The program is designed for licensed RNs with a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in nursing who wish to earn a doctorate in nursing practice. Nurses with a DNP possess expertise in theory, practice and leadership. You must choose one of three tracks of specialization: family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health practitioner or population health.
Students are admitted only in the fall semester. The priority application deadline is Nov. 15. Visit our application deadlines page for updated dates and deadlines.
The program is considered “hybrid” with most of the instruction offered online, and some required attendance in scheduled classroom time on your campus of registration. In-person class sessions are block scheduled so that students can attend each of their courses in a 1-2 day block. Classes are available on the Vancouver campus or in Puyallup however that is subject to change on a semester to semester basis. Lab education is at Vancouver campus only. In addition, you will complete clinical course requirements working in various health care settings across the Northwest. Clinical placements are arranged based on student requests and site availability. Students must be able to travel to clinical sites when there are none available in their local area.
You may complete clinical course work at a variety of sites. Border Bill students may complete clinicals in either Oregon or Washington if they have a Washington license.
For further details, including nursing scholarships, see the systemwide WSU College of Nursing website.
The DNP requires 72 – 74 credit hours. Full and part-time study options are offered allowing for maximum flexibility for the working nurse. If you are a bachelor’s-prepared student attending full-time, you will complete the program in 3 years. If you attend part-time, you will likely complete the degree requirements in 4-5 years.
The Graduate School allows 10 years.
Careers and salary
DNP nurses often work as family nurse practitioners, psychiatric nurse practitioners, health educators, clinical nurses, or patient care coordinators.
Salary varies by location and specialty, but most DNP-prepared nurses can expect an average starting salary of approximately $100,000.