Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Program Overview

You have the courage to be a leader in the nursing field. Courage to lead and make a difference.

A DNP comes with the confidence and authenticity needed for the highest levels of practice. A DNP from PLNU builds upon your expertise and your distinct point of view. PLNU values your calling, meeting it with leadership and practical skills you’ll need to grow into prominent roles within complex health systems.

Ranked at No. 52 by The Economist out of 1,275 colleges in their first ever university rankings, PLNU offers a convenient format tailored to accommodate your work and life commitments.


The Benefits of Earning a DNP from PLNU

Learn why PLNU's DNP might be the perfect fit for you.

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Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Space to Fully Invest in Work and School

PLNU’s DNP is a hybrid program, so you can pace yourself with online coursework as well as reap the benefits of face-to-face, modified intensives once a semester in San Diego. Multiple entry points allow those at most degree levels to earn the DNP. Enter as BSN-prepared and have the option to finish with an MSN or use your MSN clinical work as credits toward the DNP.

Leadership as Your Fullest Potential

Not only will you be prepared for the evolving standards and demands in your field, you will also gain confidence as you develop inside a cohort of confident, experienced, empowered individuals who are faithful to their own callings and to the future of nursing. Increase your influence; our graduates are highly sought-after by employers and highly regarded by those in their field.

Work that is Authentic and Sacred

Nursing as sacred work is a cornerstone value of PLNU’s nursing programs. Learn alongside faculty and colleagues who value it the same way. Any program can teach you skills and best practices; at PLNU seasoned professors serve as academic and professional mentors not only in class but in helping you discover your unique calling.

When you complete the DNP program, you will be able to:

  • Create dialogue and strategies supporting practice changes within the healthcare system

  • Appraise evidence for best practice implementation through the utilization of information technology

  • Synthesize evidence to implement change that affects client outcomes

  • Recommend standards for holistic care that meet the client needs

  • Analyze own self-care practices that advance optimal care of clients, nurses and organization(s)

  • Model graceful service through compassionate responses to patient, family, staff and organizational needs

  • Design an environment of advocacy for patient care that honors the diversity of patients/families, healthcare staff and organizations

  • Create opportunities to improve the quality of health within a community

  • Defend ethical care consistent with professional practice

Licensures and Professional Certifications:

PLNU cannot confirm whether California's licensures, credentials, and other professional certifications are accepted in other states.

Course List


Application Information

Program Start Date(s):

Fall 2018

Application Deadline(s):

Fall 2018 – August 1, 2018

All applications submitted after this date will be reviewed based on availability of space.

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Program Prerequisites

Admission to the program is based on an overall appraisal of the applicant's ability to undertake doctoral study and their contributions to the discipline of nursing as evidenced by the following:

  1. Documentation of current RN license

  2. Current employment in nursing or at least 1 year of full-time practice in the last 5 years

  3. Online application for admissions (includes $50 non-refundable application fee)

    Fee waived if applicant is one of the following: PLNU alum, current or former military and their dependents, PLNU employee
  4. Submit official transcripts.

    For applicants to the MSN-to-DNP track, a 3.2 GPA is required.
  5. Curriculum Vitae or Resume

  6. Three professional letters of recommendation

  7. A typed statement identifying a change of practice issue related to professional goals

  8. Example of scholarly work (e.g. work related presentation or project, paper from prior educational endeavors, professional presentation: published document, PowerPoint or poster)

State Authorization

State authorization is a formal determination by a state that PLNU is approved to conduct activities regulated by that state. PLNU is not required to obtain state authorization in every state, and the university has opted at this time not to seek authorization in some states. Additionally, PLNU meets the criteria for exemption from authorization in certain states.

At this time, PLNU does not have authorization in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, which means residents of these states cannot enroll in any PLNU online program or course. For more information refer to our disclosures page.

Authorizations in specific states may change periodically. PLNU recommends individuals contact PLNU admissions at (800) 733-7770 for the latest information.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Career Opportunities

PLNU’s DNP will prepare you for the highest levels of nursing leadership and to engage on policy-level decisions regarding patient care. Some DNPs even pursue entrepreneurship and open their own nurse-run clinics.

Career outcomes include:

  • Faculty

  • Nurse Manager, Director, or Administrator

  • Advanced Practice Nurse

  • Entrepreneur