Nursing: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
for MSN APNs—Online Program
(+ 3 Greeley Campus Visits)
A 2-Year Mostly-Online DNP Program
The online post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares individuals for specialized advanced nursing practice with the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise. This master’s-to-DNP program is designed for the practicing APN as a two-year part-time online program to offer you flexibility and convenience.
The post-master's DNP degree is designed for those APN nurses with an MSN degree who are interested in a practice-focused doctorate.
This program, offered by the UNC School of Nursing through the Office of Extended Studies, begins each Fall via a competitive admission process. Class size is limited. Coursework is completely online. There are three required visits to campus: a 3-day on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program (typically scheduled in mid-July), and visits for your capstone project proposal and defense.
DNP—The Terminal Nursing Practice Degree
Graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will be prepared as clinical experts with a focus on the critical thinking, leadership and political policy skills needed to advocate and create changes in healthcare practice at the individual, population and organizational systems levels.
Graduates of DNP programs assume positions such as Vice President for Nursing and Clinical Services, Program Director, Vice President for Patient Care, Chief Executive Officer, Health Officer, Commissioner of Health, Quality Improvement Director, Clinical Information Technology Specialist, Direct Care Clinician, and as nursing faculty.
We also encourage you to visit the School of Nursing–DNP page. You will find a detailed schedule of upcoming courses, answers to frequently asked questions, handbooks and other helpful information. You can also find information on the hybrid (face-to-face and online) Post-Bachelor's to DNP program.
View the DNP Brochure (pdf)
Contact the Academic Program Coordinator
Nursing: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Academic Program Coordinator
Course of Study
For more information on both this online Post-Master's to DNP and a hybrid (face-to-face and online) Post-Bachelor's to DNP visit the School of Nursing DNP web page.
Post-Master's to DNP Pathway—33 Credit Hours
The post-master’s DNP program is designed for the practicing APN as a two-year part-time online program to offer you flexibility and convenience.
Required Coursework (33 Total Credit Hours)
*Pre-requisite: SRM 602 (Statistical Methods 1) or equivalent
NURS 618 Epidemiology in Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
NURS 628 Information Technology in Health Care (3)
NURS 638 Concepts in Advanced Evidence Based Practice (3)
NURS 678 Professional Practice/Health Care Finance (3)
NURS 685 DNP Practicum (3-7)
NURS 700 Advanced Nursing Theory (3)
NURS 658 Applied Nursing Genomics (3)
NURS 668 Population Centered Health Care (3)
NURS 685 DNP Practicum (3-7)
NURS 688 Advanced Nursing Leadership in Health Care (3)
NURS 696 DNP Capstone (2-6)
There is a required 3-day on-campus orientation, typically scheduled in mid-July. You will meet program faculty, administrators and fellow students; obtain resources for program success; receive individual advising; and have an opportunity to speak with mentors who have succeeded in the program. The only other required visits to campus are to propose and defend your capstone project.
You need a total 1000 hours to successfully complete your DNP. The hours that you completed in your master’s will count toward those 1000 hours. As a licensed APN, the additional required hours will be completed in individualized clinical activities to refresh, expand and enrich your knowledge.
No Master's Degree?—Post-Bachelor's to DNP Pathway—72 Credit Hours
A Bachelor’s to DNP 4-year part-time program is also now available from UNC as a hybrid (face-to-face and online) program. We are now accepting applications for the Post-Bachelor’s DNP for Fall 2012 entry. Visit the School of Nursing DNP web page for more details.
Admission Requirements and Transfer Credit
- Completion of a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing program (NLN or CCNE) and a master’s degree from an accredited program in nursing or related field, with a GPA of 3.0 or better (4.0 scale)
- Preparation as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) with documentation of national certification as an APN.
- Minimum of 500 clinical practicum hours in the APN master’s program.
- Eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse and APN in the state where you practice.
- Three letters of recommendation from former faculty, supervisor, and/or professional colleagues.
- Submission of a brief sample of professional writing (maximum of 10 pages). Examples:
- Describe a scholarly evidence-based case study that best exemplifies your practice.
- Describe a current practice-related concept including its scope and significance, the patient population and the clinical setting of interest. Discuss alternative approaches described in the literature and identify an approach that you might take in addressing the concept.
- A resume or curriculum vitae.
- Career goal statement articulating ‘why now’ for your practice doctorate.
- Description of practice experiences and settings.
- Graduate level inferential statistical methods course (SRM 602) or equivalent. Must be completed prior to beginning DNP coursework.
- A personal interview may be required.
Eligibility by State
UNC has secured approval from almost every state, as required by new federal regulations, so that students are eligible to apply to online programs at UNC. However we are unable to accept applications at this time for our online programs from students residing in a few select states because their requirements, particularly application fees, for such approval are prohibitive. Please verify your Eligibility by State before applying.
Note: All international students residing outside of the United States are eligible to apply to our online programs. Students attending online while residing outside of the United States do not need student visas for admission.
In order for credits to be accepted toward a degree they must be graduate level credits, be approved by the Academic Advisor, and have a grade of A or B. Once approved by the advisor, students must complete a Petition to Count Work in a Degree Program to have the credit approved by the Grad School. The timeframe for doctoral degree work is eight years and the time limit is calculated on the basis of calendar years from the beginning of the first class to be counted in the degree program.
Tuition, Financial Aid and Health Insurance
This program is offered through the UNC Office of Extended Studies, which means a flat per-credit tuition rate for all students in the program. There are no student fees. Certain courses may carry specific course fees for additional services and materials.
Tuition rates are set each academic year (which begin each Fall semester). The tuition rate for the 2013-14 school year for this program is $561 per credit hour.
Scholarships for School of Nursing Students
Explore all of the School of Nursing Scholarship Opportunities.
Federal Financial Aid
Students who cannot pay for tuition alone are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA priority filing date for each academic year (which begins each August) is March 1. Late submissions of the FAFSA are still accepted but may not be considered for the maximum amount of aid.
Doctoral degree students require a minimum of 5 credits per academic term for financial aid eligibility. Full time enrollment is based on 9 credits.
To apply for federal financial aid assistance
Fill out the FAFSA form at www.fafsa.ed.gov/
Extended Studies degree seeking students may contact Aimee Rogers in Financial Aid for more specific help at (970) 351-2502 or visit UNC Financial Aid website.
Students can also find information in the Guide to Federal Student Aid at studentaid.ed.gov/students/publications/student_guide/index.html
Student Health Insurance
The University of Northern Colorado offers a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) to all degree-seeking students who enroll in courses on our main UNC Campus, an Extended Studies Center or Online.
Degree-seeking graduate students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours will automatically receive this benefit each term. SHIP premiums will appear on your semester bill. If you have comparable insurance coverage, and do not want to be charged for SHIP coverage, you must opt out of this plan each Fall via an online waiver process.
Please visit www.unco.edu/ship for more information about the insurance plan.
Students will be admitted once a year each Fall term via a competitive admission process. Class size is limited.
To begin the application process, you will submit the free online application to the School of Nursing (see below). You will then also apply to the UNC Graduate School. Once you apply to the UNC Graduate School and your application packet is complete, admission to this program is a two-stage process. Your application will be reviewed by the graduate school then sent to the faculty/program for an admission decision. A completed application typically takes four to six weeks to process.