Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Right for You?

The Doctorate of Nursing Practice is the ultimate degree for nurses interested in advanced patient care. It offers the highest qualifications that will allow you to assume leadership roles in a variety of specialties. In addition to this, it will provide you with the expertise to use the latest scientific evidence for health care improvement. Every single person has a right to seek the best medical care available, and this involves continually reevaluating the treatment, control, and diagnosing of all diseases. Educational curricula need to include the latest findings and require regular updating. Health policies must be frequently reviewed, and health care systems are always evolving to remain optimally beneficial. After vast research has been done on your behalf, we have listed all the schools offering DNP programs in Massachusetts.

Featured DNP Programs (RN Required)

Finding a DNP Program

There are many different DNP programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of DNP Programs...

  • The DNP program available at the MGH Institute of Health Professions is for Advanced Practice Nurses who wish to become experts in their specialization, education, informatics, administration, or global health. Students may study according to a part-time or full-time schedule, and courses are offered in a hybrid format of online delivery and classroom attendance. The majority of students complete the program in two years, or six semesters. Classes begin in Spring each year and applications must be delivered prior to October 1st.
  • The School of Nursing at Northeastern University offers a DNP program that prepares Advanced Practice Nurses for leadership roles in research translation, health policy, population health, and informatics. This is an online program with some courses delivered in a blended format. There are flexible study options for those working full-time. This is a thirty semester credit hour post-Master’s program that can be completed in four semesters (or sixteen months) by full-time students. May 1st is the final deadline date for the annual Fall start term.
  • Regis College has a DNP program on offer with six specialty concentrations to choose from. The goal is to prepare Advanced Practice Nurses to deliver leadership services with the highest possible expertise. Students may pursue gerontology, informatics, education, integrative health, and executive or health policy disciplines. Classes are attended on weekends and in the evenings, with onsite intensives and online learning components. Consisting of thirty six semester credit hours that must be completed, students plan a personal study schedule with their academic advisor. Depending on the number of courses taken each semester, it can take anywhere from three years to seven years to obtain this degree. Application information should be requested from the school.
  • The DNP program at Simmons College is offered by their School of Nursing and Health Sciences. It is accredited by CCNE and graduates fulfill leadership positions in professional advanced practice, management, and research interpretation. While students attend two onsite intensives each semester, the rest of the coursework is delivered online. The program consists of thirty six semester credits that are designed to be completed in two years. To begin classes in September, submit applications before June 1st. To enter the January start term, submit applications before October 1st.
  • The University of Massachusetts in Amherst offers a CCNE accredited DNP program. Advanced practice knowledge is further developed for patient management and leadership of health care systems. This is a totally online program that allows students to work out a study schedule according to their needs. A minimum of thirty six semester credits need to be completed post-Master’s in order to complete this degree. It takes approximately two years for most students. All applications must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions before December 15th of each year.
  • A completely online DNP program is available through the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Boston University. The goal is for students to acquire the expertise necessary to become leaders of health care delivery systems and clinical practice. Periodic campus visits are compulsory, and the program is designed for part-time study. Students typically require three or four years to graduate from this program. Please feel free to contact the school for details about this important information.
  • The University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth has a DNP program available through their College of Nursing. Specialized Advanced Practice Nurses further develop their skills to include a variety of leadership positions. Options for part-time and full-time study plans exist. This is a sixty three semester credit program, some of which can be transferred from graduate coursework completed. It will take two to three years to obtain this degree. Please inquire about the latest application deadline information by contacting the school.
  • The DNP program at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell gives leadership skills necessary for health care system transformation. This is a blended program that uses online components for course delivery, as well as local onsite attendance in the evenings and over weekends. Flexible study options are available. Students typically complete this program in two years of full-time study. Part-time plans will take three to four years. February 1st is the annual deadline date for applications. Those received later than this are reviewed until the cohort is full.

Massachusetts DNP Checklist

When applying to any of these programs, we strongly advise contacting each school beforehand. There are differing application procedures that you should familiarize yourself with. Each school has their own admission policies, but they all have strict requirements. Due to the fact that cohorts consist of a select few, students are extremely competitive. It is imperative that you do not miss the published deadlines and that all documents are delivered. It is possible to enter the doctorate through the available bridge programs, but you will still need to complete all graduate coursework with acceptable grades. These are the prerequisites needed when applying to a DNP program in Massachusetts:

  • Provide proof that your completed BSN and MSN degrees were obtained from accredited programs.
  • Your career aspirations must be clear in a well written essay. Explain why doctoral study is imperative for your professional objectives.
  • Include all your past and latest academic and professional experiences. Detail all achievements, including those relating to voluntary work.
  • Your overall GPA must not be lower than 3.0 on a scale of 4.0; in some cases even 3.5.
  • Creative written work must be provided. Most schools will accept scholarly papers for this requirement.
  • Clear your schedule and attend the personal interview that will be requested by the school. This is compulsory.
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary schools where you have pursued studies.
  • Submit evidence of all the clinical hours worked during graduate coursework, as well as those experienced as a qualified Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
  • Reference letters totaling three in number must be sent with your application. Ensure that they are from relevant authorities such as academic tutors, employers, professional peers, or medical doctors.
  • Courses in nursing theory, statistics, and research are compulsory and should have been completed as a graduate scholar in the last five years. You must have obtained a grade of C, or higher.
  • Prevention of specified diseases is not negotiable and you must be vaccinated. A full health check is required and a background check is likely to occur.
  • Your registered Advanced Nursing license must not restrict your ability to practice freely in Massachusetts.

There is no denying the enormous advantages of obtaining a doctoral education. Besides earning the highest salaries in the nursing industry, graduates of these programs sift through a variety of job offers. Their qualifications are in extreme demand and employment is guaranteed. Their ability to administer the highest quality advanced patient care makes a phenomenal impact on the health of their patients, but their expertise in adapting the entire industry is responsible for optimum health care delivery nationwide.