Nursing D.N.P.

Nursing student at clinical site
Nursing D.N.P.

Program Overview

What is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree?

The need for advanced practice nursing professionals is expected to grow, and now’s the perfect time to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The UNH DNP program is designed for students who hold a master of science degree in nursing or an equivalent field. The DNP emphasizes clinical, practice-oriented leadership training, and is designed to give you the skills to have a greater impact on the world of healthcare. You’ll increase your earning potential, discover new opportunities and learn how to become a leader with the ability to improve patient outcomes and influence important health policy.

Why study your DNP at UNH?

The online DNP is designed for working professionals who want to further their education while balancing the demands of a career, family and everyday life. The program is asynchronous, meaning you’ll be able to complete readings and coursework on your own schedule. Its low residency requirements involve only two campus visits, through which you’ll be able to better connect with other students and your professors. You’ll also have the support of a full-time faculty advisor who will help you balance your workload and manage your academic schedule. Begin in January or August, and complete the coursework in 18-28 months.

Potential careers

  • Advanced practice registered nurse
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Chief nursing officer
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Director of critical care
  • Healthcare manager
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Nurse educator
  • Researcher


Department of Nursing
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-2271

Curriculum & Requirements

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses for the highest level of specialized nursing practice. DNP graduates are prepared to translate evidence into practice, improve systems of care, and measure health outcomes in diverse settings. Graduates of the DNP program are prepared for culturally competent, evidence-based, system-based care, interprofessional collaboration and leadership. DNP graduates are distinguished by their abilities to:

  • Affect practice
  • Design and implement programs that improve health and healthcare delivery
  • Apply data management and informatics skills to evaluate programs, outcomes, and care systems
  • Influence health policy

Requirements for the Online Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree include:

  • 8 core courses and 3 doctoral seminars completed at the level of B-­ or better;
  • verification of 1,000 advanced practice clinical hours (includes up to 500 clinical hours earned in master's program);
  • a publishable scholarly paper;
  • successful oral defense of your DNP Project; and
  • acceptance of the DNP Project Final Report by your DNP Team.

All courses are offered 100% online. Students are required to attend two on-campus residencies:

  • the first 2-3 day residency is early in the program to meet with peers and nursing faculty, and identify ideas for the DNP project; and
  • the second residency is at the end of the program, for the oral presentation and defense of the DNP Project. 

Cohorts are admitted twice a year, with starts in January and August.

The DNP program builds upon the experience of master's-­prepared nurses. Registered nurses who have obtained an MS in nursing (NP, CRNA, CNMW, CNL, CNS, Nurse Executive, Health Systems Management, Health Informatics) or equivalent degree (MBA, MHA, MPH) are welcome to apply.

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires students complete 21-33 credits via 11 courses.  The online DNP program aims to produce graduates prepared to improve health and care outcomes through coursework in organizational and systems leadership, quality improvement processes, and translation of evidence into practice, to name a few.

Degree Requirements

ADMN 912Managing Yourself & Leading Others3
ADMN 952Organizations, Leadership, and Environments3
MATH 837Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement and Design3
NURS 963Advanced Clinical Epidemiology3
NURS 964Technology and Health Care3
NURS 967Evidence Synthesis3
NURS 969Health Policy and Finance3
NURS 973Health Care Quality3
NURS 980Doctoral Scholarly Project I3
NURS 981Doctoral Scholarly Project II3
NURS 982Doctoral Scholarly Project III3

Students are required to successfully complete DNP coursework, have 1,000 documented advanced practice clinical hours (includes up to 500 clinical hours earned in master's program), produce a publishable scholarly paper, and successfully defend their DNP Project.

If a student completed fewer than 500 clinical hours in their Master’s program, the student must enroll in NURS 970 Clinical Practicum for Advanced Practice Nurse, under the supervision of the DNP director.  NURS 970 is a 2-credit course and allows the student to complete up to 250 clinical practicum hours; this course may be repeated once. 

Explore Program Details

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