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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Location: Online
Start term: Summer

Build on your master’s degree in nursing to advance your career with this terminal degree in nursing practice.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is designed for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN’s) looking to reach the highest level of the nursing profession.

Offered in a convenient online format, this two-year program prepares nurses to deliver expert care, innovative practice, and translate evidence-based care to clinical practice. Students gain focused knowledge in a variety of areas, including evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership.

Interprofessional education

Customize your degree by completing three elective courses in areas you are passionate about. Students choose from doctoral-level courses within the School of Nursing, or from a variety of doctoral degree programs within the university, including in pharmacy, public health, PA studies, and acupuncture. Elective courses include regulatory affairs and health policy, nursing education, global healthcare management, public health, and pain management.

This flexibility to customize the degree empowers students to gain specialized knowledge in a variety of fields, enhancing and diversifying their degree, and ultimately better preparing them to meet the challenges of today’s integrated healthcare field.

Scholarly project

As part of the program, students engage in rigorous scholarly work to synthesize knowledge from the program’s core and specialty courses, along with the immersion experience, to create a meaningful project that is reviewed by an academic committee. This scholarly project is based on an advanced nursing practice immersion experience, which is designed to address a nursing or healthcare problem with the goal of improving practice or healthcare outcomes.  The scholarly project includes proposal, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based practice on a variety of initiatives, including practice change, quality improvement, health promotion/disease prevention, community outreach, or policy analysis. Examples of scholarly project topics include: “Smoking Cessation Program for Patients with Coronary Artery Disease,” “Safe Foot Care in African American Type 2 Diabetes,” “Strategies to Improve Patient Flow in an Urgent Care Facility,” and “Consequences, Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Overweight and Obesity”.

Study online

The DNP program is offered online, allowing students to balance career advancement with the rest of their busy lives. Designed for working nurses, the DNP program provides an online pathway for nurses to enhance their current practice and expand future opportunities. The format of this part-time program allows students to continue working full-time while advancing their education, and uses creative teaching and learning approaches, in order to deliver high quality distance education.

In-person experiences

While a majority of the program is offered online, the program also includes three, 3-day on-campus residencies designed to empower students to connect in-person with their classmates and faculty. These connections represent an important networking opportunity, as students advance their educations and careers.

  • Earned master's in nursing in an advanced nursing practice specialty from a nationally accredited CCNE or NLNAC program.
  • Certification as an advanced practice nurse (FNP, AGPCNP, AGACNP, ANP, PNP, GNP, ACNP, PMHNP, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist, or CNS)
  • A minimum of two years of practice as an APRN
  • GPA 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Resume or CV
  • Current licensure as a registered nurse in the state in which practice will occur
  • Graduate research methods
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Two letters of reference: One pertaining to academic ability or professional competence and a second letter referring to personal character
  • Personal statement
  • Skype or in-person interview will be a part of the admission process
  • Students are required to complete 1,000 clinical hours as part of DNP degree completion. A maximum of 500 hours of preceptor-supervised direct care clinical hours earned from your Master's degree may be applied to this requirement. Upon acceptance, you will be provided with the next steps to submitting your existing preceptor-supervised direct care clinical hours for consideration to be applied to the program requirement.

The DNP program’s innovative curriculum builds the foundation of graduate-level nursing knowledge, and expands the abilities and skills focused on in master’s-level work.


Year 1-Summer

Residency I Orientation 0
NUR xxx Clinical DNP Practice Foundations 3
NUR xxx Organizational and System Leadership for Quality Improvement 3

Year I-Fall

Elective-1 3
NUR xxx Methods for Evidence-Based Practice 3

Year 1-Spring

NUR xxx
Health Care Policy and Advocacy from Local to Global Issues
NUR xxx Concepts in Population Health 3

Year 2-Summer

Residency II Testing/demonstrations 0
Elective-2 3
NUR xxx Transforming Nursing and Healthcare through
Knowledge Management and Technology
NUR xxx Research Translation 1 2

Year 2-Fall

NUR xxx Research Translation 2 2
Elective-3 3

Year 2-Spring

NUR xxx Research Translation 3 2
NUR xxx DNP Seminar 3

Year 2-Summer

Residency III Final Projects/clinical skills 0
Total Program Credits

MCPHS University accepts nursing students into its programs from the following states:

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia

Admission into a nursing program is dependent on program availability in the state where the student is physically located at the time of matriculation. If a student moves to a different state after matriculation, continuation within the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state where the student is physically present. It is the student's responsibility to notify the University of a change in physical presence. Program availability is subject to change.


Why Nurses Should Consider Earning a DNP

Three nurses in MCPHS scrubs working on simulation doll.

Learn more about the MCPHS Doctor of Nursing Practice program.