Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Track

US News & World Report Ranking Badge

Welcome to the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) track. Our DNP is a practice-focused doctoral track designed to prepare post-master’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and nurse administrators to lead innovation in nursing practice and health care. This fully CCNE-accredited track enjoys a 100% completion rate.

The goal of the Villanova DNP is to prepare APRNs, including Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Certified Nurse-Midwives, and nurse administrators with advanced knowledge in evidence-based practice, organizational leadership, and financial acumen to lead innovation in nursing practice and healthcare. The complex issues and changing landscape of healthcare have created a need for nurse leaders to respond effectively and implement solutions with interdisciplinary teams or independently in order to achieve positive health care outcomes for individuals and populations.

What do alumni say? 

MSN and DNP alumni rate programs with top scores

College of Nursing DNP alumni from 2014 and 2015 were surveyed on key satisfaction measures relating to their respective programs through Educational Benchmarking, Inc. (EBI).  EBI is a national standardized survey that is recognized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to be an important program outcome measure. The program earned high scores.

The DNP program scored highly in the realms of overall program effectiveness, learning and satisfaction and, like the MSN program, exceeded the scores of its well-known, six peer institutions from across the country. The Villanova DNP alumni ranked this program higher than peer alumni did for their respective programs in learning and satisfaction areas including:  importance of and enhancement of learning outcomes; interactions, networking and educational activities contributing to practice; and provision of necessary skills and knowledge and promotion of a successful career.



Enjoy an evening of conversation, drinks and light fare as you connect with DNP program director, Dr. Debra Shearer, students and faculty and learn more about our online, post-Master's DNP. Attendees are encouraged to bring a friend/colleague also interested in pursuing a Villanova DNP.

  • 11/15: anytime between 4 - 7 pm: The Inn at Villanova University, 601 County Line Rd., Radnor, Pa
RSVP to   

IF YOU ARE EMPLOYED BY AN AFFILIATE OF THE FITZPATRICK COLLEGE OF NURSING, you will be considered eligible for a 15% tuition discount. Questions? Contact DNP Program Director Dr. Debra Shearer at or 610.519.8337.

Are you dedicated to the care of children with spina bifida? If so, learn more about our Ashley Rose Pitek Nurse Scholars Fellowship and apply.


DNP Program Overview with Dr. Debra Shearer

DNP Program Overview

DNP Information Session with Dr. Debra Shearer and DNP Student Matt McCoy

Important Notices for Online Prospective and Current Students

The following page includes important information regarding the University’s authorization status, students’ responsibilities related to relocation and programs leading to professional licensures, and the complaint process for online students.

>>Notices for Distance Education Programs.pdf

My view

“When exploring doctoral programs, it was important to me to find a program that had an extensive clinical option that would advance my current nursing practice. The DNP Program has already greatly enhanced both my clinical knowledge and leadership skills. By completing its requirements, I am preparing for the future of health care. As a practicing DNP clinician, I have the opportunity and necessary skills to transform the health-care system.”
—Matthew McCoy ’13 DNP, CRNA


Contact Us


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

Rachel N'Diaye
DNP Program Assistant

Doctor of Nursing Practice