DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice


When you earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree from NIU, you'll be ready to lead in both practice and scientific inquiry. This degree is in demand. Both the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing call for advanced practice nurses to hold a D.N.P. degree. The D.N.P. degree is practice-focused, as opposed to a Ph.D. degree, which is research-focused.

With our flexible D.N.P. program, you can balance work and family obligations while taking your career to the next level. You can pursue the degree full or part time. You'll have access to the outstanding curriculum and faculty our nursing school is known for, with the added convenience of working at your own pace. The coursework for the program is offered completely online, with occasional meetings on the NIU campus. Practicum experiences must be completed in person.


Our education model (PDF) emphasizes a wide range of advanced nursing knowledge and skills. Your coursework will focus on addressing the issues and needs of diverse client populations and health care systems through evidence-based practices.

We'll provide you with the resources and opportunities you need to advance your career, including:

  • Instruction centered on current evidence-based content
  • Participation in real-world experiences
  • The ability to transfer up to six credit hours from outside of NIU

You'll complete a scholarly project as part of your coursework. Over the course of three semesters, you'll work with a team to plan, implement and evaluate an initiative that addresses a practice issue in a health care organization or system.

Learn more about course requirements.

Career Outlook

As an NIU student, you'll benefit from the resources and connections provided by the Alumni Association and Career Services. You'll also benefit from our strong network of industry partnerships. In addition, you'll have access to our full-time program coordinator, who will help set up your practicum experiences.

When you graduate, you'll be prepared for specialized nursing practice in a clinical or academic setting. You'll also be eligible to sit for national certification as a family nurse practitioner, if you're not already certified. In addition, by taking nursing education electives while completing your degree, you can become qualified to teach at a college or university, or within a health care system.

Our graduates excel in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurse educator
  • Vice president of patient services
  • Vice president of nursing
  • Clinical program director
  • Health care system administrator
  • Faculty member

Admission Information

You need to have a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing in order to apply to our Doctor of Nursing Practice program. You also need to meet NIU's clinical requirements. Review our admission information for complete details.

Ready to get started? Learn how to apply to a graduate program.

Tuition news

NIU has recently eliminated the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate for both undergraduate and graduate students, making it financially easier for you to take advantage of our excellent programs. Learn more.

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