Best Online DNP Nursing ProgramsEdited by Elizabeth Binsfield, BA, RN
A DNP, or Doctor of Nursing Practice, is the highest attainable clinical nursing degree, also called a terminal degree for the profession. With a DNP degree, nurses are able to expand their skills to utilize cutting-edge research in their professional practice and help shape health care systems. Rather than a Ph. D. in nursing, which focuses more on scientific research and investigation, a DNP gives professional nurses the tools they need to focus on the practice side of healthcare, such as managing quality initiatives, directing clinical programs, or acting as an executive in healthcare organizations.
Because most DNP candidates are already successful nurses, online DNP programs can be a better option than a traditional program for a number of reasons. Working professionals don’t want to miss multiple years of work to complete their degree, which is why online DNP programs offer flexible or part-time schedules to accommodate busy nurses. Additionally, many online DNP programs offer accelerated degrees that provide students the ability to learn at their own pace.
Most Affordable Online
Frequently Asked Questions About Online DNP Degrees
Are There BSN-to-DNP Programs Online?
Students with a bachelor’s degree in nursing will be pleased to know that they can earn their DNP entirely online in one program. Rather than going for their MSN and DNP separately, a BSN-to-DNP program includes all necessary coursework in the same program. Most programs combine both master’s- and doctoral-level coursework to provide nursing students with a rigorous and effective education. This type of program is a good choice for students who want to advance their careers without an intermediary step.
What Are the Shortest DNP Programs Online?
The length of an online DNP program depends on the student’s prior credentials. For instance, a BSN-to-DNP program will be longer than an MSN-to-DNP program because the student will have to take more graduate-level coursework. Additionally, if the student wants to specialize in a specific concentration, they may be required to take additional classes. Overall, students should expect an online MSN-to-DNP program to take about one to two years, while an online BSN-to-DNP program typically takes three to four years.
Accelerated RN-to-MSN Program
Unfortunately, because ADN degrees require fewer years to complete, there aren’t many online RN-to-DNP programs out there for candidates without a BSN. Most programs require an RN to hold at least a BSN before they tackle the DNP curriculum. However, students with an RN who wish to eventually earn their DNP may want to consider an accelerated RN-to-MSN program. These programs give professionals the chance to work their way to both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the same time, simplifying the steps to eventually earning a DNP.