Most Affordable Online DNP Programs

With a DNP, or Doctorate of Nursing Practice, your career options in the healthcare field are virtually endless. You can become a health care executive, advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), nurse faculty educator, clinical researcher, health care lobbyist, and so much more. Individuals within this specialty are at the forefront of pharmaceutical research, pushing the boundaries of health services, and advancing medical policies within the U.S. and throughout the world.

Earning a DNP is a daunting task in and of itself, so if you are the kind of person that values their time, takes on multiple responsibilities, and always runs a busy schedule, then online schooling is definitely the route to follow. Remote programs are just as comprehensive as in-person learning options, if not more so. These formats are designed to accommodate your schedule and meet your specific learning requirements, which is the ideal way to ensure your academic success.

It’s no mystery that college hunting can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming aspects of one’s academic journey, but not to worry. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable online DNP programs out there, organized by comprehensiveness, value, and overall quality. With these in mind, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about your educational and professional pursuits.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online DNP program (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2022.

Cheapest Online DNP Programs for 2023

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
#1Texas Woman’s University$9,684
#2New Mexico State University$10,428
#3University of North Georgia$10,444
#4Murray State University$11,736
#5Fort Hays State University$13,189
#6University of Southern Indiana$13,481
#7The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga$14,040
#8Arkansas State University$14,189
#9Delta State University$14,296
#10Wichita State University$14,859
#11University of Nevada – Reno$14,930
#12Northern Michigan University$15,214
#13University of Arkansas$16,507
#14University of Central Arkansas$16,554
#15University of Missouri$16,559
#16Missouri State University$16,718
#17University of South Alabama$16,826
#18Jacksonville State University$17,523
#19Georgia College & State University$20,139
#20University of Alabama$20,917
#21West Chester University of Pennsylvania$21,484

10 Best Affordable Colleges for DNP Programs

1. Texas Woman’s University

Average Net Price: $ 9,684

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 94%

Texas Woman’s University has its headquarters in Denton and offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice program to students who have already qualified as licensed practice nurses and are seeking to advance their practice to become clinicians. The course takes the approach of integrating evidence-based practices in acute and primary care settings. The curriculum aims at preparing the students for the demands of the healthcare system by equipping them with the necessary skills needed to practice clinical duties. It also includes healthcare informatics and the application of scientific advances in nursing. Students must complete 46 hours of the course which happens either through online platforms or in class. A further 500 hours of clinical contact in the chosen field of specialization are needed before the student is cleared for graduation. Certifications needed before a student is admitted for the DNP program in this college include NP, CRNA, CNM, or CNS certifications, a Current U.S. RN and APRN license number, and a Master’s degree with a nursing major from a nationally accredited program.

2. New Mexico State University

Average Net Price: $10,428

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 63%

The DNP program at New Mexico State University is offered under the College of Health and Social Services. Applicants who have attained the highest level of Nursing practice are welcome to apply for the course, which is offered both online and in a class environment. This program helps nurses currently in practice to adhere to the set regulations by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which has proposed to set it as an entry requirement for advanced practice nurses beginning in 2020. Course content covers various aspects of the health industry, from Nurse informatics to healthcare improvement. Students need a total of 29 to 31 credits to qualify for the course. This college makes it convenient for nurses who want to learn their DNP online. Students who study at this college benefit from interacting with a diverse student population and first-hand practice in community-based nursing.

3. University of North Georgia

Average Net Price: $10,444

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 81%

The University Of North Georgia helps students with basic nursing practice skills to build on their skills and attain the highest level of nursing certifications attainable. Students taking this course graduate with hands-on skills that give them direct access to opportunities they can employ to improve healthcare in the state of Georgia as well as the entire country. The recent advancements have enabled the University to avail the course material online so that students can enjoy full-time access and study from the comfort of their homes. Before students join the DNP program in this college, they must have completed 1000 hours in baccalaureate practice. The University, however, allows some to come with 500 hours of practice and proceed with the rest 500 hours when they are pursuing the course at the university. The university also accepts students who want to transfer from other accredited universities so long as they meet the criteria for transfer. The university board and DNP Program Coordinator are responsible for reviewing any transfer requests.

4. Murray State University

Average Net Price: $11,736

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 77%

Murray State University is located at Curris Center in Murray, Kentucky. This is their physical office and main campus. The university offers the DNP program under the school of nursing and health professions. Students access the course content through the University’s e-learning platform allowing practice nurses to advance their education to terminal levels. The benefits enjoyed by offering the course through DNP online classes is that the students are not limited to a single geographical location where they have to attend classes. They also get full-time access to the course content, and they can review past as well as current content. The online DNP allows the university to offer the course all year round. Students get to complete the course within a short period of only 20 months. Apart from the regular requirements for admission to the DNP course at Murray State University, students are also required to attend an interview with the DNP faculty members. Upon a successful interview, they get incorporated into the university.

5. Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $13,189

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Fort Hays State University has a physical location at 600 Park Street in Hays. The DNP program is offered in the school of nursing and provides practicing nurses with a chance to advance their skills and education to the topmost level. Graduates from this University have, in the past, assumed leadership roles after graduating. This is because the university’s approach to delivering the course content aims at enabling them to provide high-quality patient-centered care and emphasizes collaborative evidence-based practices. The department of nursing also offers BSN programs to students who would like to pursue careers as family Practitioner nurses. All their online DNP programs are available online to US students but not international students. International students can only do on-campus courses. The comprehensive approach in putting together the course content allows the students who qualify in this course have a positive impact in advocating for policy formation in healthcare after they graduate.

6. University of Southern Indiana

Average Net Price: $13,481

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 94%

The university has its physical location in Evansville, Indiana, and avails both BSN to DNP and Post MSN DNP programs to qualified students. The program seeks to enable students to sharpen skills they can use to improve nursing and responsiveness to regional and national healthcare needs. In addition, the students are prepared to assume multiple roles both as leaders and as healthcare policy influencers. The course materials are contingent on the education gained during the postgraduate Nursing classes, which means only qualified and practicing nurses with a master’s degree are permitted to apply. DNP graduates from this University can integrate nursing knowledge with science to solve real-world problems in health care. They are also equipped to serve as leaders and assume key roles in the formulation and implementation of health policies within federal and inter-state healthcare systems. The program equips them with enough skills for them to employ advanced thinking and evidence-based care.

7. The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

Average Net Price: $ 13,624

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 83%

The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga is surrounded by the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. UTC offers the DNP program under the school of nursing. Students have two choices of concentrations from which to choose. The Nursing concentration is for those who are already Masters-prepared advanced practice nurses such as NP, CRNA, CNM, and CNS. It consists of 36 credit hours of classes and a final project focused on solving a significant healthcare problem. UT’s online Nursing Administration Systems concentration requires 57 credit hours of classes and a residency during which they complete their final project. This online DNP program concentration is for BSN to DNP students, or nurses with a non-advanced practice Master’s degree. Additional coursework can be completed after completion of this concentration to participate in the DNP MBA option.

8. Arkansas State University

Average Net Price: $14,189

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 67%

This university has a physical location in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and offers the DNP program under the college of nursing and health Professions. The DNP program at this University is a little different from other online DNP programs because it offers students an on-campus immersion experience at the start of each semester. Application to this program is restricted to students who have already acquired a nursing master’s degree in the fields of Advanced nursing, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist. Moreover, applicants must have a valid practicing license from APN or APRN regulating bodies. Students partake in this online DNP program for two and a half years of full-time studies. Throughout the program, they must complete a total of 41 credit hours and 11 courses, where 3 of the courses are clinical internships. This program aims at equipping the students with leadership skills that give them the ability to design and implement policies in the healthcare industry. Graduates also get enough skills to practice direct and indirect care, making it one of the best DNP programs online.

9. Delta State University

Average Net Price: $14,296

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Delta State University is situated in Cleveland and avails the DNP program via its online e-learning platform. After acquiring DNP programs online, nurses can seek education eligibility and register for certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The certification allows them to practice as registered nurses offering primary and acute care for patients within their communities and the healthcare system as a whole. DNP online program options at Delta State University are either full or partial, with options for RN to DNP with 107 Credit hours. BSN to DNP requires 80 credit hours, while students who join the program with master’s degrees require 71 to 80 credit hours. For students who want to pursue the Family Practitioner Nurse option of the DNP programs, only 31 credit hours are required. When graduating from this University, DNP students are set to become healthcare leaders. The course content equips them with skills to design, influence, and implement ethical healthcare policies that affect both finances and outcomes of the places they work in.

10. Wichita State University

Average Net Price: $14,859

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Wichita State University has its physical location in Wichita, Kansas, and offers a fully online MSN to DPN degree. It is geared towards students who want to focus on practicing nursing rather than having a research-focused nursing career. Program participants are accepted once a year in the spring. To apply, they must have a Master’s Degree in Nursing, be an active, licensed Registered Nurse, and be nationally certified as an advanced practice nurse in their specialization. Though the courses are all streamed online, the interaction between students and faculty is still frequent and encouraged. The degree requires completing 29 credit hours of courses, such as Management of Care Update, Health Care System Policy and Politics Update, and Advanced Pathophysiology II.

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