Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Tiffany N.


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 DNP programs:


For advanced practice nurses who have completed their MSN and wish to lead at the highest level. A DNP degree can help you learn some of the skills you’ll need to pursue a wide range of advanced healthcare positions, including specialized advanced nursing careers, administrative leadership positions, policy roles, and academic positions. All of these roles offer the opportunity to improve patients’ lives and make healthcare better, whether by leading other nurses, educating future nurses, or influencing health policy.


For nurses who have completed their MSN and wish to become an NP, while also working through their terminal Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. 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 coursework 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 is the industry outlook for DNPs so strong?

Female doctor of nursing practice holding a clipboard

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.

Why earn your DNP degree?

You have your Master of Science in Nursing degree. Why an online DNP program? Why now?

There are as many reasons to complete an online Doctor of Nursing Practice 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, former 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.

Tiffany N

Tiffany N., graduate, Doctor of Nursing Practice

“The way that the curriculum is set up at Maryville, each semester built upon the previous one, so we’re learning as we go. It’s not an overwhelming process. A lot of times, that’s much like our careers are in the healthcare field. We all have something new to learn, every single day.”

Five ways to specialize your online DNP-NP:

A pediatric nurse practitioner with a patient.

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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Male doctor of nursing practice

The Maryville online DNP programs are 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 online DNP program 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.

Career Opportunities for online DNP program graduates

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 online 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
Forbes America's Top Colleges
Kiplinger Best College Values
CCNE Accredited

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Maryville University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Online DNP Programs Curriculum

As you push toward the highest echelon of your nursing career, you’ll need an education that prepares you for the challenges you’ll face and the opportunities you’ll find. That’s what we designed our online Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum to do. Maryville University offers you the chance to pursue your online DNP degree on its own, or to earn it with a nurse practitioner concentration.

Our online DNP program is designed for nurses who already have their MSN and want to lead at the highest levels of the profession, and it can be completed in as few as 20 months. Our online DNP-NP program can be completed in as few as 36 months, depending on the concentration you select.

You have the option of starting either program in the spring, summer, or fall. All of your courses can be completed 100% online. You can learn more at our curriculum page.

Advanced leadership for an advancing field.

When you earn your online DNP at Maryville, you enter a program that is focused on leadership across the nursing field. We hope to equip you with the skills and knowledge to grow and achieve your goals in nursing. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the field in detail with advanced courses in subjects like epidemiology, statistics, research, ethics, and systems leadership.

Online DNP-NP option.

If you want to become an NP, you can develop those skills while you earn your DNP online with just 17 additional credit hours.* You’ll have the opportunity to build your general nursing skill set with courses like Professional Role Development, and you’ll build your NP competencies through advanced courses in pathophysiology, health assessment, and pharmacotherapeutics.

To ensure the best possible educational experience for our students, we may update our curriculum to reflect emerging and changing employer and industry trends. Professional licensure and certification regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for the state in which they intend to practice to verify specific licensure requirements which includes ensuring the program of interest meets the licensure requirements prior to enrolling. Students may visit the professional licensure page or reach out to our team of enrollment advisors for guidance.

Apply to the online doctor of nursing practice program at Maryville University.