Doctor of Nursing Practice

Program Overview

Improve patient outcomes and become a nurse leader with an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Rivier University. This clinically focused degree will help you advance to the highest level of nursing practice.

Due to changes in healthcare delivery and recent reforms, more Americans have access to healthcare, exacerbating the shortage of primary care providers. Nursing leaders are needed to not only help meet the demand for doctors and nurses, but to advocate for change to improve the healthcare environment. Graduates of the DNP program will be prepared to lead interdisciplinary healthcare teams and improve systems of care, patient outcomes, quality and safety.

Students in the program learn how to conduct complex diagnostic and treatment modalities, utilize informatics to enhance clinical decision-making and critically evaluate scholarly research. Through online courses and field practicums, the program emphasizes: (1) direct care of individual patients, (2) care of patient populations, including community health nursing, and (3) practice that supports patient care.

Multiple term starts and competitive tuition rates are designed to help you start, and finish, faster. Rivier University has been educating students to transform the world for more than 80 years, so you can trust you will receive a high-quality education in a format designed to help you succeed.

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Rivier’s associate, bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Rivier University has applied for candidacy status for the DNP program to obtain accreditation by the ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga 30326, (404) 975-5000,

  • Next Start Date: May 13, 2019
  • Est. Program Length: 2.5 years
  • Credit Hours: 39
  • Course Length: 7 and 14 weeks

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Course Map

The degree requires 39 credit hours for completion and tuition ranges from $780-$1,015 per credit hour depending on the course level.


Successful completion of graduate (500-level or above) statistics course within three years of application.

Required Core Courses
  • BUS 559 Healthcare Finance: 3
  • BUS 632 Healthcare Info Systems: 3
  • NSG 601 Quality Healthcare Improvement: 3
  • NSG 610 Advanced Health Policy: 3
  • NSG 800 Scientific Foundations for Practice: 3
  • NSG 802 Interpretation of Quantitative Research for Healthcare: 3
  • NSG 805 Health Research Methods: 3
  • NSG 810 Epidemiology in Advanced Practice Nursing: 3
  • NSG 815 Evidence Based Leadership Practices: 3

The online DNP program includes one on-campus Saturday session each semester.

Required Practicum Courses
  • NSG 850 Doctoral Practicum/Seminar I: 3
  • NSG 860 Doctoral Practicum/Seminar II: 3
  • NSG 870 Doctoral Practicum/Seminar III: 3
  • NSG 880 Doctoral Practicum/ Seminar IV: 3

The online DNP program includes one on-campus Saturday session each semester.

This nursing education program is a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326 404-975-5000 opens in new window

Admission Requirements

  • A copy of official transcripts of all post-secondary education.
  • Two (2) recommendation letters in sealed envelopes. One letter must be from a direct supervisor or professional who can address your clinical expertise and leadership potential. The second letter may also be a professional recommendation or else a recent academic instructor who may address your professional strengths as a student. These letters should be submitted in sealed envelopes, or else mailed directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions via US mail or email with the DNP applicants' name in the subject line. These letters may also be sent electronically directly from the author.
  • A copy of your unencumbered, active advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in the state where practicums will be conducted.
  • A statement of purpose (1-2 pages) that gives your reasons for pursuing the DNP and shows how your interests align with one of the eight AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Keep in mind this exercise may be a springboard to the scholarly project you will develop as part of the DNP.
  • An updated resume or CV.
  • Evidence of a completed graduate level statistics course.
  • Documentation of the number of supervised clinical hours completed in previous Master’s in Nursing program. (Must be a minimum of 500 hours.) Note: Since Rivier University's Master of Science in Nursing program requires this number of hours for graduation, and this information is documented, graduates of this program do not need to submit additional proof of these hours.
  • Completion of nursing practicum form.
  • Graduate GPA of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale. Candidates with less than a 3.2 GPA meeting the above criteria may be considered after interviewing with Graduate Nursing Faculty. A visit to campus is not required.
  • Our enrollment counselors are available to provide details for any of the above requirements.

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How to Apply

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Submit transcripts from every accredited postsecondary college or university attended.*

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* Submit high school transcript or GED; unnecessary if you have an associate degree.