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17 Best Online DNP Programs | Full Guide

By integrating evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice, the best online DNP programs create nursing leaders who are actively involved in the change and advancement of healthcare. For nursing leaders who want to improve their careers, it is considered the pinnacle of nursing school education and a level that must be attained.

We have included a list of the 17 top best DNP programs in this post, along with all the pertinent information you could need. To understand everything there is to know about DND programs in 2023, keep reading.

Online DNP Programs

Many of the top DNP programs regularly offer their courses online. This makes it possible for nursing students to successfully balance their education with their jobs, families, and social lives.

There are both full-time and part-time online DNP programs. By field of study, different numbers of credits are required.

Similar to traditional in-person programs, online programs help students prepare for board certification tests in their particular industry. However, they are frequently less priced and offered on a rolling basis, enabling students to begin their studies as soon as they are approved.

The majority of online DNP programs need in-person sessions throughout the curriculum, such as clinical internships at nearby facilities.

Also See: 13 Best DNP Programs for Students in 2023

What Can You Do With a DNP?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree was created in response to the American healthcare system’s requirement that nurses hold executive-level roles.

DNP programs give nurses advanced nursing skills, which enhance patient outcomes and boost the effectiveness of the healthcare system. Graduates work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, and government roles that are related to medicine.

What to Look for in Online DNP Programs

Here are the important things to look out for when choosing an online DNP program:

Admission Requirements

Review the admission criteria of your possible programs. This helps you to focus your search, find colleges that fit your profile, and determine which ones will accept your application materials.


The ongoing review of a program’s academic performance and preparedness of incoming DNPs is ensured by accreditation. Many employers and licensing agencies demand that candidates obtain degrees from authorized institutions.

Program Curriculum

Each DNP student focuses on a particular patient group or nursing specialty, such as administration, teaching, or research. Always check to see whether the institutions you’re considering offer courses in your area of interest.

Clinical Knowledge

When researching schools, candidates should take clinical formats and graduation dates into account. You must consider your ability to work throughout your studies, the amount of coursework, the locations and settings of the clinical experiences, and the time commitment needed.

Graduation Rate in Schools

The degree to which the curriculum and clinical experiences adequately prepare students for advanced nursing jobs is correlated with the graduation rate.

Format and requirements for online learning

Candidate preference for synchronous versus asynchronous learning should be taken into account. Some programs provide a combination of the two delivery options.

Requirements for Online DNP Programs

  • A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from an accredited school of nursing and an education institution
  • A current Registered Nurse (RN) license and national certification
  • GRE scores
  • Personal statement or Statement of Purpose (SOP)Resume or CV
  • About two to three letters of recommendation
  • Previous work experience (if applicable)
  • Complete 500-1000 hours for clinical requirements
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA for GPA requirements
  • BSN degree (if applicable)
  • Official transcrips
  • TOEFL or IELTS – if applicable

Online DNP Program Tuition

The cost of online DNP programs varies substantially. School, location, whether you study online or in person, and your final degree are all factors. In general, online programs are less expensive than conventional on-campus degrees.

Depending on the curriculum, credit hours might range from $500 to $4000. This will partly rely on whether the program is public or private. A higher cost is also associated with DNP programs due to the added credit hours. Program fees, lab fees, course materials, and other associated expenditures are also included in the total cost of tuition.

Also, See: 15 Best Online MSW Programs for Students 2023

Best Online DNP Programs in 2023

The best online DNP programs on our list are ranked according to their first-time pass rate. Also, the DNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

1. Duke University

Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). It is one of the universities offering one of the best online DNP programs.

The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Duke University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program in #2. Graduates of DNP programs are anticipated to serve as nurse leaders in interdisciplinary health care teams to raise the standard of care.

The DNP program may be finished online, allowing nursing workers flexibility.

See Program

2. University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC

With this reasonably priced Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, Students can get to practice at a high clinical level. This joint program with Western Carolina University is a hybrid online post-DNP master’s program.

At the start of each semester, students are expected to attend on-campus immersion workshops. Candidates have access to both schools’ faculties and will obtain their diplomas from the institution that admitted them.

The DNP curriculum can be finished in as short as five semesters, and it includes a clinical residency and project.

See Program

3. University of Nevada-Reno

The DNP program at the University of Tampa continues a long history of demanding nursing instruction. In just 27 months, RNs may finish the 30-credit DNP fully online. Three cohort tracks are available to participants: leadership in population health, advanced practice nursing, and leadership in clinical and academic nursing education.

Participants work on a research translation project for 500 practicum hours. RNs with licenses in Florida or compact states can join the degree program, one of the finest online DNP programs in the country.

See Program

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4. University of Arizona

RNs complete a hybrid DNP at the University of Arizona. The curriculum combines online learning with Tucson on-campus intensives. The 35-credit curriculum examines subjects including evidence-based practice and health informatics.

Students put what they’ve studied into practice through clinical and in-person practicum experiences. Students complete a project as the DNP’s capstone. Students seeking the DNP online have flexibility with full- and part-time enrollment options. No of where they live, online students are required to pay in-state tuition.

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5. Thomas Edison State University

Programs are created by Thomas Edison State University for nontraditional students. In 18–36 months, RNs can complete the DNP totally online. An emphasis on systems-level leadership is included in the 36-credit DNP.

Advanced nursing practice, healthcare policy and technology, and economics and finance are all emphasized in the curriculum. Participants finish an evidence-based project and a clinical/practicum of 1,000 hours. With both full-time and part-time enrollment options, TESU has one of the most adaptable online DNP programs in the country.

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6. Drexel University

RNs are taught how to use evidence-based practice in healthcare delivery through the online DNP program at Drexel University. Additionally, the 45-credit degree fosters leadership abilities. Topics included in the program include applied epidemiology, health policy, and quantitative techniques in clinical nursing.

During their 500 hours of clinical practice, nurses apply principles. One of the top online DNP programs in the country culminates with a project for students. There must be a virtual orientation for all students.

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7. The University of Tampa

The DNP program at the University of Tampa continues a long history of demanding nursing instruction. In just 27 months, RNs may finish the 30-credit DNP fully online. Three cohort tracks are available to participants: leadership in population health, advanced practice nursing, and leadership in clinical and academic nursing education.

Participants work on a research translation project for 500 practicum hours. RNs with licenses in Florida or compact states can join in the degree program, one of the finest online DNP programs in the country.

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8. Baylor University

The Waco, Texas-based Baylor University offers RNs with BSN and MSN degrees entrance paths into its DNP program. Online courses range from 31 to 75 credits, with the exception of clinicals and residencies.

There are six courses available for students to select from, including FNP, nurse-midwifery, and neonatal nurse practitioner. 90% of participants are assigned to clinical settings less than 125 miles from their residence by the school. For graduates of the nurse-midwifery and FNP programs, Baylor touts a perfect certification pass rate. The tuition cost is the same for all online students.

See Program

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9. University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

BSN to DNP and post-MSN DNP programs are both available at the University of Cincinnati. Seven specialities are available in the DNP, each with a distinct curriculum. The specialty include pediatric acute care, psychiatric-mental health, and nursing anesthesia.

Nurses who specialize in public health crises are prepared through a novel public health alternative. Students finish the DNP with a project that showcases their abilities. The DNP is completed online by students, however some specialities need on-campus attendance.

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10. The University of Alabama

Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) can enroll in this DNP program at the University of Alabama. It is one of the best online DNP programs, even more, it doubles as on of the most affordable online DNP programs to go for.

The 40-credit curriculum is completed online by APNs. The course covers subjects including informatics for advanced practice nursing and evidence-based practice techniques.

Students pick a clinical location with the help of an adviser for the mandatory practicum. Also, students are required to attend one spring intensive and the campus graduation. One of the most economical online DNP programs in the country is offered by UA.

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11. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall University is a catholic university in New Jersey. It also offers one of the best online DNP programs. Post-BSN and post-MSN RNs are both accepted into the program. Nurses with a BSN degree complete 73–79 credits, whereas those with an MSN degree finish at least 31 credits.

Students can study DNP online courses here, including leadership in the healthcare industry and ethics in nursing leadership. The two specialties available to students are advanced practice nursing and health systems administration. RNs finish their residency as well as a research project.

See Program

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12. Wilkes University

For nurses with an MSN, Wilkes University offers one of the best online DNP programs. In two years, the DNP prepares nurses for leadership positions. Students finish ten online courses. They go through subjects including leadership in advanced nursing practice, environmental health, and epidemiology.

Depending on their background, students undergo clinical hours. Wilkes places students at no extra cost at clinical locations in their local areas. The tuition cost is the same for all online students.

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13. Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, Georgia 

This post-online master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program from Georgia College is presented in an executive-style format and is aimed at working professionals with hectic schedules.

If studied part-time, this 37 credit program can be finished in longer than five semesters of full-time study. Every year, students should budget for one week of on-campus immersion.

Graduates of this DNP program are prepared to drive healthcare policy and innovation built on analytic concepts and evidence-based practice. Students execute a demanding capstone project that is personally defined by their practices and areas of interest.

See Program

14. Missouri State University, Springfield

The Missouri State University, Springfield offers one of the best online DNP programs. A post-DNP master’s program is offered entirely online by Missouri State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

The online BSN to DNP program at MSU includes both online and once-weekly on-campus seminars. The post-DNP Master’s candidates may anticipate learning how to enhance patient outcomes and lessen health inequities as future leaders in the medical field.

Graduates of this reasonably priced DNP program will be equipped to develop their careers and increase their possibilities for leadership. Visit their website to learn more about this prestigious, reasonably priced DNP program and further your career.

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15. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN

You must have finished your MSN and be certified as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse-midwife, or nurse anesthetist in order to be eligible for this rapid DNP program.

Although the curriculum is primarily online, there is a little amount of on-campus time, usually just once every semester. The full-time curriculum challenges you to maintain your commitment and drive throughout the course of the program because of its fast style.

You will learn about interprofessional healthcare informatics, program evaluation, nursing research and evidence-based practice, the science of nursing intervention, epidemiology, health innovation and leadership, implementation science in healthcare, health policy leadership, the economics of healthcare, and systems-level clinical practice as part of the 36-credit curriculum.

You must complete 240 hours of practice in multiple systems-level clinical experiences in addition to the program’s didactic modules.

See Program

Also, see: 13 Cheapest Online MBA Programs In Indiana 2022

16. Chatham University

Chatham University also offers one of the best online DNP programs. It is located in Pittsburgh, PA, and offers over 60 programs at different academic levels; undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levells.

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice program from Chatham is 27 credits long and may be finished in three to five terms. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on scientific inquiry, reliable research, and evidence-based practice. It aspires to advance the provision of safe and high-quality healthcare.

See Program

17. Concordia University – Wisconsin

Concord University is also another one of the best online DNP programs to go for. For nurses with an MSN degree and active RN license who desire to thrive in leadership at the highest level of nursing practice, the institution offers a 30-credit Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

The university furthermore provides online post-RN bachelor’s to DNP degrees.

Graduates of the program should be able to use advanced level analysis when performing nursing duties after finishing the program.

See Program


Which accreditation is best for DNP?

The two primary accrediting organizations for DNP programs in the United States are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), both of which are acknowledged as national accreditation organizations by the U.S. Department of Education.

How competitive are DNP programs?

The DNP Program has a competitive admissions process. It is advised for prospective applicants to read all application-related information and stay current on the timelines and deadlines for the speciality in which they are interested. Applications are encouraged from those with a BSN or MS in nursing.


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Mbagwu Amarachi Chilaka
Mbagwu Amarachi Chilaka
Articles: 284