Nurses and Nursing students

Doctor of
Nursing Practice - Leadership

Program Summary

Prepare for the highest level of clinical nursing practice with this professional, practice-focused online doctoral degree program. The DNP–Leadership degree has two entry pathways based on your previous education and nursing experience: directly from the B.S. in Nursing or post–Master of Science in Nursing.
How To Apply
Apply by March 1 to start May 26

How To Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

38–61 Credits $1,007 per credit

Costs and Financial Aid 

This program is CCNE Accredited

A Doctoral Degree in Nursing from World Campus

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a professional, practice-focused doctoral degree designed to prepare highly qualified nurses to be leaders who deliver expert nursing care and ultimately improve health care outcomes. This degree is designed for you if you are a nurse who plans to continue in a practice role, and who has already earned a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing.

Doctor of Nursing Practice – Leadership at Penn State

Providing quality nursing education since 1964, Penn State's Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing, in partnership with Penn State World Campus, can help you update your knowledge and skills to meet the demands of the constantly changing health care field. Based on your previous education and nursing experience, the DNP–Leadership degree has two entry pathways:

  • post–Bachelor of Science in Nursing for nurse administrators
  • post–Master of Science in Nursing for nurse administrators and advanced practice nurses

Your Online DNP–Leadership Courses

Built on the DNP Essentials developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the curriculum will focus on the translation of research into practice, transformational leadership, and advanced expert nursing practice. To support these Essentials, your course work will also include nursing/change theory, foundations of advanced nursing practice, health policy, informatics, and population-based health.

Total credits required will vary depending on your educational background and the number of practicum hours you need to meet the requirement.

MSN to DNP entry pathway: 38–46 credits
BS to DNP entry pathway: 61 credits

While providing you with the convenience and flexibility of an online program, the online DNP–Leadership program will include the same rigor you would expect from a traditional doctoral-level nursing program. In order to properly prepare you for the highest level of clinical nursing practice, you will be required to attend in-person intensive sessions and complete other doctoral benchmarks, including your Qualifying Examination, Comprehensive Examination, and DNP project with an oral presentation.

As a student in the online DNP–Leadership program, you can expect to take at least two courses per semester in fall and spring, with additional courses offered during the summer semester. Students entering through the B.S. to DNP pathway will be considered full-time students and can expect to take at least three courses per semester in fall and spring.

The Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at The Pennsylvania State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. Further information can be found at


Penn State World Campus Student

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