East Carolina University confers multiple online DNP programs, including tracks for BSN-DNP and Post-Master's DNP. This hybrid program boasts a residency requirement of just one campus day residency each semester and an inter-professional curriculum designed to combine leadership skills with the experience these nurses already have. The school also has a stated focus on rural and underserved populations, making it a great choice for nurses who already work in those environments. Students can expect to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework, 1,000 clinical hours past the undergraduate level, a capstone project, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Primary Care of Adults, Obstetrical healthcare, and Synthesis in Primary Care of Families.
10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Nurse Practitioner Online
Students searching for online DNP programs are in good company; as the need for nurses working in the healthcare industry grows so too does the need for professional nurse leaders. With a Doctorate in Nurse Practitioner, students can use their prior nurse training and combine it with leadership skills to advance their careers and become the necessary and ethical leaders that the country needs.
An online doctorate in the field is a great choice for working nurses. Because so many of them work full-time, it has become necessary to build wholly online or hybrid pathways so that these experienced professionals can move forward into leadership positions. Now, with the help of this ranking, these nurses can spend less time researching individual schools and focus on those that have a clear online pathway towards completion.
Accredited Online College Programs
Top 10 Most Affordable Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs Online
|1||East Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||Georgia Southern University||Statesboro, GA|
|4||Jacksonville State University||Jacksonville, AL|
|5||Missouri State University||Springfield, MO|
|6||New Mexico State University||Las Cruces, NM|
|7||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL|
|8||University of Nevada at Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV|
This ranking is based on information that is publicly available through the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator tool. The 90 schools initially considered were carefully sorted to find online DNP programs. Schools that offered a fully online degree or hybrid options were then ranked on their in-state graduate tuition rates. From there, the final 10 were chosen and are listed below in order of least to most affordable.
Ranking Low-cost Online DNP Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Doctorate in Nursing Practice?
Nursing professionals who take on the DNP will already be aware that this is a terminal degree and, with the exception of specialty certificates, this is top rung of the nursing profession ladder. This means that this degree gives professionals the ability take on any clinical-based role.
The most popular, as well as the most demanding, role is that of nurse executive. Often called chief nursing officers, this is the most senior management position that a nurse can achieve. These are also demanding careers, which often include leading a staff of nurses and reporting straight to the management board of a healthcare facility. These professionals can work in hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, elderly or hospice homes, and more.
Another option, which is rare for DNP holders, is that of an academic. The reason this career option is rare is that most nurses who wish to become academics generally take the Ph.D. track. However, some nursing schools will offer positions to DNP holders simply because they have experience as executives in the healthcare industry.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
The salary of a nurse executive can depend on the size of the facility in which they work, the cost of living in the area, and other factors, but most nurse executives in this field make anywhere between $100,000 and $300,000 a year. This is considered to be a starting salary and while the position application process can be competitive, it is also a highly rewarding position for most nurses.
If that seems like a high salary, that’s because employers are paying for a nurse’s experience, education, and expertise. Although smaller healthcare facilities and firms pay less, they also tend to pay at least $100,000 in order to compensate a nurse properly for their experience. Salaries also do tend to go up the longer a nurse is in their position, enabling them to earn not only comprehensive benefits but also additional compensation in the form of overtime and bonuses.
What are the Various Disciplines of a Nurse Practitioner?
It would be simple to say that the disciplines of nursing practice are leadership and nursing, but it’s far more complicated than that. These nurses utilize several different disciplines throughout their work week and can often seem to be doing more than one person’s job. DNP students do have a foundation in nursing, and to a certain degree, a specialty in the field. This could geriatrics, neonatal, mental health, family practice, and more; all of these have specific disciplines that come into play. Since nursing is a practice-based profession, most of the disciplines are used on a daily basis.
At the doctoral level, however, the disciplines of business, law, policy, human resources, management, technology, public health, and more are at work. Teamwork, leadership, and administrative skills are also necessary for this field, leaving nurse practitioners and executives to be some of the most interdisciplinary professionals in the workforce.
Can You Earn an Online DNP with Only a Bachelor’s Degree?
Over 20 years ago, this would have been laughable, but times have changed. It is actually common to find DNP programs that offer different BSN-DNP tracks, but with some caveats and considerations, which are listed below.
First, for a nurse who holds a BSN to be considered for a DNP program, they must provide evidence of having completed an accredited BSN. They must also demonstrate evidence that they have a nursing license that is in good standing and at least one year’s worth of work experience. Professional recommendations and a resume are also required for these candidates.
Second, a nurse with only a BSN can expect to do more work and be in school longer than an MSN-DNP candidate. This is because most programs require that a student earn a master’s degree in nursing prior to completing the doctoral program. This also means that, depending on the school, students could spend as much as 1,5000 hours doing clinical experiences while balancing coursework and capstone projects.
Third, most DNP programs have separate tracks for BSN-DNP students that require these students to attend school full-time. This is because this program requires between 72 and 98 credit hours of coursework, clinical hours, and in some cases even a research project. Students generally do not have the time to work while pursuing their DNP.
Finally, the BSN-DNP tracks that are available at many schools are restrictive, meaning that only students with specific specialties at the undergraduate level will be considered. The most common specialty is Family Nurse Practitioner, although Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is also accepted. Students are encouraged to research BSN-DNP programs to see if their undergraduate degree will gain them entry into these online programs.
Is Accreditation Necessary for an Online Doctoral Degree?
Accreditation is absolutely essential for a student who is earning a doctoral degree. In fact, in the United States of America, it is a requirement by the U.S. Secretary of Education that practice-based nursing degrees, such as the DNP, hold accreditation. That accreditation is offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and it is as important as regional or national accreditation.
The reason is simple: accredited schools have a shared educational standard that employers rely on when employing DNP graduates. Because this is a leadership position, employers need to feel confident that the candidates they have at their disposal have the necessary education and skills needed to do the job they were hired to do. It also ensures that each DNP graduate is also licensed because it is the main requirement of doctoral programs that a student hold a nursing license in good standing.
Without accreditation from AACN, a student will have taken on a degree that is basically worthless in the eyes of the healthcare industry. No company or healthcare facility will hire a DNP graduate from an unaccredited program. Those employers simply cannot trust that the nurse has the necessary foundation in order to be in a leadership position.
Many online DNP programs do not offer information on whether they are accredited or not upfront; the ones on this ranking are, with the information being found on the program’s website under the “accreditation” tab. Students are encouraged to ask outright if a school has accreditation at the doctoral level or to visit the AACN site and search for schools manually. It is not advised that a student take it on good faith that an online program is accredited; research it first.
Nursing doctoral graduates are sorely needed in the healthcare sector. With the need for nurses expected to grow at an accelerated rate through 2020, it’s important that nursing leaders are there to help shepherd in the new generation of nurses. With the help of this ranking, curated by the GSH staff, students can find all of the necessary information they will need to find the right school for them. From discussing schedules, practicum requirements, and the different approaches to each degree to including the most accurate tuition rate information, this ranking is the best place to begin the search for online DNP programs that may be a great fit.
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Nurse Practitioner Online.
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