Kent State's MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program can be completed 100% online in less than two years.

There is a growing demand for nurses with advanced leadership and technology skills which enable them to navigate the increasingly complex healthcare environment. There is also an increasing need for nurses who possess advanced knowledge that enables them to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes.

The DNP is the terminal degree for nurses who want to advance their knowledge of nursing practice and gain exceptional leadership and technology skills.

Why Kent State? Our program offers you:

  • A cohort structure: You'll learn and collaborate with a group of peers and faculty throughout the entire program.
  • An innovative curriculum completed 100% online in only five semesters.
  • An experienced faculty advisor who will work with you to develop and conduct a Scholarly Project that will contribute to nursing practice and positively impact patient outcomes.
  • Mentorship and guidance from our doctorally prepared faculty, which include nationally certified advanced practice nurses, active researchers, and experienced nurse leaders who understand the challenges of today's healthcare environment.

Our DNP program will prepare you to assume a leadership role in healthcare, make an impact on healthcare policy, apply current research and evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes, and practice with interdisciplinary teams, information systems, and quality improvement.

Admissions Criteria

We invite you to apply to the DNP program if you meet the following requirements:

  • A BSN degree1 or an MSN degree in advanced practice nursing that is accredited by CCNE or ACEN.
    • MSN degree students must submit proof of current, national certification as an APRN within their first semester or prior to beginning their practicum hours, whichever comes first.
  • A minimum overall 3.000 GPA on a 4.000 point scale.
  • Completion of an undergraduate- or graduate-level statistics course with a minimum C grade.
  • Active, unrestricted registered nurse license in the state in which the student's practica will be completed.
  • GRE scores, no more than five years old (Effective spring 2019, GRE scores will only be required for post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing applicants).

Additional Requirements

  • Résumé or curriculum vitae that demonstrates professional experience in nursing.
  • Essay (300 words) describing professional goals and reasons for seeking the professional practice doctorate.
  • Three letters of reference from health care professionals or academic faculty who can speak to the applicant's professional and academic abilities
  • Pre-admission interview
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 560 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
    • Minimum 83 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
    • Minimum 78 MELAB score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 55 PTE score

Students selected for admission to the nursing program must meet the College of Nursing's Clinical Compliance Policy.

1. Upon admission to the DNP degree, students who hold only a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited bachelor's degree in nursing will be admitted also to the MSN degree. This will allow students to complete MSN coursework and enroll in some DNP coursework after successfully completing their first two full-time semesters of graduate study. Students must first complete MSN coursework, earn the MSN degree and obtain APRN national certification before they can continue with DNP coursework and earn the DNP degree.
Additional Requirements

DNP Curriculum

The DNP program is 34 total credits, 525 practicum hours, and can be completed in 5 semesters.

Below you will find a sample curriculum plan for 2-year students.

Semester 1: Fall
  • NURS 70630: Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice / 3 credits
  • NURS 70620: Doctor of Nursing Practice Seminar / 3 credits
Semester 2: Spring
  • NURS 70635: Application of Evidence-Based Practice / 3 credits
  • NURS 70640: Advanced Leadership in Healthcare / 3 credits
  • NURS 70592: Doctoral Nursing Practice Practicum (150 hours) / 2 credits (of 7)
Semester 3: Summer
  • NURS 70650: Organizational Systems / 3 credits​
  • HI 80411: Clinical Analytics / 3 credits
  • NURS 70592: Doctoral Nursing Practice Practicum (150 hours) / 2 credits (of 7)
Semester 4: Fall
  • NURS 70670: Quality Improvement in Healthcare Delivery / 3 credits
  • NURS 70680: Population Health / 3 credits
  • NURS 70592: Doctoral Nursing Practice Practicum (150 hours) / 2 credits (of 7)
Semester 5: Spring
  • NURS 70685: Healthcare Finance and Economic Policy / 3 credits
  • NURS 70592: Doctoral Nursing Practice Practicum (75 hours) / 1 credit (of 7)

View Course Requirements

DNP or Ph.D.?

Are you unsure of which nursing doctorate is the best choice?
Compare and contrast the Ph.D. and DNP programs

Meet the Faculty

Learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice faculty members:

Photo of Lisa Onesko

Lisa Onesko
Program Director & Associate Professor

Photo of Kim Cleveland

Kimberly Cleveland

Photo of Lynn Gaddis

Lynn Gaddis
Assistant Professor

Photo of Louise Knox

Louise H. Knox
Assistant Professor

Photo of Marilyn Nibling

Marilyn S. Nibling
Assistant Professor


Begin Your Transformation

Discover why Kent State's Doctor of Nursing Practice program is right for you. Enrollment advisors can be reached at 330-672-7911.

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