Online DNP FNP Programs – What’s the Best Program for You?
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.
The popularity and versatility of the Family Nurse Practitioner area of care mean that many nurses aspire to achieve the highest degree level within the specialty. With online and hybrid options becoming more common, it can be difficult to land on the perfect school for your doctoral FNP program. That's why we have ranked the best online DNP-level FNP programs in the country. Check out our listings below to find a great program, and visit our Methodology page to learn more about how we developed our rankings.
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
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.
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.
To find an online or hybrid DNP family nurse practitioner program near you, browse through our listings below.
Select Your State:
The University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda, CA
Touro University California
University of California, Irvine
University of Northern Colorado
University of Delaware
Florida State University
Palm Beach Atlantic University
West Palm Beach, FL
Hawai‘i Pacific University
Idaho State University
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
Marian University Indianapolis
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
University of Kansas
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY
Johns Hopkins University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Boston
Northern Michigan University
Saginaw Valley State University
Wayne State University
University Of Mississippi Medical Center
St. Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
University Of Missouri Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
Montana State University
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
University at Buffalo
East Carolina University
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Winston-Salem State University
The Ohio State University
The University of Toledo
University of Portland
University of Pittsburgh
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
The University of Tennessee Health Science Center- Memphis
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX
Texas Tech University
Weber State University
University of Washington
Washington State University
Washington State University Vancouver
The George Washington University
Are we missing your school's nurse practitioner program or need to update any of the information listed? Please contact us.