Online MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-Master’s) Program
Effect Meaningful Change as a DNP-Equipped Nurse Leader
Become a nurse leader and a change agent equipped with knowledge, skills and abilities to negotiate the complex and rapidly evolving health care environment.
Marymount’s online post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (MSN to DNP) is designed for the working nurse who possesses a master’s degree in nursing and desires to acquire the practice-focused skills and knowledge needed to influence health care policy and lead interprofessional teams to improve quality amongst individuals and populations with a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Why a Doctor of Nursing Practice?
In 2004, the AACN membership endorsed a position stating the DNP is the most appropriate degree for advanced-practice registered nurses (APRNs) to enter practice. Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and other authorities are calling for a rapid increase in the number of nurses holding doctoral degrees to meet the nation’s demand for faculty, researchers, advanced clinicians and leaders. And the latest recommendation from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) is to make the DNP degree the standard, entry-level degree for nurse practitioners.
Compared to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, the DNP allows you to play a larger role in patient care, leadership and quality improvement. As the highest level of education available in the nursing field, the DNP is the ideal option for nurses who aspire to leadership roles.
Convenient, Online Format for Working Professionals
All courses are taught online with virtual lectures, small cohorts and no on-campus experience with this program, to accommodate the schedules of working professional nurses. You will advance in your career path by earning your clinical doctorate to transform healthcare in the following ways:
- Advocate for change in healthcare policy
- Evaluate quality outcomes at the individual and population levels
- Lead teams, systems and practices with confidence
- Apply theories of professional leadership, personal leadership, skill building, quality improvement and ethical values
“I would absolutely recommend Marymount University to someone considering a nursing degree. The personal attention you receive is unmatched.”
– Angeline Thomas
Make a Difference with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree
At Marymount, nurse professionals are taught to provide compassionate primary care using evidence-informed practice and ethical analysis. Mentored by seasoned nurses based near the nation’s capital, you will deepen your knowledge of the global scope of healthcare policy and systems to effectively make an impact. Marymount’s MSN to DNP degree prepares nursing professionals to assume leadership roles in the health care system and develop new models of care delivery using a holistic approach. The DNP program is focused on:
- Evidence-informed practice
- Health care policy
Marymount fully supports you in your commitment to earning a post-master’s DNP with student support and more as you move through coursework, residency, a doctoral project and independent study.
The post-master’s MSN to DNP online curriculum features 11 courses. Throughout the program, you will:
- Develop new approaches to advanced nursing practice and health care delivery
- Demonstrate clinical, organizational, and systems-level leadership
- Design methods for evaluating clinical outcomes to direct evidence-based practice for improving health care outcomes
- Utilize knowledge drawn from epidemiological, statistical, and technological data to improve quality
- Lead interprofessional teams in the analysis of complex practice and organizational issues
- Demonstrate leadership in health policy advocacy
- Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking, and accountability
- Apply ethical analysis when generating policy, research, and practice
- Use conceptual and analytical skills in evaluating the links among practice, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues.
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited and U.S. News & World Report ranked program
- Top 15% nursing program for veterans and Top 15% nursing program for non-traditional students (College Factual)
- No GRE/GMAT required
- Supportive, responsive Student Success Advisors
- Total Credit Hours: 30-39
- Total Clinical Hours: 1000 total clinical hours (500 can be transferred in from clinical hours completed during prior APRN master’s degree program)
- MSN-prepared nurses who are not APRNs are invited to apply
- MSN with 3.0 GPA
- Unencumbered RN license
- Two letters of recommendation
Program Curriculum Snapshot
NUF 701 – Innovative Models of Care Delivery
Prepares students to demonstrate clinical, organizational, and systems-level leadership through study and design of innovative models of care delivery. It emphasizes the application of continuous quality management (CQM) principles and business process improvement (BPI) strategies in model development. Attendant course content focuses on developing skills in organizational and policy arenas, applying principles of practice management, balancing productivity with quality of care, and encouraging a culture that emphasizes practice excellence. (3 credits)
HCM 550 – Health Care Finance
Analyze and demonstrate evidenced-based leadership skills as core competencies in nursing to improve quality in patient care and strengthen nursing as a profession. Emphasis is on the theories of professional leadership, personal leadership, skill building, quality improvement, ethical values, moral agency, and change. (3 credits)
NU 707 – Leadership, Quality & Ethics in Health Care
Focuses on the financial management of health care organizations, addressing issues unique to health care organizations. Create, read, and interpret financial statements and key financial ratios within the health care industry and assess the financial health of an organization. Discuss the importance of credit, the time value of money, and learn to develop a long-range financial plan that supports an organization’s strategic plan. The course will also review the legal, regulatory, and ethical obligations that are critical to sound financial management. (3 credits)
NU 800 – Residency
An advanced nursing practicum that provides an opportunity for the student to integrate and synthesize knowledge and skills acquired in graduate coursework. Emphasis is placed on demonstrating increasing competency in the integration of principles of evidence-based practice and science-based theories when making patient-focused decisions. The curricular elements and competencies include evidence-based practice, interprofessional collaboration, leadership, organizational systems, principles of business, health care policy, evaluation of clinical outcomes, information systems and technology, prevention strategies, and health promotion. These elements are operationalized as the student develops competence in evaluating the links among practice, organizational, population-based, fiscal, and policy issues. (3 credits)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a DNP degree?
A Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP is a terminal degree designed for working nurses who possess a Master of Science in Nursing. An MSN to DNP is an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs and the curriculum explores topics such as evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership.
What can you do with a doctorate in nursing?
Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) will help you reach the highest levels of nursing in leadership or patient care. A DNP prepares you to:
- Advocate for change in healthcare policy
- Evaluate quality outcomes for individuals and populations
- Confidently lead teams, systems and practices
- Understand and direct evidence-based practice
Can you be referred to as a doctor if you earn a DNP?
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nurses who earn a DNP are entitled to have their achievements recognized and acknowledged as “doctors” just like other professionals. It is crucial that DNP graduates clearly display their credentials to ensure patients understand their preparation as nursing providers.
What’s the difference between a DNP and MD?
Both a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) require extensive studies and overlapping responsibilities. Doctors generally treat symptoms and illnesses whereas doctoral-prepared NPs focus more on holistic care such as health education and promotion, disease prevention and counseling.
When will I need to come to campus?
No clinical rotations are required for the DNP. However, you will complete a project within a health system/setting.
Are Marymount University’s online programs accredited?
Yes, Marymount’s online nursing programs are CCNE accredited, excluding our certificate programs.
How long does the online MSN to DNP program take to complete?
It takes seven consecutive semesters or 28 months to complete the program.
How much does the MSN to DNP program cost?
In the 2023/2024 Academic Year, the online MSN to DNP program costs $1,275 per credit hour, for a total tuition investment of $49,725. Additional fees do apply. Please see the Tuition and Fees page for additional information
Is financial aid available to online students?
Visit our Tuition and Financial Aid page more details on funding that may be available. If you’d like to discuss financial aid, eligibility and next steps, please contact Student Accounts.
Why I Chose to Get my Master’s in Nursing Online
Katarina Maric had logged a decade as a registered nurse before tackling her master’s degree in nursing. In fall 2020, Maric enrolled in Marymount University’s online master’s program in nursing to become a family nurse practitioner. “I always knew I wanted to be a nurse and continue my education,” she says.
Maric sat down with Fortune to share her experience and offer some advice for prospective students considering a similar path.