patient safety and quality improvement in health care
  • Organizational dynamics of health systems

All students complete a DNP project designed to prepare graduates for success as nurse leaders.

#43. University of Texas – Arlington, Texas

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,898/year in-state and $18,996/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The Doctor of Nursing Practice online at the University of Texas-Arlington is an accelerated program designed for APNs and MSN nurses who want to advance their career and provide innovative solutions in their workplace. Courses cover a variety of areas including:

  • Health systems
  • Epidemiology
  • Translational research
  • Healthcare policy

All students complete a practicum experience and asynchronous/synchronous coursework. Eager to complete your DNP? Online students can complete their degree in just 22-27 months!

#42. Illinois State University – Normal, Illinois

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,677/year in-state and $12,458/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 4
What’s Unique
The Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University has a rich history providing over 95 years of nursing education. This top online DNP is designed for students with their MSN who want to advance their skill set. Courses are offered online to allow nurses to continue working while earning their degree. Graduates can expect to gain improved career mobility and improve healthcare outcomes for their patients. Most students can complete the program in just two and half years by completed 34 credit hours and 360 clinical hours.

#41. Duke University – Durham, North Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $53,540/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Specializations: Executive Leadership
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The Duke University School of Nursing offers a top online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Students complete online courses along with four executive on-campus residency experiences. The flexible online DNP allows students to earn their degree while maintaining employment. DNP students can even complete their project at their current place of employment. The curriculum includes coursework in:

  • Evidence based practice
  • Applied finance and budget planning
  • Executive leadership
  • Data driven health care improvement

These courses, and the rest of the curriculum, are taught by faculty with broad experience in patient safety, leadership, and advanced clinical practice.

#40. Abilene Christian University – Abilene, Texas

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $21,492/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Specializations: Executive Nursing Leadership; Advanced Practice Nurse
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Abilene Christian University features an online DNP for nurses who want to further develop their clinical and leadership skills through online learning and practical experience. The curriculum aligns with the recommendations set by the AACN and is accredited by the American Association of Colleges and Nursing. Students can choose to pursue tracks in either Executive Nursing Leadership or Advanced Practice Nurse. Courses cover areas such as:

  • Informatics to improve patient outcomes
  • Foundations of integrative care
  • Epidemiology and population health
  • Healthcare finance and clinical practice

This 39 credit hour program can be completed in just 26 months of study.

#39. DeSales University – Center Valley, Pennsylvania

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $20,160/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Specializations: Clinical Leadership; Executive Leadership
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Master’s-prepared nurses seeking a quality practice-based education that follows the tenets and beliefs of Christian humanism will be interested in the DNP program at DeSales University. DeSales features both a clinical leadership and executive leadership program as well as dual degree programs for both with an MBA. This CCNE accredited program is both fast and flexible, allowing students to earn their degree in just seven semesters. New students are admitted each August and welcomed with an on-campus residency weekend. While there are two subsequent residencies on campus, students have the option of completing the program entirely online.

#38. Felician University – Lodi, New Jersey

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice: Executive Leadership or Advanced Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,720/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Specializations: Advanced Practice or Executive Leadership
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Felician University, The Franciscan University of New Jersey, features a top online DNP in either executive leadership or advanced practice. Students can complete their degree in just two years, completing courses online and coming to campus for two short on-campus intensives. Faculty are doctoral prepared faculty with experience in both nursing leadership and advanced clinical practice.

Graduates leave with the knowledge and skills needed to make advances in health care policy and address emerging issues in their own practice.

#37. Quinnipiac University – Hamden, Connecticut

Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $18,630/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Specializations: Care of Populations; Nursing Leadership
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The post-master’s DNP online program at Quinnipiac University features specializations in either the care of populations or nursing leadership. This 30-35 credit hour program includes coursework in:

  • biostatistics
  • epidemiology
  • evidence based practice
  • health policy

Each program track includes portfolio synthesis seminars in its area of specialization. Students also complete 480 clock hours of practicum and fieldwork experience related to their area of interest.

#36. Chatham University – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,244/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The top accredited online DNP program at Chatham University is one of the shortest-to-degree clinical doctorate programs to make our ranking. The flexible online curriculum includes 14 week courses, allowing students to complete their degree in just 12 months of full-time study. Students only need to come to campus for one brief, two-day residency and the rest of the program can be completed online. Courses include:

  • Structure and app of contemporary nursing knowledge
  • Developing evidence-based practice
  • Ethics and public policy in healthcare delivery
  • Quality improvement in health care

To earn their degree, DNP students complete an evidence-based practice project over the course of the program.

#35. Allen College – Waterloo, Iowa

Doctor of Nursing (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,740/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Allen College Unity Point Health features a top online post-grad DNP. This 33 credit hour program includes a Clinical Scholarship Intensive and 400 clock hours of clinicals. Courses cover areas like:

  • Quality outcomes for organizations and systems
  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Policy, organization, and financing of healthcare
  • Healthcare informatics

The Clinical Scholarship project demonstrates the students’ ability to integrate the knowledge they acquired in the program.

#34. Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Online

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,684/year in-state and $24,116/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner Track
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Florida State University features a DNP online focused on the Family Nurse Practitioner. Students complete a total of 79 credits of post baccalaureate study and 1035 clinical clock hours. The program aligns with:

  • the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) Core competencies
  • the Population Focus Nurse Practitioner Competencies of 2013.

Students complete five sessions on-campus and complete the rest online. Courses cover areas like:

  • Biostatistics
  • Translation and synthesis of evidence
  • Genetics and emerging diseases

#33. Indiana University – Fort Wayne, Indiana

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,225/year in-state and $31,932/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Indiana University offers a top online DNP for nurses involved in any advanced practice role. Coursework covers areas like:

  • Population management
  • Clinical decision making
  • Evidence-based practice and translation
  • public health policy

Students complete 37 credit hours and come to campus for three in-person intensives. Online students get support from professors and peers as well as a variety of other academic and other support services.

#32. Delta State University – Cleveland, Mississippi

Doctor of Nursing Practice

 

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,076/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The top online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) at Delta State University has program options available for RN-DNP, BSN-DNP, and post-master’s DNP students. Students can complete the majority of coursework online. They only need to come to campus one to three visits per semester depending on their program option. Clinical requirements must be completed in either Mississippi or Arkansas. Courses cover areas like:

  • Epidemiology/population health
  • Advanced statistics for clinical practice
  • Business management and quality care in clinical practice
  • Information management and decision support in clinical practice

#31. Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Illinois

Post-Master’s DNP Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,925year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The post-master’s online DNP program at Southern Illinois University engages students in a variety of transformative educational activities. Students can complete the majority of the program online and are only required to come to campus for three days in August of each year. Courses cover areas like:

  • Leadership and health policy for advanced nursing practice
  • Ethics studies for advanced nursing practice
  • Healthcare informatics

Graduates of this top online DNP program use evidence to improve practice and patient outcomes. They apply their knowledge and skills to identify and manage healthcare needs of:

  • individuals
  • communities
  • populations.

#30. Southeastern Louisiana University – Hammond, Louisiana

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,684/year in-state and $19,162/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Southeastern Louisiana University features an online DNP for post-MSN applicants and BSN-DNP applicants. Online courses are rigorous. However, their flexibility allows students to complete coursework while maintaining their current employment. All students come to campus for a DNP orientation and defense of their DNP project. The curriculum includes coursework in:

  • Ethics and HC policy
  • Organizational and systems leadership
  • Health assessment
  • Advanced pathophysiology

#29. Georgia College and State University – Milledgeville, Georgia

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,184/year in-state and $18,486/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
Georgia College, Georgia’s public liberal arts university, features a 37 credit post-master’s online DNP program. Full-time students can complete the program in just five semesters. Coursework can be completed online, allowing students to continue working while earning their degree. Courses cover:

  • Informatics
  • Health care policy, ethics, and politics
  • Health care finance and economics
  • Epidemiology

Synchronous class sessions include interactive lectures and discussions via WebEx. Asynchronous online modules include recorded lectures that can be reviewed on the student’s own schedule.

#28. Western Carolina University – Cullowhee, North Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice

 

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,435/year in-state and $14,842/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 5
What’s Unique
The Western Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina Charlotte features a top online dual DNP program for post-master’s students. Both full and part-time program options are available. All students complete a three-day immersion session at the beginning of each semester. Courses cover areas like:

  • Health care policy and ethics
  • Healthcare program evaluation and quality
  • Community epidemiology

During the clinical residency courses, students complete a DNP Scholarly Project that reflects the students’ mastery and competency in their areas of expertise.

#27. Azusa Pacific University – Azusa, California

Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,112/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Specializations: Oncology Certificate co-enrollment option
Points: 6
What’s Unique
Want to take your clinical practice to the next level? Azusa Pacific University features a DNP based on a strong scientific foundation, evidence-based practice, and organizational analysis. Students can complete the majority of coursework online, periodically coming to campus for intensive experiences over one or two days. Courses in the DNP program cover relevant areas such as:

  • wellness promotion
  • statistical analysis
  • spirituality and health
  • program evaluation

Students interested in specializing in oncology can complete the Oncology Nurse Practitioner Certificate alongside the DNP program, applying all the didactic units and half their clinical hours to the DNP requirements.

#26. 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
The College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst features a post-master’s DNP completion program for established APNs. There are no on-campus requirements to complete this online DNP program. UMass Amherst has a long history of providing consistent positive student outcomes through experience, expertise, and high student satisfaction levels. Graduates are prepared to evaluate and apply research and other forms of evidence, and use their skills to improve clinical outcomes.

#25. Briar Cliff University – Sioux City, Iowa

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,414/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Points: 6
What’s Unique
Briar Cliff University features a top online Doctor of Nursing Practice program accredited by the CCNE. Convenient and flexible online classes are delivered through a cutting-edge online learning platform. Students complete a practicum focused on key elements of the DNP role including:

  • ethics
  • population health
  • finance management
  • evidence-based practice

Faculty members are experienced professionals who work closely with online students to help them feel connected and valued.

#24. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Arkansas

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,563/year in-state and $20,477/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 entry levels available to both BSN and MSN graduates. For the BSN to DNP program, students can choose from an FNP or AGACNP concentration. BSN to DNP students can complete the program in about four years, including 1,035 clinical hours. MSN to DNP students can complete the program in two years of full-time study or three years if attending part time. There are minimal campus visits, including a required program orientation. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • Statistics
  • Health care policy
  • Evaluation methods
  • Health informatics

#23. 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
The UFC College of Nursing offers an Advanced Practice Nurse DNP Program that aligns with the eight DNP essential competencies outlined by the AACN. Online APRN students can choose a full or part-time program plans, beginning in the fall or spring semester. The Nurse Executive DNP program is available in a flexible part-time format. Courses cover:

  • Nursing Environment Management
  • Innovative technologies in healthcare
  • Leadership and economics
  • Evidence based practice development

There is no GRE requirement for admission. To finish the program, students must complete 42 credit hours of online coursework with short on-campus intensives and 1,000 clinical clock hours.

#22. University of Colorado – Denver, Colorado

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,786/year in-state and $22,590/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Specializations: Leadership
Points: 6
What’s Unique
The College of Nursing at the University of Colorado features five different options to earning the DNP degree. These options include:

  • BS to DNP Program
  • Post-graduate DNP-APRN
  • DNP-PHN Program
  • DNP-MPH Dual Degree Program
  • Post-Graduate DNP Health Systems Leadership Program

This CCNE accredited program is both innovative and practical. Online students work with faculty mentors throughout the program. A DNP project is the culminating experience, allowing students to complete a real-world project that they can implement in their own practice. Full-time students can complete the program in about two years.

#21. Boise State University – Boise, Idaho

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,759/year in-state and $22,841/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Specializations: Leadership
Points: 6
What’s Unique
Boise State University features a DNP in leadership that prepares students to become change agents to optimize health outcomes. This top online DNP program follows a cohort format, with new cohorts beginning each August. Students complete courses online and come to campus for four Executive Sessions for face-to-face interaction with peers and faculty. All students complete a comprehensive Scholarly Project to showcase their research and analytical skills. Courses cover key areas such as:

  • Outcomes management analysis
  • Quality improvement and evaluation methodology
  • Health technology, information systems, and quality
  • Financial strategies for nurse leaders

#20. University of Central Arkansas – Conway, Arkansas

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,807/year in-state and $9,614/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner
Points: 6
What’s Unique
The University of Central Arkansas features a top doctor of nursing practice online for both post BSN and post MSN students. Courses are offered in a convenient online format, ideal for working professionals. Courses cover:

  • Population health and public policy
  • Applied clinical genetics and genomics
  • Advanced healthcare informatics
  • Translational research methods

Students complete their courses online, coming to campus only for four intensives throughout the entire program. This is suited for nurses prepared for advanced nursing practice. Coursework can be completed in six semesters, with the capstone project taking up the final two semesters.

#19. 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 Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center features a top online doctor or nursing practice for both part-time and full-time students. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • Health assessment
  • Human experience in health and common illness
  • Pharmacology in nursing
  • Family focused nursing

Full-time students can complete the program in about two years. The flexible online format allows them to work part-time while completing their degree.

#18. Rutgers University – Camden, New Jersey

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,232/year in-state and $8,416/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Specializations: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Post-master’s option for nurse practitioners;
Points: 7
What’s Unique
The School of Nursing at Rutgers University features a top hybrid online accredited DNP program with three different focus areas. There are both full and part-time study options, allowing working professionals to earn their degree. Faculty are world-class professionals and part of a collaborative community of nursing and healthcare researchers. Courses cover areas like:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • National and global health policy
  • Health information systems and technology.

#17. The College of Saint Scholastica – Duluth, Minnesota

Bachelor’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,479/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
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 Bachelor’s to DNP program with specialties available in:

  • adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner
  • family nurse practitioner
  • psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner

Online students have minimal on-campus requirements and can complete the program in four years. This CCNE accredited program includes coursework in:

  • Quality improvement
  • Health program evaluation
  • Ethics in health care
  • Pathophysiology for advanced clinical practice

Online students benefit from a personal advisor, small class size, and counseling and student groups.

#16. Idaho State University – Pocatello, Idaho

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,601/year in-state and $23,121/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 7
What’s Unique
Idaho State University features a top accredited online doctor of nursing practice for both BSN-DNP and post-master’s students. BSN-DNP students can choose from the Family Nurse Practitioner specialization or the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. Courses cover areas like:

  • Statistical analysis in evidence based practice
  • Professional issues of the DNP
  • Leadership and health policy
  • Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses

Courses can be completed online. Students will also come to campus for two to three days each semester for clinical intensives.

#15. Ashland University – Ashland, Ohio

Online DNP

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,885/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Health Systems Leadership
Points: 7
What’s Unique
Ashland University features a top online DNP program preparing nurses for advanced practice roles, leadership positions, and nursing faculty positions. The program is open to both BSN and MSN practitioners interested in either the Family Nurse Practitioner program or the Health Systems Leadership program. The online program allows students to continue working while completing their degree. Online courses cover areas like:

  • Healthcare informatics
  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Health policy and advocacy
  • Healthcare delivery, quality and safety

#14. New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, New Mexico

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,549/year in-state and $15,860/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner; Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 7
What’s Unique
The online DNP at the School of Nursing at New Mexico State University is a web based program that includes over 1000 contact hours. Students can choose from two different specialty tracks designed to help students meet their personal and professional goals. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • Quality improvement in healthcare
  • Health policy
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Nursing informatics

All students complete a DNP project that reflects the students’ knowledge and skills in leadership, research translation, and clinical knowledge.

#13. George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,738/year in-state and $32,322/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Specializations: Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Administration in Nursing; Advanced Clinical Nursing
Points: 8
What’s Unique
George Mason University features a DNP online with two pathways to success. The MSN to DNP pathway is a 72 credit hour program that includes 1,000 precepted/mentored clinical hours. The BSN to DNP program includes four different areas of concentration. Core courses cover:

  • health care delivery systems
  • statistics
  • theory
  • ethics

Graduates are prepared for leadership roles in:

  • ambulatory clinics
  • public health clinics
  • hospitals occupational clinics.

#12. University of Missouri – Saint Louis, Missouri

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Website

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,436/year in-state and $28,073/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
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 Health features a CCNE accredited online DNP for both post-baccalaureate and postgraduate students. This distance mediated program requires minimum on-campus visits (about once per year), making this a great choice for the working professional. Both full and part-time students are welcome. Unique electives are available in areas like:

  • financial management
  • nursing education
  • public health

The program emphasizes the importance of serving rural and underserved populations. Graduates have a 100% employment rate within a year of graduation.

#11. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing – Peoria, Illinois

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,968/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Specializations: Clinical; Leadership
Points: 8
What’s Unique
Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing offers a top online DNP for students seeking a leadership or clinical program track. This online program features both synchronous and asynchronous course sessions. Students do not need to come to campus to complete their degree. Courses cover areas like:

  • Biostatistics
  • Translation of evidence into practice
  • Health care policy and financial management

Graduates will be able to assess and make effective decisions about complex clinical situations and systems.

#10. George Washington University – Washington, DC

Online DNP Post-Masters

 

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $30,780/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Specializations: Executive Leadership; Health Policy; Nursing Practice; Family Nurse Practitioners; Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Points: 9
What’s Unique
There are plenty of reasons to choose the top online DNP program at George Washington University. Students can choose from a variety of specializations, taking online courses with some on-campus experiences needed for testing and training. Faculty are nationally recognized leaders in the field, dedicated to helping their students reach their personal and professional goals. The program is open to both BSN and MSN level nursing professionals who want to advance their career and become nurse leaders.

#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: 13:1
Specializations: Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Primary Care Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner; Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Points: 9
What’s Unique
The School of Nursing at Purdue University offers a flexible online DNP with multiple entry points and learning formats. The program is tailored to meet the needs of post-baccalaureate RNs, post master APRNs and post master’s non-APRNs. The curriculum includes courses in:

  • Healthcare economics and financing
  • Informatics
  • Applied biostatistics for outcome evaluation
  • Health policy

Students have access to interdisciplinary faculty with expertise in clinical research.

#8. East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, Tennessee

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,460/year in-state and $23,598/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 top online DNP program at East Tennessee State University is focused on rural clinical practice in primary care settings. Courses are offered in a blended/online format ideal for working professionals. Students benefit from interprofessional experiences that allow students to gain valuable skills and knowledge that will help them be successful in the field. Graduates boast a 100% pass rate on the PMHNP Certification exam and have a 100% pass rate for first time test takers on the FNP Certification Exam.

#7. Coppin State University – Baltimore, Maryland

Nursing Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP) Post-Masters

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,066/year in-state and $11,178/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 post-master’s DNP from Coppin State University is an innovative program that meets healthcare needs on a global level. Courses are offered in a flexible online format designed to accommodate full or part-time students. Students complete a DNP project that demonstrates their ability to complete research that impacts clinical practice. Courses cover areas like:

  • Research methods and design for nursing practice
  • Evidenced based practice
  • Global health
  • Epidemiology

#6. East Carolina University – Greenville, North Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $4,749/year in-state and $17,898/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Specializations: Nurse Anesthesia; Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Nursing Leadership; Post-Master’s DNP specialty
Points: 9
What’s Unique
East Carolina University features a top online DNP designed to accommodate working professionals. Students can choose from five different specialty areas. Doctorally prepared faculty are industry experts, maintaining either an active clinical practice or research agenda. Courses cover areas like:

  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Human physiology and pathophysiology
  • Population health in advanced interprofessional practice

The program focuses on rural, underserved populations using an interprofessional curriculum that prepares students for career advancement. Students engage in simulation laboratory and standardized patient experienced that validate didactic learning.

#5. DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,032/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Specializations: Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Nurse Anesthetist (in conjunction with NorthShore Health Systems); DNP Completion – Nurse Anesthetist; DNP Completion – Nurse Practitioner; Clinical Nurse Specialist; Nurse Midwife
Points: 10
What’s Unique
The College of Science and Health at DePaul University features an online DNP for professionals who want to advance their nursing career. With five different tracks to choose from, students will gain the leadership, business, and research skills needed for success in their area of expertise. Core courses cover areas like:

  • Informatics and technology applications
  • Evidence-based practice research
  • Healthcare economics
  • Finance and costing in health care

Students complete 10 core courses, meet track concentration requirements, and a DNP project. Faculty are industry leaders and experts in their specialization. Worried about finding a job after graduation? 100% of DePaul nursing grads in 2017 were employed or continued their present employment within six months of graduation.

#4. University of Arizona – Tucson, Arizona

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,716/year in-state and $32,065/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Specializations: Executive Health Systems Leadership; Informatics; Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Nurse Anesthetist; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Points: 10
What’s Unique
The University of Arizona features a flexible online DNP available to both full and part-time students. Applications should have earned their BSN or MSN to be considered for the program . The majority of coursework is delivered online. All students complete the Resident Intensive Summer Experience on an annual basis to engage in courses and research related to specific programs and specialties. Courses cover areas such as

  • Health policy and economics
  • Statistical inference for evidence-based practice
  • Evidence-based practice

DNP students have the option to add a non-clinical or clinical specialty to enhance their degree.

#3. Creighton University – Omaha, Nebraska

Nursing (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,660/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Specializations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner; Family Nurse Practitioner; Neonatal Nurse Practitioner; Pediatric Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (Dual); Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; Clinical Systems Administration Track
Points: 11
What’s Unique
The DNP program at Creighton University is a the first program of its kind in the state of Nebraska. Students can attend full or part-time, taking a mix of on-campus or online courses. Creighton offers many different APRN tracks. Courses cover:

  • Health care policy and law
  • Practical ethics in health care settings
  • Financial organization of US healthcare
  • Epidemiology

DNP students will learn creative and critical thinking skills and develop their leadership skills. They will also gain advanced scientific knowledge and learn what it takes to be successful in a fast-paced clinical setting.

#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: 16:1
Specializations: Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP; Family NP; Pediatric NP; Psychiatric Mental Health NP; Nursing Anesthesia Program; Nurse Executive Program
Points: 11
What’s Unique
Augusta University features Georgia’s first DNP degree with tracks for both post-BSN and post-MSN study. Students can attend full or part-time and work while earning their degree. Online courses are delivered in an interactive format taught by experienced online instructors. Students have the opportunity to study with faculty who are experts in their area of practice. Courses include:

  • Evidence based practice translation and application
  • Health care management
  • Epidemiology and biostatics
  • Interprofessional collaboration and leadership in health care

#1. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah

Nursing Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP)

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Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,988/year in-state and $24,665/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Specializations: Adult/Gerontology Primary Care; Neonatal; Nurse Midwifery; Family Primary Care; Pediatric Primary Care; Psychiatric/Mental Health; Women’s Health
Points: 12
What’s Unique
The University of Utah features our top choice for an online Doctor of Nursing Practice. With low tuition and many different specializations to choose from, the program is both flexible and affordable. Courses are offered through asynchronous and synchronous delivery and on-campus visits. Students complete clinical experiences in their own community. Courses cover areas like:

  • Clinical genetics
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Health informatics
  • Health and systems

Students will complete a doctoral project that showcases their knowledge and skills in their area of expertise.