This is a ranking of the 50 most affordable online doctor of nursing practice (online DNP) programs for 2017. These programs out of 100+ nationwide offer the most affordable, flexible solutions for nurses wishing to earn their DNP while still being able to work. Even the lengthy BSN to DNP, which incorporates all the academics of the MSN and DNP together, often only takes four years to earn part-time with these efficient programs. For students who already have their MSN, there are even a few programs ranked here that can be finished at a full-time pace in just one year.

Nursing is a broad field, and these programs reflect that, many offering a wide range of specializations. However some programs here have shortened curricula of just 30 credits for nurses who already specialized in their MSN and just want to build on their current specialization. Many of these programs are extremely flexible, designed by nurses who understand the huge time commitment the job requires.

Methodology

The information in this article is sourced both from College Navigator and each school’s website. The #1 ranked program was the most affordable online DNP for 2017.

#50. University of Iowa

Doctor of Nursing Practice

University of Iowa online DNP graduates have a 100% pass-rate on the ANCC board exam.

Website

This online doctor of nursing practice degree offers specializations in family nurse practitioner, health systems/administration, nurse anesthesia, pediatric nurse practitioner, and psych/mental health nurse practitioner. Students should note that some of the courses required for the BSN to DNP and some concentrations require students to be on-campus once per week.

Tuition: $25,574

#49. Texas Christian University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Texas Christian University is an evangelical Christian university that strives to incorporate Christian principles into their curriculum.

Website

Texas Christian University offers a BSN to DNP program with a family nurse practitioner concentration. The post-master’s program features a specialization in nursing administration. Students will take courses like emerging sciences for advanced practice, decision science and informatics, translational research, and complexity and innovation in healthcare.

Tuition: $25,047

#48. Old Dominion University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The nurse executive online DNP emphasizes emerging healthcare technologies, advanced diagnostic and client care skills, and caring for vulnerable populations.

Website

Old Dominion University offers both advanced practice and nurse executive tracks to students in their online doctor of nursing practice program. Students will take courses like informatics and healthcare technology, proposal development and database management, application of practice-based research methods, and the business of advanced nursing practice.

Tuition: $24,800

#47. Medical University of South Carolina

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The online DNP program at the Medical University of South Carolina is ranked #2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

Website

Students must travel to campus for orientation, presenting their DNP project, and during four of the classes offered in the program. Students who wish to become nurse educators can add nurse educator courses to their degree plan. Students can earn their degree either part-time or full-time and will take courses like informatics in healthcare delivery, and organizational theory and healthcare systems.

Tuition: $24,367

#46. Western University of Health Sciences

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This online DNP program does require two weekend on-campus sessions per semester.

Website

The online doctor of nursing practice degree from Western University of Health Sciences offers a full-time track and an extended track which takes one year longer to complete. Students in this program will take courses like quality and leadership in 21st century healthcare system, care delivery improvement: models and strategies, and outcome-based collaboration and collaborative models.

Tuition: $23,331

#45. University of Massachusetts–Boston

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students in this program participate in healthcare advocacy at both the local and national levels.

Website

UMass Boston offers both MS-DNP and BS-DNP programs. Students in the DNP program also collaborate with the PhD program, which focuses more on theory and research. Students will take courses like leadership and management, biostatistics, evidence-based practice, principles of epidemiology, and health economics and finance.

Tuition: $23,283

#44. University of West Florida

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This online DNP program features five concentrations.

Website

The University of West Florida offers both part-time and full-time degree plans for their online doctor of nursing practice degree. This degree offers concentrations in psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.

Tuition: $22,166

#43. West Virginia University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

WVU’s post-master’s DNP program can be completed in seven semesters.

Website

WVU offers both BSN to DNP and post-master’s DNP programs. The BSN to DNP program features the family nurse practitioner specialization as its only specialization. Post-master’s students will take courses like theory of practice, health policy and resource management, health research statistics, healthcare leadership, and evidence-based practice.

Tuition: $22,140

#42. University of Utah

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The University of Utah’s DNP program was ranked the 16th best in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Website

The University of Utah offers DNP students concentrations in family nurse practitioner, adult/gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, psychiatric/mental health NP, women’s health NP, and certified nurse midwife. Concentrations like the psychiatric mental health practitioner specialty track may have additional requirements, like 3,000 hours of supervised post-graduate clinical hours as opposed to 1,000 hours required by other concentrations.

Tuition: $21,991

#41. Duquesne University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Duquesne does not require applicants to submit GRE scores or to pay an application fee.

Website

In accordance with the DNP essentials laid out by the AACN, students will be required to have 1,000 advanced practice post-BSN practice hours in order to earn the DNP. 500 hours can be from the student earning their MSN degree. Students in this program will take classes like program analysis and measuring change, epidemiology and biostatistics, and social justice and vulnerable populations.

Tuition: $21,402

#40. University of Colorado–Denver

Doctor of Nursing Practice

U.S. News and World Report ranked UC-Denver’s online doctor of nursing practice program #21 in the country.

Website

Graduates from this program have found employment as clinical nurse educators, clinician-scholars, developer/evaluators of healthcare programs, healthcare entrepreneurs and executives, and clinical administrators. Students will have to attend on-campus intensives up to three times per academic year for one to two days at a time.

Tuition: $20,358

#39. Ball State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This post-master’s online DNP is designed for nurses who have specialized as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives.

Website

Ball State’s online doctor of nursing practice degree is designed to be completed at a part-time pace. Courses are 100% online, and clinical experiences are all completed in your own community. Even the mandatory annual one-day meetings can be attended online. Students will take courses like population-focused care, outcomes research and evaluation, and theory-based models of care.

Tuition: $20,356

#38. Boise State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program focuses on empowering nurses to create and implement innovative strategies in order to improve healthcare outcomes.

Website

This program can accept applicants from all states with the exception of Georgia, Louisiana, North Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. This program can be completed in eight semesters attending part-time. Students will take courses like outcomes management analysis, quality improvement and evaluation methodology, and translation, integration and dissemination of evidence.

Tuition: $20,108

#37. Saint Louis University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The BSN to DNP program at Saint Louis University features five distinct concentrations.

Website

Saint Louis University offers both BSN to DNP, and post-master’s DNP programs. The post-MSN doctor of nursing practice program features courses like health policy and advanced nursing practice, healthcare delivery systems, leadership in healthcare, and project management. Students in the BSN-DNP program can specialize as adult/gerontological acute or primary care NP, pediatric primary care NP, family NP, or family psychiatric/mental health NP.

Tuition: $18,900

#36. University of Nevada–Las Vegas

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Applicants to the BSN to DNP option must have practiced as a registered nurse for a minimum of one calendar year to qualify for admittance.

Website

Graduates from UNLV’s online doctor of nursing practice degree have found work as specialists in their advanced practice clinical roles, nursing faculty, healthcare executives, and program and policy analysts. Students will take courses like population health: analysis and evolution, health and public policy for advanced practice of nursing, and translational evidence for healthcare.

Tuition: $18,878

#35. Samford University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The full-time post-master’s DNP program online can be completed in just 12 months of study.

Website

Samford University offers an online doctor of nursing practice degree with a concentration in either advanced practice, administration, or administration with a further nurse educator concentration. Students in the RN to DNP program can choose between concentrations in family nurse practitioner, health systems administration, and nurse anesthesia once they reach the graduate level.

Tuition: $18,673

#34. University of Nevada–Reno

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The post-master’s DNP coursework is exclusively online while the BSN to DNP coursework is primarily online but does have some on-campus intensive requirements.

Website

The University of Nevada at Reno is designed for clinically practicing nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and nursing leaders in healthcare organizations. Post master’s students choose between advanced practice nurse and nurse executive concentrations. Post-BSN students can choose between concentrations in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Tuition: $18,662

#33. Southeastern Louisiana University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students in this online DNP program will learn to translate complex scientific findings into clinical and leadership practice.

Website

Southeastern Louisiana University only requires students to be on campus for the doctor of nursing practice orientation and again for the defense of their DNP project. The full-time post-MSN program features courses like biostatistics, preventative care for populations, clinical scholarship and analytic methods for EBP, and organizational and systems leadership.

Tuition: $18,584

#32. Idaho State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Applicants must have at least a BSN from a CCNE-accredited program and a 3.0 GPA in order to enter this online doctor of nursing practice program.

Website

Idaho State University’s online DNP program features full-time and part-time degree plans for all three concentrations. Students can choose between concentrations in family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Post-master’s students continue to specialize in whatever specialty you earned when getting your MSN degree.

Tuition: $18,504

#31. Georgia College and State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This online DNP program does require two weeks per year of on-site immersion experience.

Website

This 37-credit online doctor of nursing practice program can be completed in just five semesters of full-time study. Students will take courses like evidence-based practice, healthcare finance and economics, addressing health needs of vulnerable population, and statistical methods in healthcare research.

Tuition: $18,486

#30. University of Arkansas

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Graduates of this online DNP program are eligible to sit for national certification exams administered by the ANCC.

Website

The University of Arkansas offers both post-BSN and post-MSN doctor of nursing practice options. The program offers concentrations in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, and family nurse practitioner. Some courses in this program are educational statistics and data processing, epidemiology, and healthcare informatics.

Tuition: $17,775

#29. University of Oklahoma

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Nurses who want to focus on research should consider the online nursing PhD offered by the University of Oklahoma.

Website

The University of Oklahoma offers both an online doctor of nursing practice degree and an online PhD in nursing. The DNP is practice focused while the PhD is more focused on theory and research. Students in this online DNP program will take courses like human experience in health and common illness, health assessment, and human experience of disability.

Tuition: $17,758

#28. Augusta University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Augusta University offers six concentrations to online DNP students.

Website

Augusta University offers online DNP students concentrations in adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The program also offers students a no-concentration track and a nurse executive track. Students will take classes like practice inquiry and change, and population health and emerging disease.

Tuition: $17,544

#27. East Carolina University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students who take the BSN to DNP track will visit the campus four times for on-campus intensives, while MSN to DNP students will visit twice.

Website

East Carolina University offers both a DNP program and a PhD program in nursing. The post-master’s DNP program offers concentrations in advanced practice registered nurse, and leadership. Students will take courses like interdisciplinary leadership and role development for practice excellence, healthcare policy, politics and ethics, and informatics for advanced nursing practice.

Tuition: $17,036

#26. University of Missouri–Kansas City

Doctor of Nursing Practice

While this program is offered online, there are some synchronous elements that require students to participate in class time live through video conferencing technology.

Website

The University of Missouri at Kansas City online DNP offers specializations in adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, and women’s health nurse practitioner. Students will take courses like ethics in practice and research, advanced health assessment skills, and healthcare outcomes and epidemiology.

Tuition: $16,043

#25. Nova Southeastern University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

In order to graduate from this online program, students must complete all program requirements with a grade of B or higher.

Website

Nova Southeastern’s online DNP program features an eight-week format and can be completed in six semesters. Applicants must have an MSN degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Students will take courses like biostatistics, healthcare information systems and outcomes management, leading in complex healthcare systems, and translating evidence for clinical practice.

Tuition: $16,760

#24. University of Texas Medical Branch

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The online doctor of nursing practice degree at UTMB does not offer a full-time option.

Website

This online doctor of nursing practice program is a 42-credit part-time program that requires one two- to three-day on-campus intensive per semester. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 or more in order to qualify for the program. Students will take courses like advanced nursing leadership and management, applied statistical methods for practice inquiry, and the economics of healthcare.

Tuition: $15,725

#23. Frontier Nursing University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Frontier Nursing University is one of the oldest nursing graduate schools in the United States with a nurse midwifery program dating back 75 years.

Website

Frontier University offers a post-master’s DNP program. The program can be completed in as few as 15 months and requires one three-day on-campus intensive. The part-time option only takes an additional three months to complete. Students will take courses like principles of independent practice, leadership and organizational theory, and evidence-based practice and information technology.

Tuition: $15,047

#22. Eastern Kentucky University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program’s capstone project sees students translating a body of evidence-based research in order to implement that research and improve rural health outcomes.

Website

The online doctor of nursing practice degree from Eastern Kentucky University features a concentration in organizational leadership. The program is 36-40 credit hours and includes courses like theory application for doctor of nursing practice, informatics in healthcare delivery, healthcare economics and finance, analytical methods, and public health policy.

Tuition: $14,940

#21. Loyola University–New Orleans

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Loyola University is one of the leaders in the advancement of education of healthcare professionals.

Website

Loyola University’s online DNP program features family nurse practitioner and executive leader concentrations in the MSN to DPN program. The BSN to DPN program only offers a nurse practitioner concentration. Graduates from this online doctor of nursing practice program work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient facilities, medical offices, schools, hospice, and rehab centers.

Tuition: $14,724

#20. Western Carolina University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

WCU offers both full-time and part-time plans of study for their online DNP program.

Website

Western Carolina University’s online DNP program is available to students with BSN or MSN degrees. The regular DNP program (for students with an MSN) can be completed in five semesters of study. Courses include foundations and applications of evidence-based practice, technology for communication and transforming healthcare, and economic and financial aspects of healthcare system.

Tuition: $14,628

#19. University of Michigan–Flint

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The BSN to DNP online degree takes four years to complete when taken part-time.

Website

The online DNP program at the University of Michigan offers BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP tracks. There is also an alternate pathway to the DNP for nurses with a bachelor’s degree other than a BSN. Concentrations in this program include adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Tuition: $14,319

#18. Lewis University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Lewis University’s doctor of nursing practice degree is 100% online with no intensives required.

Website

Lewis University’s CCNE-accredited online DNP program is a 30-credit program open to students with their MSN degree earned from an ACEN or CCNE-accredited school. Some of the courses students will take in this program are healthcare ethics, financial and strategic management for healthcare decision makers, and quality and safety science in healthcare.

Tuition: $14,310

#17. New Mexico State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

All applicants to this program must attend a face-to-face interview with faculty on campus, even if the student is applying to the online DNP program.

Website

The online doctor of nursing practice program at New Mexico State University offers specializations in family nurse practitioner, family psych/mental health nurse practitioner, adult gerontological nurse practitioner, and public/community health nursing. The adult/gerontological NP and public community health DNPs are not offered on an annual basis.

Tuition: $14,254

#16. University of South Alabama

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The MSN to online DNP track at the University of South Alabama features twelve specialty areas.

Website

The University of South Alabama offers three pathways to earn your DNP which are MSN to DNP, BSN to DNP, and MSN clinical nurse leader to executive nursing administration DNP bridge program. Specialty areas for the MSN to DNP program include adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, executive nurse administrator, neonatal nurse practitioner, and nursing informatics.

Tuition: $14,220

#15. Maryville University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This online DNP program is CCNE-accredited.

Website

Qualified post-MSN applicants can earn their online DNP from Maryville University in just 18 months. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA in their CCNE/NLNAC-accredited MSN coursework. Courses in this program include principles of epidemiology and biostatistics, foundations of clinical scholarship, integrating and synthesizing research, and quality and patient safety in advanced nursing practice.

Tuition: $13,768

#14. Indiana State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This 39-credit online doctor of nursing practice program requires 1,000 hours of supervised clinical preceptorship.

Website

Applicants to this ACEN-accredited online DNP program must be a master’s prepared APRN with 500 documented clinical hours and be certified by AACN. Some of the courses students will take include epidemiology, analytical methods, community health planning, rural/underserved residency, organizational informatics, and culturally competent care.

Tuition: $13,716

#13. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Graduates from this online DNP program are eligible to sit for the family nurse practitioner certification exam.

Website

The full-time CCNE-accredited DNP program can be completed in 36 months or less depending on various factors. Nebraska Methodist College offers three focus areas/programs for the DNP which are family nurse practitioner, adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist, and APRN to DNP. Students will take courses like adult gerontology nursing, healthcare finance, and women and children nursing theory.

Tuition: $13,262

#12. Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students in this online DNP program can graduate in just 20 months.

Website

All students in this DNP program specialize in the area of healthcare leadership which focuses on leadership, translation science, business, information technology and management, and policy, ethics, and law. Students will take courses like relationship-centered leadership in complex systems, trans-disciplinary approaches to influencing public health policy, and strategic resource management in nursing and health systems.

Tuition: $12,917

#11. Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Southern Illinois University highlights career opportunities for DNP nurses in fields like healthcare research, education, and healthcare technology.

Website

This online doctor of nursing practice program is offered both part-time and full-time, and in either blended or hybrid formats. The hybrid format does require on-campus intensive sessions. All students in this program specialize in the family nurse practitioner area. Classes include advanced human pathophysiology, pharmacology for APNs, and genomics and ethics.

Tuition: $12,830

#10. Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The online part-time structure of this DNP program is designed to allow students to work while earning their degree.

Website

Clarion University of Pennsylvania only offers their doctor of nursing practice online. Even part-time students can finish the program in six terms. Students will take courses like leading nursing in healthcare systems, information management in healthcare, advanced care of the individual and family, and advanced evaluation strategies in nursing education.

Tuition: $12,690

#9. Texas Tech University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program is designed specifically for working nurses who are master’s degree-prepared.

Website

Texas Tech’s online doctor of nursing practice degree is based on the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Students will take courses like informatics and technology to improve healthcare, advancing policy and politics in healthcare, systems leadership for effectiveness, quality, and safety, and financial intelligence for the DNP leader.

Tuition: $11,878

#8. Regis University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Regis’ format features eight-week classes and allows students to access the coursework and lectures at any time, day or night.

Website

Regis University is CCNE-accredited and their online DNP program does not require on-campus intensives. The program is offered in both two-year and three-year formats. Students will take courses like theoretical application for doctoral nursing practice, informatics, epidemiology and health promotion for populations, and strategic planning in an evolving healthcare environment.

Tuition: $10,800

#7. Missouri State University–Springfield

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Graduates from this online DNP program are qualified to sit for the family nurse practitioner exam with both the ANCC and AANP.

Website

This CCNE-accredited online doctor of nursing practice degree offers two options: BSN to DNP and post-master’s DNP. This degree is offered part-time and full-time. The first-time boards pass rate of this program is 100% since 2007. Students will take courses like health policy to improve health disparities, technology for transforming nursing and healthcare systems, and emerging science of advanced practice.

Tuition: $9,198

#6. University of Central Arkansas

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The part-time plan of study for this online DNP requires six semesters over the course of two years to complete.

Website

Applicants must have completed 1,000 clinical internship hours post-BSN in accordance with AACN DNP requirements. This online doctor of nursing practice degree requires four two-day on-campus intensives throughout the course of the program. Students will take courses like health and public policy, psychological statistics, and applied clinical genetics and genomics.

Tuition: $8,749

#5. Arkansas State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This 41-credit program is AACN and NLNAC compliant.

Website

This online doctor of nursing practice degree starts each semester with a brief on-campus intensive experience. Applicants to this program must have a current advanced practice nursing license such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist. Students will take courses like epidemiology and population health, healthcare finance, and translational research for doctor of nursing practice.

Tuition: $8,749

#4. University of Alabama in Huntsville

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program does require two-day intensive sessions, although the number of those sessions is not specified.

Website

Online DNP students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville all pay the same low tuition rate regardless of residency status. The school offers programs for BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP students. Some of the courses available in this program are evidence-based practice strategies, health policy and politics: implications in healthcare, and interdisciplinary leadership and role development for practice excellence.

Tuition: $7,620

#3. Gardner-Webb University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The online DNP program at Gardner-Webb requires students to have earned a master of science in nursing degree both regionally and nationally accredited.

Website

Students in this ACEN-accredited online doctor of nursing practice program must be available to attend intensive sessions on campus once each semester. Applicants to the program must possess a 3.2 GPA on all previous graduate coursework and certifications in their practice area. Courses include theoretical foundations of nursing informatics, leadership in development and analysis of healthcare policy, and advanced healthcare economics and finance.

Tuition: $7,308

#2. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is affiliated with the teaching hospital, which does extensive charity and pro-bono care.

Website

Saint Francis Medical Center offers both clinical and leadership concentrations for their online doctor of nursing practice degree. Some of the classes offered in these concentrations include impact of ethics and law on healthcare, healthcare information systems and outcome management, and organizational management and leadership.

Tuition: $7,260

#1. Delta State University

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Delta State University’s three online DNP programs offer both part-time and full-time options.

Website

Delta State University offers online RN-DNP, BSN-DNP, and post-master’s DNP programs which take 4 years, 3 years, and 1-3 years to complete respectively. The post-master’s online doctor of nursing practice program includes courses like advanced theory and ethical issues in advanced nursing practice, advanced statistics for clinical practice, and business management and quality care in clinical practice.

Tuition: $6,012

CVO Staff
February 2017

This concludes our ranking of the 50 most affordable online doctor of nursing practice (online DNP) programs for 2017.