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

The nursing industry is constantly evolving and developing in order to provide state-of-the-art health care to all in need. With nursing shortages on the rise, leaders that possess the knowledge and skills to provide advanced care to their patients are needed more than ever.  Whether it be implementing changes to health care policies, educating, improving health care systems, or practicing in the field, specialized health care providers are in demand more than ever. If you are a registered nurse or possess an advanced degree in nursing, then taking the extra step to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice may the next move forward in your career. Read below to learn more about featured schools in Arizona with DNP programs and search our listings of accredited online programs offered by schools accepting students nationwide.

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 at Arizona State University is offered through their College of Nursing and Health Innovation. There are four entry pathways that provide students with doctoral skills to pursue advanced nursing practice in various specialties. Courses are delivered in a combined format of online study and onsite attendance. Requiring completion of eighty four semester credit hours, students will obtain their degree in two years. Students are enrolled into the Fall semester, and the final deadline for applications is December 15th.
  • A DNP program is available through the College of Nursing at the University of Arizona. Students gain the knowledge necessary to integrate scientific research into advanced practice through leadership. Onsite attendance is infrequent but required, as the majority of courses are offered online. Students are able to choose between part-time and full-time study. The number of semester credit hours needed to complete the program differs according to your current qualifications. Those who already have a MSN degree will be able to finish in approximately two years. December 15th is the final deadline for applications.

Arizona DNP Checklist

These programs are competitive and there is a rigorous application process involved. Only a select few are admitted, and they are chosen according to their academic and clinical history. While it is possible to begin studying for your doctorate at the baccalaureate level, you will first need to complete your Master’s degree. If you are applying for one of these bridge programs, then make sure that you maintain high grades throughout the program. These are the prerequisites that you will need when applying for a post-Master’s DNP program in Arizona:

  • Licensure to practice in the state of Arizona as a registered nurse is not negotiable and must allow you to work unrestricted.
  • It will be required that your overall grade point average be at least 3.0 or higher.
  • Completion of your BSN and MSN degrees must be proven with official transcripts from the accredited schools attended.
  • Nursing theory, research, and statistics courses must have been passed with a grade of C or higher. You may need to repeat them if they were studied over five years ago.
  • A short essay will need to be written explaining your professional objectives. Your ambitions must be clearly stated as well as your reasons for pursuing a doctoral education.
  • Ensure all academic and professional achievements are included in your resume along with your experience and voluntary escapades.
  • Submit copies of all certifications received during your career in advanced practice.
  • The school will request examples of your creative written work or scholarly papers.
  • Specific immunizations against certain diseases must be proven along with the results of a total health check.
  • Only authoritative individuals within the nursing profession are acceptable sources for reference letters. You will require three from academic tutors, nursing peers or employers.
  • A formal interview will need to be attended. The school will give a time for this and you should clear your schedule to ensure availability.
  • Proof of the number of clinical hours taken during graduate coursework must be proven. This will be provided by the school where the degree was studied.

There are several advantages DNP graduates have. The highest level of education ensures the best possible salary. Employment is guaranteed, and you will be able to choose the position best suited to you from multiple options. You will have the qualifications to open your own specialized practice and offer advanced care to patients in your community. Once you have completed your doctoral degree, your advice will be sought after and you will have the authority to change policies, health care systems, education, and to improve the quality of patient care.