Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


There are six Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree programs available to Registered Nurses who want to expand their practice as practitioners, specialists, and leaders.

Students who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing will pursue the traditional DNP degree. Those who have a master’s degree in nursing will pursue the Post-Master's DNP degree.

View plans of study for the traditional and Post-Master's DNP programs below.

We also offer post-graduate certificates for those who already have a graduate degree in nursing and wish to pursue programs like our DNP programs in less time.


Writing Requirement


Regardless of which DNP degree you select, you’ll have the opportunity to complete an extensive writing project.

Develop your expertise in clinical practice to enhance the quality of care and patient outcomes through the DNP Clinical Scholarship Practice Project.

Whereas traditional DNP students can complete this project with a small group of peers or individually, Post-Master's DNP students must complete this project with a small group.

Before you start, we recommend you review our project guidelines (PDF).

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) DNP


If you want to care for adult patients with acute, critical, or chronic illnesses, then the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) DNP program may be the best fit for you.

You'll learn differential diagnosis, disease management, therapeutic interventions, and more.

Here’s what else you need to know about the AGACNP traditional DNP degree:

  • Comprises 74 credits and 1,260 clinical hours
  • Can be completed in six semesters and two summer sessions
  • Costs approximately $64,000

Visit the course catalog for more info on the specific courses you will take in the traditional DNP program and the Post-Master's DNP program.

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) DNP


Are you driven to give direct care to adult patients and work with nursing systems and organization? Check out the Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS) DNP program.

Here’s what else you need to know about the AGCNS traditional DNP degree:

  • Comprises 72 credits and 1,140 clinical hours
  • Can be completed in six semesters and two summer sessions
  • Costs approximately $62,000

Visit the course catalog for more info on the specific courses you will take in the traditional DNP program and the Post-Master's DNP program.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) DNP


If you enjoy working with people of all walks of life and ages, look no further than the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) DNP program.

Here’s what else you need to know about the FNP traditional DNP degree:

  • Comprises 73 credits and 1,080 clinical hours
  • Can be completed in six semesters and two summer sessions
  • Costs approximately $64,000

Visit the course catalog for more info on the specific courses you will take in the traditional DNP program and the Post-Master's DNP program.

Nursing & Organizational Leadership (NOL) DNP


Want to be a leader or administrator in the healthcare field? Dive into the Nursing and Organizational Leadership (NOL) DNP program.

Here’s what else you need to know about the NOL traditional DNP degree:

  • Comprises 72 credits and 1,020 clinical hours
  • Can be completed in four semesters
  • Costs approximately $57,000

Visit the course catalog for more info on the specific courses you will take in the traditional DNP program and the Post-Master's DNP program.

Practice & Leadership Innovations (PLI) DNP


If you envision yourself improving patient care by coming up with new ideas, methods, and devices in healthcare practice, check out the Practice and Leadership Innovations (PLI) DNP program.

Here’s what else you need to know about the PLI traditional DNP degree:

  • Comprises 72 credits and 1,020 clinical hours
  • Can be completed in six semesters and one summer session
  • Costs approximately $57,000

Visit the course catalog for more info on the specific courses you will take in the traditional DNP program and the Post-Master's DNP program.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) DNP


Are you passionate about helping others of all ages who have behavioral and mental health problems and disorders? The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) DNP program may be right up your alley.

Here’s what else you need to know about the PMHNP traditional DNP degree:

  • Comprises 74 credits and 1,260 clinical hours
  • Can be completed in six semesters and three summer sessions
  • Costs approximately $65,000

Visit the course catalog for more info on the specific courses you will take in the traditional DNP program and the Post-Master's DNP program.

RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway


If you’re a registered nurse, have a two-year nursing degree, and are currently enrolled in WSU’s undergraduate RN-BS Completion Program, then you're eligible to apply for this pathway to admission to any of WSU’s Graduate Nursing master’s or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees.

Learn more about the RN-Graduate Nursing Pathway.

Graduate Special Student


Not yet accepted into WSU or the Department of Graduate Nursing but want to start taking classes now?

You can earn up to 12 credits that count toward graduation requirements and some of our programs as a Graduate Special Student.

Credit by Portfolio


Credit by Portfolio allows students to receive their degree in less time by submitting a portfolio that proves their prior learning and/or professional experiences fulfill program requirements.

Students can then earn credit for specific Graduate Nursing courses without formally enrolling in and completing those courses.

Master’s- and DNP degree-seeking students may earn up to 15% of their program credits through Credit by Portfolio. Post-Graduate Certificate students may earn no more than half of their program credits through Credit by Portfolio.

Interested students should work with their academic adviser to initiate this process. Portfolio submissions occur one semester before students would normally take the course(s) they want to substitute.

Application Deadline


For the Fall 2022 term:

  • AGACNP, FNP, and PMHNP program applications are due Oct. 1.
  • AGCNS, NOL, and PLI program applications are due Feb. 1.

Interested applicants should apply through NursingCAS, our online application system.

Plans of study for our DNP degree programs in Graduate Nursing provide detailed outlines of courses students will take.


Three-Year Post-Baccalaureate DNP Plans of Study:


Four-Year Post-Baccalaureate DNP Plans of Study:


Two-Year Post-Master’s DNP Plans of Study:

Three-Year Post-Master's DNP Plans of Study:


Advanced Standing DNP Plans of Study:

An elective used to complete any Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is any graduate-level course (preferably three credits) that a student's graduate adviser approves.

View the Tentative Schedule of DNP Electives (PDF) for course titles and terms. 

In our DNP degree programs, we have the following expectations:

  • The number of first-time takers of national certification examinations will be at or above the national average (if certification is required for practice).
  • The majority of graduates will be employed within one year of graduation from WSU.
  • The majority of graduates will be satisfied with their graduate nursing education within one year of graduation.
  • Employers will be satisfied with graduates.
  • The majority of students admitted to a DNP program will complete the degree within six years.
  • Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs Expected Program Outcomes
  • The majority of graduates will be employed within one year of graduation from WSU.
  • The majority of students admitted to a Post-Master’s DNP program will complete the degree within four years.
  • Employers will be satisfied with graduates.