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A Look at the DNP Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree for nurses. It prepares RNs with advanced knowledge and proficiencies needed for career paths ranging from the direct care and treatment of patients to roles outside of direct care. With a DNP, nurses are eligible for nursing positions in the following areas:

  • Administration
  • Clinical
  • Education
  • Health policy design and development
  • Leadership
  • Research

DNP degree programs are available in on-campus, online and hybrid formats. Northern Kentucky University offers an online Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Do All DNP Programs Require Nurses to Have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)?

No. DNP programs differ depending on the institution. Nurses may be able to enroll in a DNP program with either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an MSN since there are nursing schools that offer pathways such a BSN-DNP and MSN-DNP. A post-master’s DNP, such as the one at NKU, requires candidates to hold a master’s degree.

Admission requirements for NKU’s Post-Master’s DNP program include a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and an unencumbered US RN license.

What Should Nurses Consider When Choosing an Online DNP Program?

When choosing an online DNP program, nurses should identify the option that fits their personal situation and career goals. The following questions can help them narrow their options:

  • Is the nursing school accredited?
  • Do I want to keep working while I complete the program?
  • Will an on-campus or hybrid program be feasible for me, or do I want one that is 100% online?
  • Do I want flexibility in scheduling so I can start the program when it is convenient for me and have the ability to study at my own pace?
  • Is the program affordable?
  • What are the requirements for the clinical or practicum component of the program?

What Is the Average Cost of an Online DNP Program?

In Ohio, tuition costs for a DNP program can range from $15,000 to $70,000. Some universities charge additional fees on top of tuition costs. Not to mention, you may pay more if you live out of state.

The cost per credit of tuition alone will not always provide an apples-to-apples comparison because the total number of credit hours needed for program completion can vary. For a post-master’s DNP degree, for instance, Northern Kentucky University’s online program consists of 35 credit hours, whereas the University of Cincinnati curriculum is 42 semester hours. The University of Toledo’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice program is 36 semester hours.

The NKU online DNP program is affordable for in-state and out-of-state students, and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It offers multiple start dates each year and provides a flexible, affordable option for post-master’s students to earn a DNP.

Learn more about NKU’s online Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Sources: Online DNP Programs

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: DNP Talking Points

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