Become an Industry Leader with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

In order to maintain high quality health care services across the country, leaders in the nursing industry must continually revisit polices and best practices. Academic curriculum must be constantly updated, students must receive the latest education with access to new technologies, health systems need to be updated, nurses must provide patients with the best quality advanced care, and health policies need revising. These are just a few of the responsibilities given to graduates with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Individuals who complete a doctorate degree are counted on to become leaders within both their industry and their community. To learn more about the education options available to those who wish to purse a doctorate, review our list of featured programs below.

Featured DNP Programs (RN Required)

  • Governors State University has a DNP program available through their College of Nursing. Graduates enter careers in specialized practice, community behavior, education or administration, and the focus is on developing strong leadership skills. This is a part-time degree for working professionals that is mainly attended onsite. Students take two courses every term and the program consists of forty four semester credits. All degree requirements must be completed in five years, but most students only take three years. All application materials must be finalized and submitted before May 1st of each year.
  • The Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University has an extensive DNP program available. Students are prepared for leadership positions in clinical or administrative roles throughout the health care industry. Onsite attendance is required for rare intensives, but the majority of courses are completely online. This is a thirty four semester hour program that is typically completed in two years. The annual deadline date for applications is February 1st.
  • A CCNE accredited DNP program is offered by the College of Nursing at Rush University. A wide variety of practitioner and leadership concentrations are available for students to choose from, and there is also an option for anesthesia. While onsite attendance is infrequently necessary, most coursework is studied online. There are part-time and full-time options. The length of the program is also determined by the specialty being pursued. Students generally complete the degree requirements in two to four years. There are differing application deadline dates for applications relating to the various concentrations. Contact the school personally to find out about this information.
  • The DNP program offered by the Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing focuses on clinical and leadership training. This is a comprehensive program that will allow graduates to pursue a number of fulfilling positions. Courses are delivered predominantly online and there are options for part-time study if working full-time. Students are encouraged to complete all the degree requirements in three years. Deadline dates for applications change on a yearly basis. Please inquire about them from the school.
  • The School of Nursing offers a DNP program at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Advanced specialty practitioners are further prepared to design, evaluate, identify and manage systems, practices and outcomes of entire populations. While the program is considered online, traditional classroom attendance is sometimes required. Although the majority of students complete the program in two years, a plan of study is usually determined with a faculty mentor. March 1st is the final deadline for applications and classes begin in the Fall.
  • A DNP program is available through the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Building on advanced specialty practice, students are taught how to encompass clinical practices that influence a variety of healthcare outcomes. Part-time and full-time options exist, and all courses are taught in a web-enhanced format. Academic mentors plan a study schedule with each student prior to the start of classes. On average, the program is completed in two to three years. Please make sure your application is submitted and received by the school no later than February 1st.
  • The Leach College of Nursing at the University of St. Francis offers a DNP program. Students are taught how to direct health care to populations, influence health policies, promote the health of the public, manage disparities, and integrate the latest treatment protocols into practice. This is an online program that students are able to study according to a flexible plan. The program consists of forty five semester credit hours that take students between two and three years to complete. Please do not hesitate to enquire about these dates from the school.

Illinois DNP Checklist

It is recommended for those who enjoy delivering specialized care to obtain this degree, but a long record of academic achievement is essential. With only a few students admitted into these programs annually, there is immense competition among them. While graduate education must be completed prior to entering the doctorate, there are bridge programs that will benefit those without their MSN. A certain standard of high grades will need to be maintained throughout graduate coursework in order to be eligible for acceptance into the doctorate. Schools are strict in their requirements and several prerequisites must be met in full. This is a list of what you will need when applying to a DNP program in Illinois:

  • While it is likely that a background check will be performed, you must go for a full medical checkup. The school will insist that you have been vaccinated against several diseases.
  • A total of three letters of reference must be submitted by previous academic authorities, physicians, working colleagues, or employers.
  • An overall Grade Point Average score of 3.0 is required by most schools, but some only consider those with no less than 3.5. This is on a scale of 4.0.
  • Ensure that all academic experiences, professional achievements, and voluntary escapades are included in your final resume.
  • You will have to request official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions that you have attended.
  • It is important that you attend a personal interview with the school when it is requested of you. Make sure that there are no distractions to the time you make available.
  • You must provide examples of your creative written work in your application. Most schools will accept scholarly papers from you.
  • Write about the need you have to successfully complete doctoral studies. This well written essay should describe your career objectives and explain how the program will help you to achieve them.
  • You will need to have already completed your BSN and MSN degrees. They must have been acquired through accredited programs.
  • Specific courses must have been completed at the graduate level within the last five years. They are courses in research, statistics, and nursing theory.
  • Submit proof of all clinical hours worked during your graduate studies, as well as all clinical experiences acquired as a specialized nurse practitioner.
  • It is essential that you are registered as an Advanced Practice Nurse with licensure to practice unhindered in Illinois.

People need access to health care and it is their right to receive the best treatment possible. Those who have graduated from the DNP are able to help them get it. These are the people responsible for taking new scientific data and implementing it into the health care system. They have the authority to make decisions regarding the development of the nursing industry and they focus exclusively on positive improvements. Millions of people are receiving medical treatment due to the efforts of doctoral graduates, and it is advised that you obtain this degree.