Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Track

Welcome to the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) track. Our synchronous, online DNP is a practice-focused doctoral track designed to prepare post-master’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and nurse executives 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 executives 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 health care 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.

In the News

Martha Mulvey '17 DNP

Martha Mulvey was selected as the 2018-2019 recipient of AACN’s Excellence in Advancing Nursing Practice Award. This award is granted for an outstanding project in a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program for her scholarly project: "An electronic health record cue identifies adult epilepsy patients at risk for obstructive sleep apnea". 

Monica Cades '17 DNP

Monica Cades ’17 DNP won first place in the DNP Student Poster Award at ENRS. Her poster entitled "Identifying and Staging Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Patients with Hypertension and Diabetes in Primary Care through Pre-Visit Planning" was based on her DNP project. Her project focused on the role that Primary Care Nurse Practitioners can have in correctly diagnosing CKD in at-risk patients. Monica’s project involved using a tool completed by the staff at primary care offices prior to the visit to increase the number of patients with CKD who are correctly diagnosed. She found inspiration for her project at a conference on Chronic Kidney Disease that was jointly held by the National Kidney Foundation and Lehigh Valley Health System and was able to translate this knowledge into practice.


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.


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 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.

Read the Notices for Distance Education Programs

Villanova University is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to conduct practice experiences in the state of Washington for the Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Contact Us


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

Rachel N'Diaye
Doctoral Programs Assistant