Learn more about the Villanova DNP difference!

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the DNP program is to prepare Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Certified Nurse-Midwives, as well as Nurse Administrators, with advanced knowledge in evidence-based practice, organizational leadership, and financial acumen to lead innovation in nursing practice and health care.

Back to Top

What can I do with a DNP in nursing?

The DNP is a practice focused doctoral program which prepares students to translate nursing science into clinical practice to improve health care outcomes for patients in the clinical and community settings.

Back to Top

Is this a full-time or part-time program?

The DNP program is offered both full- and part-time.  The curriculum is designed for the working professional to complete the DNP in five consecutive semesters (full-time) or eight consecutive semesters (part-time). For both full- and part-time options, please review the Plan of Study information.

Back to Top

Should I get a DNP or a PhD?

The DNP and PhD are committed to advancing the profession of nursing through scholarly efforts. However the PhD is a research focused doctorate. The PhD student is prepared to generate new knowledge in nursing. The DNP is a practice focused doctorate designed to implement nursing knowledge to improve clinical practice. 

Back to Top

Can I work while obtaining the DNP?

The DNP program is designed to meet the needs of the working professionals. The curriculum is implemented using a distance learning approach complemented by on-campus sessions. The on-campus sessions begin with a one-week information and educational seminar the summer of the first semester. Students then have the opportunity to come to campus each semester to meet with their cohort and faculty.  For a detailed curriculum plan, please review the Plan of Study information.

Back to Top

Will I have to complete additional practice hours for the DNP program?

In order to meet the DNP requirements, students must complete a minimum of 1000 practice hours. APRNs may transfer 500 practice hours from their MSN program. Nurse administrators will be required to provide a portfolio demonstrating practice hours, certifications and other items to fulfill the 500 practice hour requirement. An additional 500 practice hours are required to complete the DNP.  The 500 practice hours include in-depth experiences with nursing and interdisciplinary professionals to acquire advanced knowledge to assist with collecting, synthesizing and disseminating the acquired knowledge into the DNP project. These practice hours are focused on the DNP curricula content and DNP Project. Please see Plan of Study listing practice hours applied to course content and DNP Project.

Back to Top

Is the program offered online or on campus?

The DNP curriculum is offered predominately online but offers students the opportunity to come to campus each semester to meet with their cohort and faculty.  Students can expect to meet online two evenings a week each semester. The on-campus sessions begin with a one-week information and educational seminar the summer of the first semester. Students will then meet on campus for one weekend in both fall and spring semesters and again for one week in the summer. See the Plan of Study.

Back to Top

How many credits are required?

The DNP is a 32 credit Post MSN program.

Back to Top

Does the DNP Program accept transfer credits?

No, the DNP Program does not accept transfer credits.

Back to Top

Where can I find the curriculum plan?

For a detailed curriculum plan for the current DNP cohort, please review the Plan of Study information.

Back to Top

When are applications accepted?

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until the Summer Cohort is full.  Students begin the program with a one week on campus visit in Summer Session I (early June).

Back to Top

Is there a dissertation requirement?

The DNP program requires students to complete a scholarly DNP Project under the direction of a DNP Project Faculty and DNP Project Clinical Mentor.  The DNP Project exemplifies the culmination of advanced nursing knowledge and expertise in clinical practice at doctoral level intensity.

Back to Top

What is the DNP scholarly project?

The emphasis of the DNP program is on broad “systems thinking” in order to facilitate the design and implementation of models of patient care and clinical practice. A scholarly DNP project offers students the opportunity to apply advanced empirical and theoretical knowledge to design, implement, evaluate and intervene in the clinical environment based on the evidence. A DNP advisor assists the student through the DNP project process. It is expected that students will focus on clinical issues and/or organizational systems that promote safe, effective, efficient and accessible care for individuals, groups or populations.

Back to Top

What are the computer requirements for the DNP program?

The DNP program is primarily a distance learning program.  Please review the computer requirements for distance learning to ensure your computer and communications hardware and software meets or exceeds Villanova’s distance learning requirements.

Back to Top

How are the distance learning classes scheduled?

The distance learning classes will be offered online Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Back to Top

Will I be able to obtain a nursing faculty position with a DNP?

The DNP program is designed to prepare APRNs and nurse administrators with the highest level of education in nursing practice.  DNPs may teach in academic settings however the course work does not prepare the DNP student with the science of pedagogy.  Students interested in receiving courses in education may consider a Post Master’s certificate to build on their clinical degree.  Students may also consider our PhD program which prepares teacher-scholars for academic settings.

Back to Top

Are GRE scores required for admission into the DNP program?

No.  GRE scores are not required.

Back to Top

Do I need to complete additional course work before I start the DNP?

Students must have completed a graduate level research course and received a grade of B or higher.

Back to Top

What is the minimum grade point average required for acceptance into the DNP program.

The DNP program is highly competitive.  A 3.5 grade point average is required for admission into the DNP program.

Back to Top

What is the tuition for the DNP Program?

The tuition is $44,000 and accepted students pay a $1,000 seat fee.  This fee is not applied towards tuition. The University bills a student fee of $50 per semester.

Back to Top

Is there financial assistance available?

Yes, you can obtain information about financial assistance at the Financial Assistance website.

Back to Top

DNP student presenting

Contact us


Debra Shearer, EdD, MSN, FNP-BC
Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Liz Nicastro
DNP Program Assistant