College of Health and Human Services2014-2015


Nursing Practice, Doctor of Nursing Practice

This terminal degree is a pinnacle for nurses who have earned a master's degree and the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse designation. This clinical doctorate helps students further develop their leadership and policy-making skills and provides experience in the interpretation of and practical adaptation of evidence based practice and best practices.


What Can I Do with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Practice?

If you're a nurse who has a master's degree and an APRN specialty certification, our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) offers you an opportunity to sharpen your nursing skills and enhance your leadership expertise. The DNP is a clinical doctorate with emphasis on enhancing leadership expertise in rural and underserved populations.

University Requirements

  • To receive a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (D.N.P.) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, consisting of at least 71-76 units of graduate-level courses and one thousand hours (1,000) of clinical practice.

    The full policy can be viewed here.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 66 units of graduate nursing courses
  • At least 5 units of scholarly inquiry

Minimum Units for Completion 71 - 76
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Additional Fees/Program Fees Required
Some online/blended coursework Required


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application required ( for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit .
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements:

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • Master’s degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program or equivalent if program is outside the U.S.
    • Official letter from the degree issuing institution with the total number of completed clinical hours (admitted students only)
    • Current national certification as a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist or Clinical Nurse Specialist.  Note: Arizona Advanced Practice Registered Nurses License obtained prior to July 1, 2004 are exempt from certification requirement
    • Current Arizona Registered Nurse License (or compact state) and Arizona Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Certificate (APRN) in good standing
    • 3.0 GPA in all nursing coursework
    • Current RN license in good standing to practice as a registered nurse in Arizona or eligibility to obtain an Arizona license, or meet the Arizona Board of Nursing regulations regarding multistate licensure.
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Prerequisites (completed prior to enrolling in the program)
      • Completed courses in the following areas: 1) Graduate Advanced Pathophysiology with a grade of B, P, or better; 2) Graduate Advanced Pharmacology with a grade of B, P, or better; 3) Graduate Advanced Physical assessment from a college or university with a grade of B, P, or better; 4) Graduate Descriptive and Inferential Statistics course from a college or university with a grade of B P, or better within the past 3 years. Another option is graduate statistics completed before enrollment in NUR 677
Doctoral Requirements
  • Please Note:
    • This degree is a clinical doctorate with emphasis on leadership expertise. One thousand hours (1,000) of clinical practice with a minimum of 240 hours completed at NAU is required. The summative outcome is a DNP project that demonstrates the integration and translation of evidence based practice to enhance clinical practice, which includes an oral defense.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $40 per credit hour has been approved for this program.

Campus Availability

Go to mobile site