Online DNP FNP Programs – What’s the Best Program for You?

Last Updated/Verified: Jul 10, 2021

A doctor of nursing practice (DNP) is the highest degree that a family nurse practitioner (FNP) can attain. Those wanting high levels of autonomy, responsibility, and salaries at the top of the pay scale should consider the DNP pathway in the family nurse practitioner specialty. This degree requires hundreds of clinical hours as well as advanced nursing coursework. To be eligible for this type of program, you’ll need an active RN license, a BSN or MSN degree, and some professional nursing experience in the family care field.

Why Get an DNP FNP Degree?

There has been a distinct shift toward family nurse practitioners opting to obtain their DNP degree. Some careers that today require an MSN might expect candidates to hold a DNP at some point in the future.

As a family nurse practitioner who holds a DNP, a range of direct and indirect patient care careers are available to you. These include FNP positions in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and more, as well as roles in hospital administration, research, and academia. FNP doctorate graduates may also choose to work in roles shaping policy and procedures to improve care outcomes and advance the nursing profession.

This type of terminal degree shows a significant commitment to attaining more knowledge and skills. Let’s take a look at some of the key components of this degree type.


  • Family nurse practitioners who hold a DNP can command higher salaries
  • The DNP pathway opens up options for high-level managerial, research, and even teaching positions
  • Options for BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP


  • DNP programs in the FNP specialty can be long and expensive
  • Those with an MSN may wish to pursue a shorter post-graduate certificate in the specialty instead (depending on their career goals)
  • ADN-educated RNs will most likely need to complete a BSN before they can consider this pathway

How to Choose an Online DNP FNP Program

In terms of advanced degrees for family nurse practitioners, a DNP is the lengthier option. The number of credits can range between 70 and 93, depending on the school you attend and the degree level you enter the program with. More educational facilities are offering DNP programs online, with some of them delivered in a hybrid format that weaves in some campus visits.

Students searching for an online DNP program in the family nurse practitioner specialty should take great care to choose an accredited program to ensure future employability. Many online DNP programs can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis, allowing some students to continue working while they complete their doctorate studies. However, the challenging nature of the program may make working difficult; some schools recommend committing to the program full-time.

DNP FNP Curriculum

The family nurse practitioner DNP curriculum includes intensive core and specialty nursing courses. BSN to DNP programs usually require more core coursework before the FNP portion can begin. Common courses students might encounter include:

  • Clinical reasoning
  • Healthcare economics
  • Health informatics
  • Social determinants of health

Typically, a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours are required as part of the FNP-DNP program. These may include family care clinical hours as well as DNP practicum hours. Clinical placements for online students are usually arranged in the student’s local area and approved by the program’s clinical coordinator. A DNP project or capstone course may also be required in order to graduate.

List of Online DNP Family Nurse Practitioner Programs

To find an online or hybrid DNP family nurse practitioner program near you, browse through our listings below.

Select Your State:


Samford University
Birmingham, AL
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL


University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ


University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR


Brandman University
Irvine, CA
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA
Touro University California
Vallejo, CA
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA


University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO


University of Delaware
Newark, DE


Palm Beach Atlantic University
West Palm Beach, FL


Augusta University
Augusta, GA


University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, HI


Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID


Bradley University
Peoria, IL
Rush University
Chicago, IL
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, IL
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Chicago, IL
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
Rockford, IL


Marian University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN


Clarke University
Dubuque, IA
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA


University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
Washburn University
Topeka, KS


Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY


Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD


University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, MA


Northern Michigan University
Marquette, MI
Saginaw Valley State University
Center, MI
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI


Augsburg College
Minneapolis, MN


University Of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS


Maryville University
St. Louis, MO
Mizzou Online- University of Missouri
Columbia, MO
University of Missouri - St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
University Of Missouri Kansas City
Kansas City, MO


Montana State University
Bozeman, MT


Creighton University
Omaha, NE

New Mexico

New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM

New York

Hunter College
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY


Otterbein University
Westerville, OH
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
The University of Toledo
Toledo, OH


University of Portland
Portland, OR


Messiah College
Mechanicsburg, PA
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

South Carolina

Anderson University
Greenville, SC


East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center- Memphis
Memphis, TN


Baylor University
Dallas, TX
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Commerce, TX
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX


Weber State University
Ogden, UT


Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Washington State University
Pullman, WA
Washington State University Vancouver
Vancouver, WA

Washington, DC

The George Washington University
Washington, DC

West Virginia

Shepherd University
Shepherdstown, WV
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling, WV