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Nursing, D.N.P.

Saint Louis University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice programs will prepare you to fill the growing need for doctorally prepared nurse clinicians, scholars and educators.

About the Program

SLU offers online degree programs for either a post-B.S.N. or post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice. While courses are taken online, B.S.N. to D.N.P. students will visit campus four times and M.S.N. to D.N.P. students will come twice. (See "Program Details" for more information.)

The D.N.P. is a practice-focused doctoral degree that educates nurses to become expert clinicians, leaders in health policy and catalysts for improved health care delivery within an interprofessional environment. This online program is available to students who possess a master's degree in an advanced practice area such as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist.

B.S.N. to D.N.P. students at SLU can choose from five specialties, allowing you to customize the patient population with which you will work most:

  • Adult/Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult/Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Students will complete a capstone project at the end of the program.

Program Highlights

Our responsive faculty are nationally recognized for teaching excellence, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship. SLU also offers:

  • Online library
  • Online writing center
  • State-of-the art teaching facilities
Post-B.S.N. to D.N.P. Curriculum and Program Details

SLU’s post B.S.N. to D.N.P. program requires a total of 68 credit hours beyond the B.S.N., depending on the population specialty focus. The courses can be taken over a four-to-five-year period with full- or part-time study. You will complete the program with 1,050 or 1,125 clinical hours, depending on the specialty.

Four visits to Saint Louis University’s campus are required. The first is a two-day orientation to SLU, online education and the role of nurse practitioners. The second is a three-day residency at the School of Nursing, where your knowledge of the curriculum’s content, including diagnostic reasoning, clinical assessment skills and therapeutic communication, will be assessed. The next visit is an orientation to doctoral-level course work. The fourth occurs at the end of the program to present the D.N.P. project.

Post-B.S.N. to D.N.P Curriculum

  • Advanced Practice Nursing: Role Acquisition (1)
  • Ethics in Nursing and Health Care (2)
  • Advanced Pharmacology (3)
  • Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Decision Making (3)
  • Health Promotion (3)
  • Principles of Practice Management (2)
  • Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
  • General Research Methods (3)
  • Principles of Epidemiology (3)
  • Biostatistics (3)

All students complete 25 hours of courses (6000 level) that include:

  • Interprofessional Collaboration (3)
  • Clinical Informatics (2)
  • Health Policy and Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
  • Health Care Delivery Systems (3)
  • Evidence Based Practice I (3)
  • Evidence Based Practice II: Methods & Techniques (3)
  • Leadership in Health Care (3)
  • Project Management (2)
  • Clinical and DNP Project (3)

Please view the D.N.P. Student Handbook for a sample curriculum plan, including the required specialty courses.

Post-M.S.N. to D.N.P. Curriculum and Program Details

SLU’s post-master's D.N.P. begins each year in August and requires a total of 28 credit hours beyond the M.S.N. With the discretion of the School of Nursing, you may be able to transfer five to six credit hours of comparable graduate-level coursework.

The D.N.P. curriculum provides flexible sequencing of courses that are offered online in the fall and spring semesters, with one course offered in the summer session. The program requires two visits to our St. Louis campus. The first visit is a two to three day orientation at the beginning of the program. A second visit of one to two days is expected at the end of the program to present the required D.N.P. project.

This D.N.P. project is based on your interest and synthesizes the knowledge you gain throughout the program. It will focus on a practice change initiative in risk reduction, such as a program evaluation, a quality improvement project, evaluation of a new practice model, a consulting project or a pilot study.

Post-M.S.N to D.N.P Curriculum (28 Credit Hours):

  • Interprofessional Collaboration (3)

  • Clinical Informatics (2)

  • Health Care Policy and Advanced Practice Nursing (3)

  • Principles of Epidemiology (3)

  • Evidence Based Practice I (3)

  • Evidence Based Practice II: Methods and Techniques (3)

  • Health Care Delivery Systems (3)

  • Leadership in Health Care (3)

  • Project Management (2)

  • DNP Clinical and DNP Project (3)


Saint Louis University's nursing faculty is nationally recognized for its teaching expertise, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship. Faculty members from the School of Nursing have won numerous prestigious awards, honors and fellowships.

Students learn from faculty who are expert teachers and clinicians who excel in their nursing specialty areas and in nursing education. For six out of the last seven years, a Saint Louis University faculty member has been named the top nursing educator in the region in St. Louis Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing awards.

All nursing faculty are master's-prepared; the majority are doctorally prepared.

Graduates of SLU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program are prepared to be nurse clinicians or educators. Our graduates influence health policy at institutional, local, state and national levels and formulate strategies to maximize patient health.
Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
Cost Calculator
Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Learn about scholarships and financial aid at Student Financial Services.

Applicant Criteria

Saint Louis University School of Nursing accepts applications to the D.N.P. program from students living in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Other criteria are listed below.

Post-Master’s D.N.P.

  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or more on a 4 scale.
  • A master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • Certification as a nurse practitioner in at least one of the nursing specialties that the School of Nursing offers as an MSN-NP degree including: acute gerontology primary care, adult gerontology acute care, family, pediatrics and family psychiatric mental health.

  • Recognition as an advanced practice nurse in the state in which clinical experiences will be done.

  • Certification as a clinical nurse specialist (C.N.S) with national and/or state recognition will be individually evaluated according for admission according to specialty and functional role.

  • An unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done.
  • Successful completion of pathophysiology, pharmacology and advanced health assessment at the graduate level.
  • Evidence of recent A.P.N. experience.
  • Inferential or biostatistics course within the last five years. (This may be taken at Saint Louis University during the summer prior to the start of the D.N.P. program.)

Post-B.S.N. D.N.P.

  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • One year of clinical experience.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.0 system.
  • Three recommendations from people (preferably from master's or doctorally prepared nurses) who can speak to your potential for success from an academic and/or professional perspective.
  • A statement addressing your goal for doctoral study, research translation area of interest for the capstone project and your career goals. This must be two-pages, typewritten and double-spaced.
  • An unencumbered registered nurse license in the state in which clinical experience will be done.
  • Current CPR certification from the American Heart Association.
  • Completion of an undergraduate-level descriptive and inferential statistics course.
  • Completion of a beginning-level health assessment or equivalent course.

To apply, you’ll need:

Application Requirements
Application form and fee
Three letters of recommendation
Interview (possible)
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Application Deadlines

For the post-B.S.N. D.N.P. program, students should apply for the spring semester by September 1 and the fall semester by March 31.

For the post-master’s D.N.P. program, students should apply for the fall semester by March 31.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed shortly after the submission deadline. Applicants will have a decision six to eight weeks after that time.