Doctor of Nursing Practice


University of Minnesota DNP graduates are known for positively influencing nursing practice and health care delivery for individuals and populations locally, nationally and around the world. DNP graduates are in high demand as the need increases to improve health outcomes and care for people with complex, chronic conditions.

Nurse and patient

Two paths to completing the DNP degree

The School of Nursing offers two distinct paths to the DNP degree.

For registered nurses who have an entry level degree in nursing such as a BSN or professional master’s entry-level nursing degree. This program can be completed in three years of full time study and requires application to one of the 12 DNP specialties.

For nurses who already hold a master’s degree in a nursing specialty from a fully-accredited institution. The program can be completed in three semesters of full time study.

Benefits of being at the University of Minnesota

Northrop mall on East Bank campus

Located in a vibrant health care community, within a major research university and a dynamic Academic Health Center, the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota provides students with extensive interprofessional education and practice experiences.

DNP students are mentored by faculty who are nationally and internationally renowned in their fields, many of whom also maintain clinical practices and are actively engaged in research and scholarship.

The school partners with more than 250 sites to provide students with exceptional clinical experiences in their specialty areas.

About the program

Students in this innovative and rigorous DNP program at the University of Minnesota learn to provide advanced nursing care as members of interprofessional health care teams, emphasizing evidence-based practice and quality improvement to impact patient outcomes.


Students enjoy the flexibility of an online curriculum with on-campus class sessions once per semester.

Students gain exceptional clinical experiences in their specialty areas at our 250 clinical sites 

Clinical placement

Students are carefully placed in clinical settings to provide a rich array of experiences that match their specialty focus, interest areas and other considerations including geographic location. Students are not responsible for securing their clinical placements.

DNP scholarly project

Health Innovation and Leadership

Our graduates are in high demand and are known for positively influencing nursing practice and health care delivery

In addition to core and specialty courses and clinical experiences, each student plans and completes a process improvement project, applying research evidence to improved practice within their specialty.

Anticipating the changing health care landscape and growing demand for DNP graduates, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing discontinued the master’s degree in nursing in 2007 and transitioned to offering the DNP degree. With more than 300 current DNP students today, the program is among the largest in the country.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Minnesota is accredited by the:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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Washington, DC 20036

DNP Overview

International students

Applicants who are not US citizens or Permanent Residents need to know that the University of Minnesota’s DNP program does not meet the requirements for eligibility needed to obtain the appropriate F-1 student visa or status because the DNP has limited (less than four) face-to-face on-site classes per DNP course. 

During the application process, we ask that international students use ECE or WES credential services for the evaluations.

Applicants from South Dakota and Georgia

Due to board of nursing regulations in the states of South Dakota and Georgia, we are unable to accept applications to the DNP program from nurses residing in those states.