Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online Program

Program Overview

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is similar to other practice doctorates such as the MD, JD and PharmD.

You can enter the DNP as a post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) student or a post-master’s (nursing) student. Part-time and full-time options are available. Nurse anesthetist students must attend full-time.

  • The BSN-DNP curriculum is a 64-85 credits depending upon the practice specialty selected.  
  • The MS (Nursing)-DNP curriculum to become a nurse practitioner (NP) is 64-85 credits depending upon the practice specialty selected. Most students will be able to transfer coursework to reduce the total number of credits needed to complete degree requirements.
  • The MS-DNP curriculum for those who are already NPs or CRNAs is a 35 credit program.



DNP students who have not completed a graduate statistics course within the past five years will be required to enroll in a graduate statistics course the first fall semester of the program. All students seeking a specialty are expected to come to campus for a robust five-day Resident Intensive Summer Experience (RISE) each year for the first two years of doctoral study. RISE attendance for part-time students and MS - DNP (no specialty students) may vary.

With a DNP you will be prepared to:

  • generate and disseminate nursing practice knowledge to stimulate research and improve clinical outcomes
  • improve health outcomes through scientifically-based advanced practice within your chosen specialty
  • engage in and lead collaborative practice teams
  • influence clinical practice transformation and policy initiatives

    DNP/PhD Dual Degrees

    If you are interested in attaining broader research skills for application to clinical practice, consider taking advantage of our dual Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. You will be prepared at the highest level of professional nursing practice and with advanced skills for engaging in research to create, apply and translate new knowledge to improve health care – in practice domains and/or academia. You will work closely with clinical mentors to develop specialty competencies, as well as faculty research mentors to create a program of research. The DNP/PhD Dual Degrees option is available upon admission to one of the doctoral programs. Dual degree students must satisfy both DNP and PhD posted admission and enrollment requirements.

    Faculty Advisor/ Mentor (Dual DNP/PhD):

    You will be assigned a faculty advisor in the DNP program that aligns with your practice interests. For those students seeking DNP/PhD Dual Degrees, your education goals will be best met when they are aligned with faculty research and practice interests. Please review the article "Finding a Match and A Mentor in Doctoral Study" by Terry Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN if you are considering a dual degree. You are encouraged to contact potential faculty mentors to discuss your goals in relation to faculty expertise. A faculty directory of research interests can be located here.

    For more information contact:

    Office of Student Support & Community Engagement
    Location: College of Nursing, Room 112
    Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Phone: 520-626-3808 or 1-800-288-6158

    State Authorization

    Changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) require The University of Arizona and the College of Nursing to comply with individual state/jurisdiction authorizations of distance education programs. As the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs require the student to have a physical presence to conduct clinical practica, additional requirements must be met. The College of Nursing can only admit students from authorized jurisdictions at this time. The following authorizations are in currently in place: DNP State Authorization Map.

    If you have any questions or concerns about the State Authorizations and the impact on DNP program admission, please contact the College of Nursing at or (520) 626-3808.

    For additional information concerning The University of Arizona’s compliance with these regulations please contact the Outreach College or visit the State Authorization webpage.

    Accreditation and Affiliations 

    The University of Arizona College of Nursing is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, and affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing  and the Western Institute of Nursing