Frequently Asked Questions – Doctor of Nursing Practice
We offer admission twice a year in the fall and spring. Priority deadlines are February 15 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester. We will continue to accept applications after that date until all seats are filled with qualified candidates.
The graduate nursing program is online, with occasional pre-arranged campus meetings.
Courses average $732.06 per credit hour. You will need 76 credits for the BSN to DNP program. The post-master’s DNP requires 26-35. Please refer to the NIU planning and cost estimator for a personalized estimate.
Upon admission and with the approval of the director of nursing graduate studies, you may transfer up to six semester hours of applicable nursing coursework from outside of NIU. Additional credit may be granted for coursework completed in the master’s degree in the nursing program at NIU.
The DNP program is an online program; students may pursue the degree either full-time or part-time. You have 10 years to complete the program from the time all your prior coursework has been transferred to NIU.
Your degree will prepare you to work as a family nurse practitioner, high-level administrative positions in all parts of the healthcare system, faculty positions, policy positions in governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and other positions that require systems-level expertise.
As a DNP candidate, you will conduct a scholarly project, three semesters in length, designed to address a practice issue affecting groups of patients, health care organizations or health care systems. Students work with clinics, inpatient units, hospitals or health care systems to assess, plan, implement and evaluate an initiative jointly agreed upon by the practice setting, the student and the student's scholarly project team.
Post-BSN students are required to complete 76 credits and will complete an advanced practice specialty as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) along with the DNP. If you’re pursuing a DNP after earning your B.S. degree, you will be required to complete the Family Nurse Practitioner advanced role coursework. After completing the advanced role component, B.S. to DNP students may enroll in the DNP Leadership Component courses. Please note that clinical internship rotations in NURS 653, 663 and 673 must be completed with a preceptor in Illinois.
Students are required to complete 35 credits, over five to six semesters. If you’re pursuing a DNP after earning your M.S. degree, you will need to complete the DNP Leadership Component courses. The coursework is divided between core leadership courses and Scholarly Project courses plus an elective course. You can complete these 35 credits full-time or part-time.
The post-masters degree DNP path is open to nurses who have earned a master's degree in nursing with a preferred current national certification as an advanced practice nurse in one of four roles: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse Anesthetist or Nurse Midwife.
At this time, current licensure without encumbrances as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) in one of the four roles for the DNP is preferred, not required.
Yes. If you want to combine teaching and clinical practice, you could take electives in the area of nursing education while completing your DNP to help prepare you for that role. NIU School of Nursing offers a post-master’s certificate in nursing education.