Doctor of Nursing Practice

Nursing students working in groups

The program is designed for licensed RNs with a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in nursing who wish to go on for a doctorate in nursing practice. Doctoral-level nurses possess expertise in theory and practice and often hold positions of leadership in the field. 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 Dec. 1. If there is capacity to admit additional qualified students, we will extend the application deadline. Visit our application deadlines page for updated dates and deadlines.

Track options:

Program Delivery

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. Classrooms are available on campuses at WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver; some classrooms are available for some courses at sites in Yakima, Walla Walla and Puyallup. 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.

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.

Flexible Scheduling

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 about 3-4 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 $92,000.

Ready to apply?

Contact an academic advisor and see Steps to Apply.