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Doctoral Program

DNP Online Program
(Post Master's - MSN to DNP)


May 6th

20 Mo.

Program Length







Doctoral Program

DNP Online Program
(Post Master's - MSN to DNP)

Go from MSN to DNP and earn the terminal degree in nursing

AccreditationAccredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Format100% online didactic classes
AdmissionsMaster’s degree in nursing required for admissions
CurriculumCutting-edge competency-based curriculum to develop your skills in nursing practice scholarship, innovation, and leadership
DNP ProjectMake your impact on your practice in a culminating DNP Practice Project
Doctor of Nursing Practice
US News Best Graduate Nursing Programs 2024

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best online graduate nursing programs in 2024

Doctor of Nursing Practice - Post Master's DNP
US News Best Graduate Nursing Programs 2024

Overview: Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (MSN to DNP) is a 32-credit graduate program which prepares the MSN-prepared RN to advance their nursing career to new heights. The degree program provides students with fundamental knowledge and skills in improvement science, technology and nursing informatics in advanced practice, professionalism and leadership for advanced practice, population health, and more.

Career-focused curriculum

Discover the crucial knowledge and skills required to succeed in your work and build a foundation for continued career growth.

Flexible schedule

You can take classes during the day or in the evening. We strive to be as flexible as possible for busy non-traditional students.

Virtual services

Access to extensive virtual services, including academic advising, tutoring, support services, technical support and library services.

Lifelong support

We support your ongoing career advancement by providing comprehensive, personalized student services with lifelong career coaching.

Rolling admissions

No application deadlines to worry about. Apply when you’re ready and prepare to get started soon.

Classes Start May 6th

Learn More Today


DNP program classes & curriculum details

Our DNP program, developed in compliance with the model for advanced nursing education of the AACN new Essentials (2006, 2021), implements a competency-based program structure:


Develop a strong conceptual framework. Lecture-style coursework amplifies your current knowledge base and introduces concepts and frameworks to expand your understanding.


Build upon the framework and dive into the literature, evidence, and tools of nursing practice. Engage the evidence and appraise its utility. Identify opportunities for improvement and learn to design and implement methodologies to address them.


Apply practice tools at the highest level. Challenge and expand your knowledge base through clinical applications, complete your DNP project, and graduate ready to continue your professional journey to the top of your practice.

Doctor of Nursing Practice2032

i. Average number of months for students to complete the program. Program availability varies by location.

Required Core Courses

All courses, 24.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Project Residency Core Courses

All courses, 8.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Tuition & Cost

Tuition & Cost

The cost of tuition for the DNP program is $735 per credit.

You can potentially earn even greater savings by transferring credit from prior college coursework, applying for financial aid, or potential partnership opportunities through your employer.

Our goal is your career advancement. That’s why we are always working to improve our curriculum and processes to make our program as affordable as possible while preparing you best for success in your work.

Find my estimate

 Scholarships & Financial Aid

You may be eligible for multiple scholarships and grants, both through Herzing University and several national scholarship websites.

Find scholarships and grants 

 Military/Veteran Discounts

Veterans, Active Duty U.S. Servicemembers, and spouses may qualify for a 10% tuition discount or tuition reduction to $250 per credit.

VA/Military benefits 


Program admission requirements

Prerequisites to enroll in the Herzing University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program include:

  • Unencumbered RN licensure
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • A master’s degree in nursing (MSN, MN) from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and or National League of Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditationi
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)/résuméii
  • Required background check/clinical compliance upon admission
  • No GRE required

i. The master’s degree must include preparation for an advanced nursing practice specialty (e.g., Nurse educator, Nursing administration, etc.) or an advanced practice nursing role (NP, CNS, CRNA, CMN). If the master’s degree did not include preparation for an advanced nursing practice specialty or an advanced practice nursing role, the completion of an accredited post-graduate certification program in an advanced nursing practice specialty or an advanced practice nursing role is required prior to admission.

ii. Your CV/résumé should include: focus/topic for your DNP project, site for your DNP project (ideas for what and where to do the project), years of practice experience, community service, references, and experience with any of the following: diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, initiatives focusing on the social determinates of health, population health initiatives, health-focused partnerships with industry, academia, or local government, research or research translation, quality and safety initiatives, leadership in complex healthcare systems, health information technology/advocacy and/or policy development.

Eligible states for enrollment: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District Of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The DNP Project

The Herzing DNP Practice Project

While the clinical practicum is the key practical component of an MSN program, the DNP Practice Project represents the culmination of your DNP education: put everything you’ve learned into practice and begin making your impact immediately.

You won’t need to find a preceptor. The DNP project is an independent clinical effort facilitated by a Project Chair and Committee.

Key elements of the DNP project include: 

  1. Identify a problem
  2. Search, analyze, and synthesize literature and evidence
  3. Translate evidence to build methodology to address the problem
  4. Plan and implement
  5. Evaluate the outcomes, process and experience

Upon completion you’ll work closely with your Project Chair to disseminate your findings, from presentation to the practice and University/community events including submission for publication.

Classes Start May 6th

Waived Enrollment Fee

What you can do with a DNP degree

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) and other master’s-prepared advanced practice nurses can earn a DNP to climb to the highest rung on the career ladder across many different specialties.

Our leadership-focused program is designed to cover a broad set of skills applicable to any advanced practice nursing role you might seek, allowing you to make an impact in your practice, your community or your healthcare system.

You can also potentially increase your earning potential. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, registered nurses whose highest education was a DNP reported a median salary of about $100,000, 11% higher than the $90,000 median for those who had earned as much as a master’s degree.

I haven’t earned an MSN—how can I earn a DNP with Herzing? You’ll first need to earn a Master of Science in Nursing, then apply for our Post Master’s DNP program.


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! There are many reasons why it’s worth pursuing a DNP, including:

  1. Reach the height of the nursing profession with the terminal degree in nursing
  2. Advance your skills regardless of your specialty
  3. Prepare for future APRN education requirements
  4. Doctorally-prepared nurses are needed to translate evidence and research
  5. Earn a key role in improvement science
  6. Become a better educator/teacher
  7. The healthcare system needs doctorally-prepared nurses

The DNP represents the terminal degree in nursing, meaning it’s the highest degree you can earn in nursing. It’s one level higher than the MSN. The main differences include:

  • Curriculum differences
  • Certification requirements
  • Enrollment trends
  • Salary potential
  • How long it takes to earn

Learn more about the difference between MSN vs. DNP.

Yes, by earning a doctorate degree you can potentially be referred to as a “doctor.” However, some states may require DNP nurses to fully clarify their role if the title “Dr.” is used.

Even without formal state requirements, you should always clearly disclose your credentials with patients to avoid confusion.

In October of 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) endorsed the Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing, which recommended moving the current level of preparation needed for advanced nursing practice from the master’s to doctorate level.

The AACN set an initial goal to phase out master’s level prep for APRNs and transition fully to DNP by 2015. That deadline has come and gone, and a master’s level education remains the minimum requirement to practice as an APRN (additional requirements vary per certification).

However, the transition has been discussed for many years—and not only by AACN. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) set a goal of 2025 to move all entry-level nurse practitioner education to the DNP degree.

While enrollment in DNP programs has increased continuously for 20 years running as of the AACN’s most recent Annual Survey, a DNP has not yet become required to practice as an APRN.

However, the landscape is changing and the DNP is trending towards becoming the standard for APRNs at the highest level.

Salaries vary widely across different types of jobs in advanced practice nursing, and earning a DNP can potentially apply to them all. However, earning a DNP can potentially help you compete for higher pay.*

According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, registered nurses whose highest education was a DNP reported a median salary of about $100,000, 11% higher than the $90,000 median for those who had earned as much as a master’s degree.

Increasingly yes, but it ultimately depends on the institution who issued the degree.

As the popularity of online degrees continues to rapidly trend upward in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so has mainstream acceptance of online degree programs.

Attitudes toward online degrees were already becoming more positive before the pandemic forced the issue. According to a 2019 study from Northeastern University, 61 percent of HR leaders say online learning is “of equal or greater quality to more traditional methods.” More than half believe that in the future, most advanced degrees will be online.

Regarding nursing applicants who earned online degrees, there are a few important factors employers consider:

  • The school and degree program’s accreditation. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).i
  • If you have earned nursing licensure. Our programs are designed to help you pass any necessary exams and become licensed before getting your first job.
  • The school’s reputation and history of producing excellent employees. Consider our many happy graduates and 50+ years producing more than 40,000 alumni.

For all these reasons employers know what it means when they see “Herzing University” on a resume!

i. Programmatic accreditation varies by program and by campus location. Find details about all Herzing University accreditations and approvals.

How long it takes depends on the college education you’ve already earned and if you choose a full-time or part-time pathway.

The fastest path would be a situation in which you have earned an MSN and are ready to commit to the DNP program full-time. You can potentially earn your DNP in as few as 24 months (2 years).

The DNP is a practice-focused doctoral degree, while a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing is a research-focused degree. Some key differences include:

  • PhD students are trained to develop new knowledge for both the science and practice of nursing, while DNP students learn the skills necessary to translate evidence from the research and put it into practice. Program curriculums vary accordingly.
  • PhD students complete a dissertation, while DNP students complete a minimum number of clinical hours and/or a scholarly project
  • Credit requirements can vary
  • Unique employment opportunities upon graduation

Program Finder

Doctor of Nursing Practice - Post Master's DNP Degree Programs

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Accreditation & Disclosures

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

View all accreditation and approvals

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2022 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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Opt-In to Receive SMS Messages

By selecting this button you agree to receive updates and alerts from Herzing University. Text HELP to 85109 for help, Text STOP to 85109 to end. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. By opting in, I authorize Herzing University to deliver SMS messages and I understand that I am not required to opt in as a condition of enrollment. By leaving this box unchecked you will not be opted in for SMS messages. Click to read Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Herzing Tuition Wizard

When do you want to start classes?

The program has an automatic transfer of credits, and allows you to transfer up to additional credits.

  Transfer Credits

The program allows you to transfer up to credits.

  Transfer Credits

The program allows you to transfer up to credit hours.

  Transfer Credit Hours
Doctor of Nursing Practice - Post Master's DNP Online Campus
Cost per Credit$735.00
Estimated Tuition Cost*$23,520.00
One-time Program Fee$0.00
Per-semester Program Fee$750.00
Per-semester Learner Resource Fee$530.00
Estimated Total Fee*$6,400.00
Total Semesters 1
Total Credits
Estimated Cost 2
Base CostYour Cost
Estimated Savings*

Available Scholarships & Loan Options

Who Can Apply

Available to applicants who attended a college or university that closed within the last 12 months and were attending within 120 days of the school closure date


Must be enrolled in a comparable program at Herzing University, submit a copy of an official transcript from the closed school, and complete the Closed School Discharge Disclosure

Who Can Apply

The Crisis Support Grant is an emergency grant for active students experiencing a financial crisis


GPA requirements must be met. All applicants must be actively enrolled in a degree-seeking program, have a record of good conduct, and financial standing with the university

Who Can Apply

All Herzing University students are eligible to apply via the formal application process outlined below. Students must apply prior to the start of either semester in their last academic year before graduation. The application period is open during the summer semester.


An application including a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and examples of community service is required. In addition, the scholarship review committee may review GPA and unmet financial need as part of eligibility criteria.

Who Can Apply

Available to applicants in any program that demonstrate a financial need and are unable to cover the cost of attendance with alternative resources in their final academic year


Must submit an application and have used all financial resources in the final academic year resulting in a gap in financial resources

Who Can Apply

Available to applicants in any program that demonstrate a financial need, who are unable to cover cost of attendance with alternative resources


Must show financial need and are unable to cover cost of attendance with alternative resources

Who Can Apply

Dean's List and President's list students


Must be enrolled in an Associate or Bachelor program, on the Dean's or President's list, and submit an application.

Who Can Apply

This program designed to provide financial supprot to nursing students while in school that are williing to work in a critical shortage facility after graduation.


Must be a U.S. citizen (born or naturalized), a national, or a permanent resident; accepted or enrolled as a student in a nursing degree program at a United States accredited school of nursing; begin classes no later than September 30; do not have any federal overdue federal loan debt, judgment liens, or existing service commitment.

Who Can Apply

Must be a Herzing graduate who has re-enrolled in a higher-level degree and remain enrolled in the desired program


Must be enrolled at least half-time for the duration of the program

Who Can Apply

Must be an international student attending HU through an agreement with a school/agency in your home country


Must either be attending a resident campus as F-1 student or enrolled in an online modality study through an established school partnership

Who Can Apply

Must be an eligible AmeriCorps Alumni who is enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree seeking program


Must submit a payment request for an eligible institution through their individual account in 'My AmeriCorps'

Who Can Apply

Yellow ribbon may be given to veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate for Post-911


100% CH 33 eligible

Who Can Apply

Honorably discharged veterans, severely injured servicemembers, family members of Active Duty Servicemembers and Severely Injured Servicemembers, active duty servicemembers in graduate-level programs, dependents of deceased servicemembers, public safety and first responder personnel


Proof of Veteran (DD-214), Active Duty, or injured status is required. 

Proof of active and current employment as public safety personnel or first responder

Who Can Apply

Active Duty Servicemembers in undergraduate programs and National Guard or Reserves activated or actively training and drilling in preparation for potential activation


Proof of active duty status is required

Who Can Apply

ASN or BSN: Must have completed the TEAS Assessment with a score of 78+ MSN: must have a 3.8+ GPA upon entering the program.


Applicants in the ASN and BSN, must maintain a 3.0 GPA while enrolled. 

Applicants in the MSN program must maintain a 3.5 GPA.

Who Can Apply

Employees of a business participating in the Herzing Partnerships Program.


Proof of active and current employment or association with partner organization

Who Can Apply

Recipients must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program for the Fall with a Herzing University campus located within Wisconsin.


Applicant's background must reflect one or more of the components as determined by the UPS Foundation and CIC's First Opportunity Program: first generation student, low-income, minority; or new American student.

Who Can Apply

The program is designed to provide financial support for women that demonstrate leadership potential, initiative, and excellent communication skills and are pursuing a career or have an interest in public service, government, and/or the political process.


To be considered for this scholarship, an applicant must be actively enrolled as a full-time or part-time undergraduate student in good academic standing and plan to enroll in the Fall. In addition, an applicant must be a female resident of Wisconsin and have a financial need as determined by Herzing University based on eligibility for the Pell Grant.

Who Can Apply

Rath Distinguished Scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement, merit, and leadership.


Must be an actively enrolled student in good standing. If an entering first year student, the scholarship applicants must have graduated among the top 25 percent of their high school class. If a sophomore, junior, or senior, applicants must have demonstrated academic excellence by maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent). In addition, scholarship recipients are to demonstrate strong campus and community leadership. Applicants must be enrolled through the Fall semester. Scholars must be U.S. citizens; Wisconsin residents preferred.

To Contact a Financial Aid Advisor

Enrolled and active students

Click here: MyHU Advising Team

Prospective students

Call (866) 508-0748 option 2 or Email


Actual semesters to complete are dependent upon university approved transfer credits and program mapping.


Estimated program length, estimated number of semesters, and estimated program shown above are standard by program for each student based on: a student taking a full-time course load each semester, the student not having any transfer credits (from previous Herzing experiences or from other post-secondary institutions), and successful completion of each course.

Current tuition rates for all programs are effective through the Summer 2024 semester.