Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Why Choose the DNP Program?

As an advanced practice nurse or clinical nurse leader, you play a pivotal role in modern health care. You are dedicated to your patients, passionate about your clinical specialty, and determined to improve health care delivery and outcomes. Imagine how much more of an impact you could make with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

More than 10 years ago, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) called for moving the level of preparation needed for advanced nursing practice from the master’s degree to the doctorate level.

Today, multiple national organizations agree; nurse practitioners must be prepared at the doctoral level as high-quality clinicians, leaders in interprofessional health care team delivery, and contributors to the redesign and improvement of health care delivery models. The DNP degree is now the recommended pathway for entry into advanced nursing practice. Likewise, nurse executives nationally recognize the value of DNP-prepared CNLs to help build a robust evidence-base for practice at the point of care delivery.

We enrolled our first DNP students in 2007 and our program is CCNE accredited. This part-time, hybrid online DNP program provides education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, leadership, policy advocacy, informatics, interprofessional collaboration, and systems thinking.

There are huge advantages to pursuing your DNP at an institution with the rich clinical resources and broad professional connections of the University of Rochester, the largest hospital and physician network in the region. Not only will you receive mentorship from expert faculty, but you’ll build close professional relationships across the extended UR network that will impact your future career.

At the UR School of Nursing, you’ll surround yourself with other big-picture thinkers and learn to understand and master the complexities that exist at the intersection of discovery and application to patient care, while working together to build real-world solutions that meet the health needs of individuals, systems, and populations.

There has never been a more exciting time to be an advanced practice nurse. Pursuing a DNP today will leave you well-positioned to lead innovative efforts to meet the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. Join us!

Program Options

This program is available to nurses entering at the post-baccalaureate or post-master’s level:

Post-BS to DNP program of study — For highly qualified nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing who want to earn their DNP degree. Post-baccalaureate students will select an area of practice specialty (NP or CNL). The post BS/CNL-DNP program can be completed in five years of part-time study.

Post-MS to DNP program of study For RN’s with master’s degrees as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse leader who want to earn their DNP degree and have a national specialty certification (if applicable). Master’s courses will be transferred into the program. This program can be completed in three years of part-time study.

Program Requirements and Application Process

Start your online application today. The full list of admission requirements to the DNP include:

  • a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing and official transcripts from all college-level study reflecting a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for undergraduate work and 3.5 for graduate work
  • national certification in your advanced practice nursing specialty (post-MS, if applicable)
  • curriculum vitae
  • positive letters of recommendation from a doctorally prepared academician, a supervisor in an employment setting, and a practicing RN (or APN) familiar with the applicant’s intellectual ability, academic achievement, and professional commitment
  • professional goal statement describing career objectives and areas of clinical interest
  • writing sample (academic paper, publication, or other written work on which applicant is first or sole author)
  • for international students, TOEFL with a minimum score of 560 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based) or 88 (iBT)
  • after all of the above have been received, an interview will be scheduled with the program director to discuss your program of study, area of interest and future professional goals.

What You Can Do with a DNP

As practice pioneers and clinical innovators, DNP-prepared nurses have an unprecedented opportunity to blaze new professional trails amidst a changing health care landscape. With a DNP from the UR School of Nursing, you’ll gain essential knowledge and skills to expand your future professional opportunities as a practice leader, clinical scholar, and change agent.  

Application Deadlines

The DNP program enrolls students in the summer, fall, or spring semester. Students can begin DNP coursework any semester, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Salary Potential

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for advanced practice registered nurses in 2015 was:

  • $104,740
    per year

Program Costs

Tuition for the DNP program is charged per credit hour. The tuition for 2016-17* is:

  • $1,400
    per credit hour
  • Employees at the University of Rochester may be eligible to receive a substantial tuition benefit (up to 80 to 95 percent tuition waiver).
  • *other fees may apply.

Program Duration

The DNP program is available part time for both post-BS and post-MS students to accommodate a full-time work schedule.

Students typically take two courses per semester. The duration of the post-BS program depends on course load and specialty. The post-master’s DNP program can be completed part time in just three years (seven semesters of coursework and two semesters to complete your DNP project).

Luis McCabe
I chose the DNP program at the UR SON because of the reputation of the university and its faculty. The atmosphere is one of genuine collegiality, respect, trust and intellectual freedom. Starting a DNP education at the UR SON has opened doors for me that otherwise would not have been available.
Luis Rosario McCabe, MS, RN, WHNP-BC, CNL, student in the DNP Program
Senior Nurse Practitioner at the Women’s Center at Lattimore, Senior Associate at the UR SON,