A Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

The online Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares you for specialized advanced nursing practice with the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise. This DNP program is designed for practicing MSN / APNs as a two-year part-time program to offer you flexibility and convenience.

Practice-Focused and Mostly Online

This practice-focused doctoral program, offered by the UNC School of Nursing through UNC Extended Campus, begins each Fall via a competitive admission process. Coursework is completely online. There are three required visits to campus (see Course of Study tab below).

DNP – The Terminal Nursing Practice Degree

Graduates of this doctoral program will be prepared as clinical experts with a focus on the critical thinking, leadership and political policy skills needed to advocate and create changes in healthcare practice at the individual, population and organizational systems levels. UNC nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Nurse Practitioner Job & Salary Growth

The median salary for a Registered Nurse in 2017 was $70,000.

However, the median salary for a Nurse Practitioner (a role supported by this program) was $103,880 and NP employment is projected to grow 36% from 2016-2026.

Photo of Nursing Student

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The doctoral program is 44 credit hours, which includes a capstone project and required clinical hours.

  • You can complete the program in two years, attending part-time.
  • Coursework is completely online, and there are three required visits to campus (see below).

Required Coursework

To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.

See the Planned Course Sequence (listing which courses will be delivered each term of your program).


On-Campus Visits

There is a required 3-day on-campus orientation, typically scheduled in mid-July. You will meet program faculty, administrators and fellow students; obtain resources for program success; receive individual advising; and have an opportunity to speak with mentors who have succeeded in the program. The only other required visits to campus are to propose and defend your capstone project.


Clinical Hours

Clinical hours are completed via NURS 685 DNP Practicum (3-7)

You need a total 1000 clinical hours to successfully complete your DNP. The hours that you completed in your master’s will count toward those 1000 hours. As a licensed APN, the additional required hours will be completed in individualized clinical activities to refresh, expand and enrich your knowledge.


DNP Scholarly Project

Because of the clinical focus of this degree, rigorous academic standards are maintained throughout the program rather than completion of a dissertation. The student will complete an evidence-based scholarly project designed by the student in collaboration with a faculty advisor (via the NURS 795 and 798 courses).


For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

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