Earning your terminal degree is just the beginning.

Your ambitious nature causes you to continually elevate your goals. Despite having already earned your master’s degree and established an advanced nursing career, you still feel a sense of urgency to learn more. Now you can gain even more satisfaction, momentum, confidence, and experience through Maryville University’s two online MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs:


For advanced practice nurses who have completed their MSN and wish to lead at the highest level.


For nurses who have completed their MSN and wish to become an NP or change their NP specialty, while also working toward their terminal DNP degree. The DNP-NP creates a pathway to earn your DNP while also earning the academic degree needed to take the respective NP credentialing examinations to earn your NP certification. There is an option to choose from five specialty areas: AGACNP, AGPCNP, FNP, PNP, and PMHNP.

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100% online with no campus visits required

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No GMAT or GRE required for admission

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Earn your DNP in as few as 20 months or your DNP-NP in as few as 36 months

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Complete clinicals locally in your preferred setting

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No waiting list once you’re accepted

Why earn your DNP degree?

You have your Master of Science in Nursing degree. Why the DNP degree? Why now?

There are as many reasons to pursue an online DNP program as there are opportunities waiting for you after graduation. When you earn your DNP, you learn to impact patient care from a higher level. As the baby boomer wave of experienced healthcare professionals prepares for retirement, new vacancies in high-level positions are emerging across the nation. The future of our healthcare system hangs in the balance — and we believe it can only be as strong as its leadership. That’s why now is the time to earn your DNP and lead the way.

Dr. Elizabeth Buck, Assistant Dean for Nursing, discusses the difference between a DNP and a Ph.D. Dr. Buck further explains the Maryville DNP program, including the esteemed curriculum, the scholarly project, and expected outcomes for DNP graduates.

Five ways to specialize your DNP-NP:

DNP-NP Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

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DNP-NP Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)

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DNP-NP Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

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DNP-NP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

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DNP-NP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

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The Maryville online DNP is designed to:

  • Prepare you for more autonomy, responsibility, and professional growth.
  • Develop your expertise with a greater focus on the scientific underpinnings of nursing, healthcare policy, and organizational leadership in the healthcare setting.
  • Help you advance your credentials and improve patient care within your specialization.
  • Equip you for the increasing complexity of community healthcare needs.
  • Expand your knowledge of evidence-based practice, clinical care research, patient outcomes, and clinical systems management.
  • Offer you a higher level of preparation for leadership in times of change.

What are the Maryville advantages for DNP students?

We’re a private, four-year institution ranked as one of America’s Best Colleges by both U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. When you choose us, you receive a highly flexible and highly regarded education with the added convenience of our 100% online learning platform. Here are a few more reasons why we offer you the best path:

  • Our program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The convenience of a 24/7 online learning model that syncs up with work, life, and family obligations.
  • Opportunities to study important topics that will help pave the way to a better future for yourself and others.
  • The chance to conduct research via clinical inquiry courses that will challenge assumptions.
  • A quality educational experience based on the principles of caring, collaboration, and excellence.
  • Exposure to faculty and nursing leaders who share their goals for public health and the nursing profession.

Why is the industry outlook for DNPs so strong?

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a two-year study titled “The Future of Nursing.” Results indicate an opportunity — and a responsibility — for nurses to take greater ownership of the healthcare field, with a recommendation to double the number of doctoral-prepared nurses by 2020.

There are many other factors propelling the advancement of the nursing profession. Here are a few of the demands driving opportunity and prompting a higher level of preparation among nurse leaders:

  • An impending shortage of primary care physicians which is anticipated to reach a minimum of 100,000 by 2025, with a greater scarcity in rural and inner city communities.
  • Shortages of advanced practice nurses. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) estimates that there is only one qualified candidate for every four available nurse practitioner jobs.
  • An additional shortage of nursing faculty as current academic leaders reach retirement. In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants in 2013 due to insufficient faculty and other compounding factors.
  • The emergence of nurse-run clinics to meet the needs for improved access to local community healthcare.
  • Rising healthcare needs of an aging population.
  • Increasingly complex healthcare system and patient needs.
  • Rapidly expanding knowledge underlying practice.
  • National concerns about quality outcomes and patient safety.

Career Opportunities for DNPs

Reach the pinnacle of your career — and enjoy the view. Your career requires you to make decisions every day that impact lives. When you decide to pursue your DNP or DNP-NP with Maryville, it impacts the entire healthcare system.

The role of a DNP gives you the chance to:

  • Conduct clinical research or advocate for legislative change in healthcare policy.
  • Become a practice manager or gain CEO status within a healthcare organization.
  • Potentially earn a six-figure salary with greater autonomy. Many of our grads do.
  • Apply evidence-based research to improve the quality of patient care — locally, nationally, or even globally.
  • Advocate for patient safety rights and practices, from lift equipment to infection control to data security and beyond.
  • Drive collaborative projects as a leader and a champion for the future of nursing progress.
  • Sit at the executive table, or in a government seat, where all-encompassing decisions are made.

Where do DNPs work?

  • An internal medicine practice
  • A specialty practice, such as cardiology or oncology
  • A university or college teaching tomorrow’s nurses
  • An autonomous practice (23 states now permit those with a doctor of nursing practice degree to open their own clinics and become their own boss)
  • A range of hospitals and other healthcare institutions
  • A plethora of administrative and political roles

Founded in 1872 — Top Ranked for Today

Proud to be recognized as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes.

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission — HLC

Forbes America's Top Colleges 2017

Ranked among “America’s Top Colleges” — Forbes, 2017

Kiplinger's Best College Values

Ranked among the best values in private colleges
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 2017

CCNE Accredited

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education — CCNE

Online DNP Curriculum

The online DNP program can be completed in as few as 20 months. The online DNP-NP program can be completed in as few as 36 months depending on the concentration selected. You have the option of starting in the spring, summer, or fall. All of your courses can be completed 100% online.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Core and Capstone Courses

The DNP program is 11 courses, 33 credit hours

Doctor of Nursing Practice Foundation Courses (15 credit hours)

NURS 700Principles of Epidemiology and Biostatistics3 Credits
NURS 701Foundations of Clinical Scholarship3 Credits
NURS 702Integrating and Synthesizing Research3 Credits
NURS 709Advanced Health Care Policy3 Credits
NURS 710Graduate Statistics 3 Credits

Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone Courses (18 credit hours)

NURS 703Ethics For Advanced Nursing Practice3 Credits
NURS 704Quality and Patient Safety in Advanced Nursing Practice3 Credits
NURS 705Clinical Inquiry I3 Credits
NURS 706Clinical Inquiry II3 Credits
NURS 707Clinical Inquiry III3 Credits
NURS 708Organizations Theory and Systems Leadership3 Credits

Doctor of Nursing Practice with NP Concentration (DNP-NP)

DNP-NP students complete the courses listed above plus:

Graduate Nursing Core Courses (6 credit hours)

NURS 603Professional Role Development3 Credits
NURS 610Health Promotion/Disease Prevention3 Credits

Nurse Practitioner Core Courses (11 credit hours)

NURS 611Advanced Pathophysiology 3 Credits
NURS 612Advanced Health Assessment5 Credits
NURS 615Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics3 Credits