College of Health and Human Services2012-2013


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 clinically focused plan helps students further develop their leadership and policy-making skills and provides experience in the interpretation of and practical adaptation of research 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 clinical expertise. By building on your previous knowledge - you can transfer up to 41 units from your master's program - you'll use research to transform clinical practice. This terminal degree, which requires you to complete 71 credit hours and 1,000 clinical hours, also helps prepare you for a leadership role in healthcare settings.

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


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • Master's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited University and a nationally accredited nursing program. If the institution and the program are outside of the US, equivalent accreditation standards must be met.
    • Current national certification as a Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist or Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Current Registered Nurse License in good standing
    • Completed courses in the following areas:
      • Graduate descriptive and inferential statistics course from a college or university with a grade of "B" or better
      • Graduate pathophysiology course from a college or university with a grade of "B" or better
      • Graduate pharmacology course from a college or university with a grade of “B” or better
      • Graduate physical assessment course from a college or university with a grade of "B" or better
    • Recommendation from three professional persons knowledgeable about the applicant's potential to work effectively in advanced professional and scholarly roles
    • A comprehensive statement about your experiences, interests and goals
    • Structured interview with faculty may be required
    • GPA. Minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.0=A)
    • English Proficiency Requirement for International Applicants. If applicable list any English proficiency requirements that are higher than and/or in addition to the Graduate College requirement.
Doctoral Requirements
  • Please Note:
    • This degree is a clinical doctorate with emphasis on expert clinical practice. One thousand hours (1,000) of clinical practice with a minimum of 240 hours completed at NAU is required. The summative outcome is a scholarly project that demonstrates the integration and translation of research evidence 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

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