For future nurse administrators and unit leaders, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree charts a path for nurses to achieve the highest level of nursing practice.

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Money for grad school
$3.8M in scholarships and financial aid awarded in 2023 alone
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Hybrid Format
1x/month in-person classes, with the balance of learning online
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Career Opportunities
in nurse administration, government affairs, academics, and clinical leadership
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Virginia's #1 DNP and the nation's #9 public DNP program
(U.S. News & World Report)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) empowers nurses who want to practice at the highest clinical level, making decisions, leading people and teams, and improving systems and safety as they transform healthcare as nurse leaders. DNP graduates become nurse administrators, government affairs leaders, teachers and professors, and chief nursing officers. With a DNP, you’ll earn all the personal, financial, and professional benefits a doctoral degree brings; as a UVA School of Nursing graduate, you’ll also reap the rewards and connections a degree from Virginia’s top-ranked nursing program offers. 

UVA offers two pathways for nurses interested in a DNP: a BSN to DNP program and an MSN to DNP program. The program's executive, hybrid format means that students attend in-person classes just once a month with the balance of their learning online. Beginning in summer 2023, the School of Nursing will guarantee admissions to alumni interested in enrolling in the DNP program.

MSN & DNP Info Sessions 

DNP: Post-BSN Pathway

The BSN to DNP pathway offers a degree plan for nurses with a BSN or generalist MSN degree to achieve the highest level of nursing practice, and all the personal, financial and professional benefits a doctoral degree confers. 

  • Students meet in person 1-2X/per week while enrolled in the MSN portion, and 1x/month for the DNP portion of the program, with the balance of learning completed online
  • Full- and part-time programs available
  • More than 1,000 practicum hours
  • A path for BSN graduates to complete MSN coursework and progress seamlessly to a DNP
  • 2 + 2 years plan of study, or a 3-year accelerated plan of study 
  • Application deadline: January 5 for entry the following fall

Who should apply?

The BSN to DNP pathway is designed for nurses seeking educational preparation for national specialty certification as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and to progress seamlessly to earn the DNP degree.

DNP: Post-MSN Pathway

This pathway charts a course for nurses with a specialty MSN to achieve the highest level of nursing practice, and all the personal, financial and professional benefits a doctoral degree confers.

  • Students meet in person just 1x/month, with the balance of learning completed online
  • Full- and part-time programs available
  • Two years (full-time) or three years (part-time) to degree
  • 39 credits beyond the MSN degree
  • Application deadline: December 1 for entry the following fall

Who should apply?

Applicants to the post-master's DNP should have advanced education in a clinical specialty. Candidates who are eligible for clinical certification as APRNs should have valid APRN licenses. Graduates from other advanced specialty areas such as public health or health administration do not need these certifications.

Candidates with generalist MSN degrees (CNL, nursing education, informatics, etc.) should pursue a post-master's program to obtain clinical specialization before pursuing a DNP. Alternatively, a BSN to DNP pathway is also available, and includes preparation for NP or CNS certification.