Featured DNP Programs (RN Required)

  • The School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University offers a DNP program that is accredited by WASC and BRN. Students are trained to prevent, assess, and treat complex health issues. Classes are attended once a week on campus, depending on the number of classes being taken each semester. This is a two-year program that involves completing thirty-nine semester credits. Please inquire about the latest application deadlines by contacting the school directly.
  • A DNP program is available through the Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing at Brandman University. It is accredited by AACN. The advanced practice nurse can complete his or her clinical doctorate in midwifery, anesthetics, clinical nursing, and nursing practitioner. While immersion sessions are necessary at the Irvine campus, most coursework is completed online. The program consists of seventy-three semester credits. Forty of these can be transferred from the Master’s program, while the remaining thirty-three will take about two years to complete. Please contact the school to find out about their latest application deadline dates.
  • Accredited by WASC and CCNE, the DNP program offered at California State University in Fresno has a partnership with San Jose State University. Nurse leaders and advanced practice nurses are prepared for doctorate level patient care as well as educational and leadership positions. There is no part-time option, and courses are delivered online with occasional onsite attendance required. Consisting of thirty-seven semester credits, this is a twenty-one month program that can be completed in five semesters. Please ensure that all applications are completed and submitted before April 1st of every year.
  • The School of Nursing at Loma Linda University has a DNP program that boasts CCNE accreditation. It focuses on qualifying nurse specialists to assume advanced patient care and leadership in healthcare system roles. While there is a completely online option available, it is not for residents of California who benefit from a blended format of online and classroom attendance. This is a three-year program that consists of completing sixty-three semester credits, some of which are transferable. Feel free to inquire about application deadline dates from the school.
  • Accredited by WASC and CCNE, the DNP program offered by Samuel Merritt University specializes in training students for roles in practice, education, and leadership. While students are required to attend campus for three days each year, the program is studied online. It will take approximately two years to complete the required thirty-six semester credits. Applications are reviewed from August 1st until the cohort is full. It is advisable to submit all documents as soon as possible to secure a spot.
  • The Valley Foundation School of Nursing offers an extensive DNP program through the partnership of San Jose State University and California State University in Fresno. Accredited by both CCNE and WASC, students qualify for advanced leadership and practice careers. The option to study part-time is not available and although the degree is studied online, occasional visits to campus are required. It will take twenty-one months to complete this program. Thirty-seven semester credits must be obtained over five semesters. The annual deadline date for applications is April 1st.
  • The Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science at the University of San Diego offers a DNP program that has WASC accreditation. Students gain additional expertise in their choice of advanced care practice. This is a campus-based program with options to study full-time or part-time. Thirty-four semester credit hours need to be completed to finish the program. This will take two years of full-time study. Cohorts begin in the Fall semester each year. Applications close on March 1st.
  • The University of San Francisco has a DNP program available through their School of Nursing and Health Professions. Accredited by AACN, the focus is on further developing students for roles in a variety of clinical practice and leadership positions. Classes are primarily attended onsite. It will take approximately two years to complete the program successfully. Please ask the school directly for information relating to application deadline dates.
  • Western University of Health Sciences offers a DNP program with full CCNE accreditation. Students are comprehensively prepared for the highest level of advanced patient care. Studied via distance learning, very infrequent campus meetings are required. The program is only available full-time. Students complete the program in a total of two years. March 1st is the final deadline date for all applications.

DNP Nurse Checklist

You will need an outstanding history of academic achievement that includes specific qualifications, experience, and grades. The number of students admitted to these programs is small and they are competitive. The admissions process is rigorous and schools are selective. If you do not qualify for the post-master’s programs, then you should apply for their bridge programs. These allow you to obtain your baccalaureate and Master’s degrees before continuing into your doctorate. There are specific prerequisites that you must have when sending applications. These requirements are necessary when applying to a DNP program in California:

  • A Master’s degree will need to have been completed at an accredited institution. The minimum GPA score must be 3.0.
  • You must possess a license to practice as a registered nurse in California.
  • Official transcripts will be required from every institution previously attended. They must prove completion of the BSN and MSN degrees.
  • Courses in statistics, research, and healthcare assessment must have been completed at the graduate level within the last five years.
  • A written statement detailing your reasons for pursuing specialist education and your career objectives.
  • A current resume must be submitted that clearly highlights your past achievements and experiences.
  • Copies must be submitted of all professional certifications acquired as an Advanced Practice Nurse.
  • Three letters of recommendation must be sent from qualified and relevant individuals.
  • Proof of the number of clinical hours completed during your Master’s degree must be provided by the program where the degree was obtained.
  • Written creative work must be evidenced. This may be in the form of scholarly papers.
  • An interview with a prospective faculty member must be granted.
  • You must currently be immunized against potentially dangerous diseases.