• Course Delivery
    80% to 99% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Nursing Practice, DNP

Doctor of Nursing Practice

US News and World Report - best grad nursing administration and leadership degrees 2023

Nurse leaders improve quality of care. This includes delivering safe, timely, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is designed for nurses who want to practice at an advanced level to improve health outcomes. Develop the skills and competencies required to be a leader in complex clinical practice settings. Built with you in mind, our DNP program features a carefully sequenced and integrated curriculum that is designed to deliver the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to propel your career to the next level. You'll succeed with the support of your peers as you progress on either a full time or part time plan of study.

The IU Online Doctor of Nursing Practice program coursework focuses on advanced leadership in complex systems, clinical decision making, population health management, evidence-based practice and translation, public health policy, and more. Our program is designed around your busy schedule. You will learn from your peers, faculty, and national and local nursing educators and leaders via a mix of distance-accessible coursework, and synchronous video-conference class times. Additionally, you will experience two on-campus intensives during the program. Staying together as a cohort throughout the program ties you together in professional partnerships that often continue to grow well beyond your graduation.

Your IU Online DNP degree prepares you to assume leadership positions in nursing and healthcare, in such careers as:

  • Director of nursing 
  • Chief nurse officer 
  • Nursing administrator 
  • Nurse manager 
  • Hospital nurse executive 
  • Clinic nurse executive 
  • Clinical nurse faculty 

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Nursing Practice features three unique program tracks designed to meet your educational experience and career needs:

  • Post-MSN Executive Leadership Track (minimum of 37 total credit hours)
  • Post-MSN Advanced Clinical Track (minimum of 37 total credit hours)
  • MBA or MHA to DNP Transition Option (50 total credit hours)

Total credit hours vary by program track. To graduate with the DNP degree, you must complete a minimum of 37 credit hours of DNP core coursework. 

1,000 total clinical hours are required to complete the DNP program. Students may apply up to 500 clinical hours from prior completed graduate nursing coursework towards the 1000 required clinical hours for the DNP. The remaining 500 clinical hours are achieved through the DNP Project. An MSN Clinical Hours Verification form will be completed by your MSN program at the time of application for Post-MSN track applicants. Students with a gap in clinical hours will complete additional DNP Project credits to achieve 1000 total clinical hours.

Requirements for the DNP Executive Leadership core curriculum are as follows: 

  • Nursing practice core courses (27 credit hours) 
  • DNP Practicum / DNP Project courses (7-11 total variable credit hours) (see below) 
  • Elective courses (3 credit hours)

DNP Practicum / DNP Project courses

  • NURS-D 709: Executive Leadership Practicum (1 credit) - OR - Population Health Practicum (1 credit)
  • NURS-D 750: DNP Project Planning (1-2 credits)
  • NURS-D 760: DNP Project Implementation (2-4 credits)
  • NURS-D 770: DNP Project Evaluation & Dissemination (3-4 credits) 

Advanced Clinical track

Students in the DNP Advanced Clinical track will take courses NURS-D 708 Population Health Practicum (1 credit) and NURS-D 660 Improving Population Health: Application of Evidence for Individual-Level Behavior Change (3 credits) in lieu of NURS-D 709 and NURS-D 744 respectively. 

MBA or MHA to DNP Transition option

Students in the MBA or MHA to DNP Transition option will complete 12 credit hours of MSN Leadership bridge coursework (including 225 clinical hours) prior to starting the DNP core curriculum.



To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  1. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
  2. Post-MSN Executive Leadership track and Post-MSN Advanced Clinical track: a Master of Science in Nursing (MS in Nursing or MSN) from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE accredited program
  3. MBA or MHA to DNP Transition track: a Bachelor of Science of Nursing from an NLNAC, ACEN, or CCNE accredited program, and an MBA or MHA from an AACSB or CEPH accredited program
  4. Current, unencumbered RN license
  5. Completion of a three-credit hour, graduate-level statistics course from an accredited four-year university with a grade of 80% (3.0) or better. This is not required to apply, but must be completed prior to beginning the DNP program.

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

Complete an online application that includes:

  • Transcripts for all post-secondary coursework completed
  • Three professional and/or academic references
  • Personal statement (two to three pages, double-spaced)
  • Resume or CV
  • An example of scholarly writing indicating capacity for original scholarship, demonstrated by reports, published and unpublished articles, or a thesis
  • Copy of your current, unencumbered RN license 
  • Documentation of masters clinical hours completed (Post-MSN tracks only) 

Qualified applicants are invited to a formal admission interview with DNP faculty.


NURS-D 615Performance Improvement & Patient Safety in Health Systems3 Credits
NURS-D 650Data Analysis for Clinical & Administrative Decision Making3 Credits
NURS-D 660 Improving Population Health: Application of Evidence for Individual-Level Behavior Change3 Credits
NURS-D 710Analytical Thinking for Evidence Based Practice3 Credits
NURS-D 721Advanced Leadership in Complex Systems3 Credits
NURS-D 722Theoretical Basis of Project Implementation and Evaluation3 Credits
NURS-D 735Population Health Surveillance & Management3 Credits
NURS-D 743Trans-disciplinary Approaches to Influencing Public Health Policy3 Credits
NURS-D 744Strategic Resource Leadership in Nursing & Health Systems3 Credits
NURS-D 748Leading Interprofessional Teams and Collaborative Practice Environments3 Credits

This course may be substituted with NURS-D 660: Improving Population Health: Application of Evidence for Individual-Level Behavior Change (3 credits)

Find course descriptions with our Search Schedule of Classes/Courses tool.

Tuition & Fees

Cost for Indiana Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $728.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2184.00
Note:  Additional fees will apply.
Cost for Out of State Residents
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $728.00
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $2184.00
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