As an advanced practice nurse, you have devoted your career to making a difference in your patients’ lives through the field of nursing. 

As an advanced practice nurse, you have devoted your career to making a difference in your patients’ lives through the field of nursing.

Now you can build on your knowledge and expertise to strengthen your advanced nursing practice, augment healthcare delivery, and improve patient outcomes through Walden’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. The online DNP’s coursework covers a range of topics, including healthcare policy and advocacy, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, information systems/technology, advanced nursing practice, and organizational and systems leadership.

Doctor of Nursing Practice - Practicum FAQsOur online DNP program incorporates fieldwork to allow you to apply your learning in a real-world environment. Review the PDF for the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the field experience within our DNP program.

With the American Association of Colleges of Nursing calling for advanced practice nurses to hold doctoral degrees, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice, by 2015,* earning your DNP at Walden through our online DNP program can position you for advancement in your specialty. Assume greater practice and leadership roles in healthcare organizations, evaluate and apply research that contributes to better patient outcomes, and promote a more effective and efficient healthcare system.

Our online DNP program can do more than give you the opportunity to change your world—it can provide you with the knowledge and practical experience to positively change the lives of others.

DNP Accreditation

CCNE logoWalden’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Among other benefits, CCNE accreditation:

  • Ensures the DNP program meets national standards of quality and relevance to the profession.
  • Prepares you to address the need for highly trained advanced practice nurses.

*American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Talking Points,” on the Internet at (viewed online Sept. 27, 2012).

"I now have the language, the confidence and the understanding to really go and make an impact." - Melissa Thomas

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

Request Information


U.S. / Canadian postal codes only.
  • Discover Nursing video

    Discover Walden's School of Nursing

    Learn how Walden’s CCNE-accredited programs, faculty, and flexible online format can help you advance your nursing career. Watch now.

  • Scholarship Opportunities

    Find out how you can fund your nursing degree with scholarships.

    Learn More

  • Discover DNP video

    Discover our CCNE-accredited DNP

    Learn how Walden can help you practice at the highest level of nursing. Watch now.

  • Nursing Education: Where It’s Headed

    Get insights on the future of nursing from a panel of experts, including Walden’s DNP program director.

    Watch Now

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition and Fees

  • Career Options

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Learn More

This program is designed for RNs who have a master’s degree in nursing and an area of advanced nursing practice.

Completion Requirements

  • 47—53 total quarter credits (depending upon total practicum hours earned prior to admission into the program)
    • Core courses (47 cr.)
    • DNP field experience (1—6 cr.)
    • DNP project (completed within the following courses: NURS 8410, NURS 8400, NURS 8500, and NURS 8510)

Time to completion may vary by student depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Students may transfer up to 23 doctoral quarter credits. Work experience is not eligible for transfer of credit. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion and to find out whether you can transfer credits, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Core Courses

Field Experience

    • Quarter
    • Course #
    • Course Title
    • Credits

Project Completion (if necessary)

*NURS 8700, DNP Project Mentoring (0 credits), is taken concurrently with these courses. It will serve as a platform for the ongoing collaborative learning communication between students' and their DNP Project Committee chairs and as a repository for drafts and documentation materials related to the DNP Project. Students will be assigned to sections of NURS 8700 based on their DNP Project Committee chair. There is no cost for the course.

The DNP requires a minimum of 1,000 post-BSN practicum hours, with at least 500 hours at the DNP level. Students who need more practicum hours to meet this requirement may take this course for additional credits (up to six times). Each credit hour is equal to 72 practicum hours to help students reach a total of 1,000 practicum hours.

This additional 3-credit course is only needed if the student has not completed the DNP project by the end of NURS 8510.


Find out more about the DNP program now.  Request Information

Next State Date is October 13.  Apply Now

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost Total*
Tuition 47 total quarter credit hours $775 per quarter hour $36,425
Books and Materials Estimated costs Included in tuition $0
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $960
    Total $37,385
    Transfer up to 23 credits $18,305
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $19,080

Tuition Savings Available

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Transfer credits for you doctoral program

The nursing profession continues to demonstrate high-growth potential:

  • Advanced practice nurse positions grew by 68% from 2000 to 2008.*
  • Nurse practitioner positions are projected to increase 23% through 2016.*
  • Nearly 50,000 nursing instructors and teachers will be needed in higher education institutions by 2018.
  • The demand for registered nurses is predicted to increase by 22% between 2008 and 2018.*

The DNP program can position you to take on higher-level leadership and education roles across the healthcare industry so you can make significant contributions to improving the quality of patient care and enhancing the training of nursing professionals.

If you have the right experience and training, Walden’s DNP program can help position you for roles such as:

  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
  • Nurse administrator
  • Manager of informatics
  • Nursing policy positions—Director of government policy
  • Director/manager of Health Policy
  • Clinical research director
  • Risk management: RN ethics and compliance officers
  • RN directors and managers in all specialties
  • Safety officers, directors, managers
  • Research and Simulation center directors, managers
  • Clinical teaching positions
    • Pediatrics
    • Maternity
    • Medical/surgical
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Trauma—disaster preparedness
    • CRNA
    • Perioperative

Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010–2011,” on the Internet at (viewed online Jan. 28, 2011). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

This practice-focused doctoral program can help you:

  • Practice at the highest level of nursing by integrating knowledge from the sciences with nursing science, technology, and organizational and systems leadership.
  • Translate theory and research into evidence-based practice that improves the health of populations and communities through clinical prevention and population health activities.
  • Lead policy development and influence and implement regulations affecting patient care in today’s healthcare environment.
  • Develop advanced competencies and expertise to prepare for increasingly complex clinical, faculty, and leadership roles.
  • Enhance your talents as a nurse leader so you can strengthen your nursing practice and healthcare delivery.
  • Meet the country’s critical need for doctoral-level nurses who can prepare and mentor the next generation of nurses. Phi Nu Chapter logo.
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and connect with nurses around the world to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.

As a student in Walden’s online DNP program, you can benefit from Walden’s engaging online learning format and from our experience creating new online education technology, like MobileLearn®.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program:

Lifelong Learning for Nurses

Wherever you are in your nursing career, Walden offers a program to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Learn from experts in the field and collaborate with nurses from around the country as you pursue a degree that can help you make a greater difference.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program

  • Earn a BSN without compromising your personal or professional obligations.
  • Equip yourself with the tools you need for success in a nursing career through a flexible, relevant, evidence-based online nursing degree program.
  • Gain an advantage when applying to master’s degree programs with a BSN that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

  • Choose from specializations that help you meet your specific career goals.
  • Contribute to positive social change in your community by becoming a leader in the profession.
  • Gain an advantage when applying to doctoral degree programs with an MSN that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Post-Master’s Certificates in Nursing

  • Add depth to your degree or pursue a new specialization.
  • Gain the credentials you need to advance your career if you have been away from the educational environment for some time.
  • Prepare for professional development and leadership positions.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

  • Enhance your talents as a nurse leader in order to serve at the highest level within your existing specialty.
  • Assume greater practice and leadership roles in community-based healthcare organizations, evaluate and apply research that contributes to better patient outcomes, and promote a more effective and efficient healthcare system.
  • Help fill the need for advanced practice nurses holding doctoral degrees.
Walden University’s MSN and BSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036, 1-202-887-6791. CCNE is a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs in preparing effective nurses. For students, accreditation signifies program innovation and continuous self-assessment.

    Which Program is Right for You?

    Doctoral Nursing Comparison ChartWhether you want to directly impact nursing practice today or conduct cutting-edge research that improves patient care tomorrow, Walden’s School of Nursing now offers two doctoral degree programs designed to meet your career goals.

    View the comparison chart for an overview of Ph.D. in Nursing and the DNP to help you determine which program is right for you.

    Choose the research-focused Ph.D. in Nursing program if you want to:

    • Advance your career as a nursing scientist, researcher, educator, or policymaker.
    • Conduct research at the highest levels in your field.
    • Engage in interdisciplinary coursework and projects that prepare you to lead and collaborate with diverse healthcare teams.
    • Shape future healthcare policies and programs for the next generation of nursing professionals.

    Choose the practice-focused Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program if you want to:

    • Advance your career as a chief nursing officer, nurse administrator, manager of health informatics, or policy professional.
    • Evaluate and apply research to improve patient outcomes and promote a more effective healthcare system.
    • Gain experience in the clinical setting through field experience courses.
    • Educate or mentor the next generation of nurses.

    We'll Take Care of the Details

    When you enroll in this program, you don’t need to worry about buying books or registering for classes. We’ll do that for you.

    Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

    1. Translate research findings to direct evidence-based nursing practice.
    2. Develop organizational system changes for quality improvement in healthcare delivery in response to local and/or global community needs.
    3. Apply optimal utilization of healthcare information technology across healthcare settings.
    4. Advocate for the advancement of nursing and healthcare policy through sharing of science-based knowledge with healthcare policy makers.
    5. Demonstrate leadership to facilitate collaborative teams for improving patient and population health outcomes.
    6. Utilize advanced nursing practice knowledge to implement methodologies to improve population health outcomes.
    7. Establish a foundation for lifelong learning for continual elevation of contributions to the field of nursing through active involvement in professional organizations and/or other professional bodies.

    For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.