Working nurses often want the opportunity to advance with a DNP degree quickly. Some accelerated DNP programs online allow students to complete their DNP quicker than if they took the traditional route of earning their MSN in between. These are BSN to DNP programs. On the other hand, a student can take an accelerated program to go from their MSN to DNP. There’s also the option of earning a DNP for students who don’t already have a nursing degree but have a bachelor’s degree in another field of study.
Accelerated DNP programs online are much shorter programs than standard college degree programs. However, they’re more time consuming because a student is completing more work in a shorter period of time. Accelerated DNP programs online allow students to work online at a fast pace, so they can earn their degree sooner. Ultimately, this means a student can start to work in a nursing leadership role, work as an educator, or even practice as a healthcare provider sooner. It could also be a money-saving method for students, depending on the school they choose. This is especially the case for those who want to change from a bachelor’s degree program to a nursing program.
Our Method: Ranking the Best Accelerated DNP Programs Online
Of course, if you’re looking for an accelerated DNP program, your main interest is how quickly you can finish the degree, but Best Health Degrees is concerned with more than that. All of the programs featured in the BHD Fastest Online DNP ranking are accredited and trusted by employers. They have been ranked according to cost, salary potential, and student satisfaction.
1. University of Miami
Students looking for accelerated DNP programs online will want to consider the hybrid online DNP program from the University of Miami. The degree program is primarily online and allows students to finish their degree within one year. The accelerated pace of the program is ideal for students who have a complicated schedule and who want to move forward with their careers in a short amount of time. Students must complete three to four weekends of classes on campus each semester, so it does have some off-line classes.
The University of Miami encourages students to take a hands-on approach to their education. It requires 560 hours of clinical work before students graduate with a doctor of nursing practice degree, so it allows students to focus on gaining experience throughout their time working on their degree. It does assume that students have some clinical experience before they start working on a doctoral degree, so students will need to verify that they meet the clinical work standards before starting the program.
Favorite Facts: The University of Miami is one of the most innovative research universities and it encourages research as part of the nursing practice degree program.
Degree: DNP Hybrid (primarily online) – 1 year
2. Samford University
Samford University offers one of the best accelerated DNP programs online for students who want to advance in their nursing careers. The school offers an MSN to DNP program that takes one year to complete. It also offers an on-campus BSN to DNP in Nurse Anesthesia for students who want to gain specialized skills. The options ensure that students are able to select a program that fits their long-term goals.
Samford University focuses on providing a flexible solution for working nurses. It offers online and on-campus programs for nurses who want to obtain a doctor of nursing practice degree. That flexibility allows nurses to work around complicated scheduling and personal obligations while still finishing up a degree to advance into a leadership role.
Favorite Facts: Samford University offers a residency program to help nurses gain hands-on experience in a clinical setting.
Degree: BSN to DNP Nurse Anesthesia (Campus) or MSN to DNP (online) Online – 1 year
3. Frontier Nursing University
Students who are looking for accelerated BSN to DNP programs online will want to consider the program at Frontier Nursing University. The online DNP program takes around 15 to 18 months to complete and it allows students to focus on their career goals. Students will find that the program works around their schedules and encourages them to continue their normal nursing roles while working on advancing in their educations.
Frontier Nursing University takes an evidence-based approach to education. It prepares students for the challenges they will face by using research and data to clarify the way theories work in a clinical setting. It recognizes that students must learn the practical skills to apply theories to medical treatments and it provides the evidence to help students gain confidence in their skills.
Favorite Facts: Frontier Nursing University started as a program designed to provide midwives with the nursing skills they needed to provide effective care to women and families.
Degree: DNP Online – 15-18 months
4. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati offers one of the best BSN to DNP online accelerated programs for students who want to advance in their careers. The school offers a BNS to DNP program on-campus as well as an MSN to DNP program online and on-campus. Students can select the program that fits their long-term goals and can complete their DNP within 18 months, or four semesters, when they are taking courses online.
The University of Cincinnati focuses on teaching leadership skills and evidence-based clinical skills for students who are working on their DNP degree. The program recognizes the value of hands-on experience and requires students to complete 504 hours of clinical work as a nurse before they graduate with a doctoral degree. It ensures that students are qualified to take on leadership roles and to work with patients in a variety of settings.
Favorite Facts: The University of Cincinnati offers scholarships and graduate assistantships to students in the DNP program.
Degree: MSN to DNP – 18 months/4 semesters
5. Thomas Edison State University
Students looking for the best BSN to DNP online accelerated programs will want to consider the program at Thomas Edison State University. The online DNP program takes around 18 months to complete and students can move forward with their career goals. The prepares students for the challenges of working in a hospital or medical facility in a leadership position.
Thomas Edison State University focuses on the leadership aspects of working as a doctor of nursing practice. The fully online program is designed to provide systems leadership training that students can apply to their work environment. It also ensures that students have the clinical skills they need to provide effective care to patients when working directly with patients.
Favorite Facts: Thomas Edison State University allows students to transfer up to nine doctoral-level credits into the DNP program.
Degree: DNP Online 18 months
6. Northeastern University
Northeastern University offers one of the best accelerated BSN to DNP programs online for students who want to work at a higher level in their careers. The degree program takes a practice-oriented approach to nursing and focuses on the clinical aspects of providing care to patients. It helps students develop the relevant skills they need to work with patients to improve their health.
The way Northeastern University stands apart from other programs is the emphasis on nursing leadership. Students are given the tools they need to work with nurses and healthcare professionals in different areas of medicine and treatment. Students learn the basics of informatics, health policy, population health, and nursing leadership when they work on the degree program.
Favorite Facts: Northeastern University allows students to finish their DNP program within 16 months.
Degree: DNP Online – 16 months
7. University of New Hampshire
The University of New Hampshire offers a DNP online that prepares students for their work as a doctor of nursing practice. The degree program emphasizes leadership in a clinical setting and recognizes that nursing professionals may face a variety of complicated challenges when working with patients. It helps students learn the practical skills they need to address problems that may arise in a medical facility.
The University of New Hampshire stands out by focusing on flexibility. The fully online program allows students to work at their own pace. You can finish a degree within 18 to 28 months, depending on your goals and the number of credits you take each semester. Students who arrange a full-time schedule can finish the degree in 18 months. It gives a flexible solution to work around the needs of nurses who may have a complex schedule.
Favorite Facts: The University of New Hampshire requires two residency programs that last for two days.
Degree: DNP Online – 18 months
8. St Catherine University
St. Catherine University offers a DNP program online that has two intensive residency programs throughout the degree program. The intensive residency programs require students to visit the campus for intensive studies with faculty. It is designed to fit around the needs of working nurses, so it does offer a flexible strategy to ensure that students are not facing challenges when attending the campus.
St. Catherine University stands out by emphasizing networking when students are working on their degree programs. The focus on networking starts with the faculty and allows students to engage professionals who have worked in a variety of settings within the healthcare industry. It strives to help students make effective connections when they are working on an 18-month degree program.
Favorite Facts: Students in the DNP program may qualify for scholarships and financial assistance that help reduce the cost of obtaining the degree.
Degree: DNP Online with 2 intensives – 18 months
9. Maryville University
Maryville University offers an MSN to DNP program online that takes around 20 months for full-time students to complete. The accelerated program helps students accomplish their goals without wasting time while they work on a doctoral degree. The school emphasizes nursing skills and encourages students to focus on a specialized set of skills based on their own interests and goals.
Maryville University focuses on flexibility and does not require students to attend campus at any time when working on their degrees. The DNP program is fully online and allows students to obtain clinical experience at a local medical facility or hospital. It does not require students to visit the campus or spend time as a specific medical facility to gain hands-on experience.
Favorite Facts: Maryville University does not require students to complete a GRE or GMAT test to get into the program.
Degree: MSN-DNP Online – 20 months
10. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University offers an accelerated DNP online that allows students to complete the program within 21 months. The online degree program prepares students to take on leadership roles in a medical facility and ensures that students are prepared for the challenges they may face in a clinical environment.
Colorado Technical University stands apart from other programs by emphasizing a student-centered approach to teaching. It focuses on helping students succeed by evaluating their needs and catering to their situation. As an online program, it gives students a flexible solution to help with studies and maintaining their work responsibilities. It also allows students to work at their own pace when focusing on a doctoral degree.
Favorite Facts: Colorado Technical University offers multiple starting dates for online students, so it is possible to start working on a degree when it fits your schedule.
Degree: DNP Online – 21 months
How is the Job Market for Doctor of Nursing Practice?
The DNP job outlook is extremely good. Many of the career paths people can choose from when they want to earn a DNP are highly in demand now and are only supposed to grow in the future.
For instance, one of the DNP jobs is a certified registered nurse anesthetist. This particular person assists dentists, surgeons, and doctors in administering anesthesia, determining proper dosages, and monitoring patients during and after their anesthesia. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this particular profession is expected to grow by 26 percent from 2018 until 2028. This is much faster than average.
Another one of the potential DNP jobs is a nurse-midwife. This job consists of helping women during their pregnancy and performing uncomplicated labors and deliveries. The DNP job openings for this profession are expected to grow faster than average.
Jobs for DNP graduates may also include nurse practitioner positions. Often, these jobs for DNP graduates differ from state to state. In some states, DNP job openings include the ability to practice as a primary healthcare provider either at their own practice or underneath a physician.
A person may enter into general medicine or may choose a specialty. Some specialties that could equal numerous DNP job openings include gynecology/obstetrics, pediatrics, and behavioral health, among others. The DNP job outlook for specialties may vary greatly from one area to another. In general, though, the DNP job outlook for nurse practitioners is expected to grow rapidly until 2028.
How Much Can I Make with a DNP?
Whether a person is wondering whether they should attend medical school rather than an extensive nursing degree program, it’s important to know the average DNP salary. Although the salary varies from one location to the next and from one specialty to another, someone with a DNP usually earns around $100,000 per year.
The DNP salary for a nurse practitioner is $110,030 annually, as reported by the BLS. This is the same as $52.90 per hour. On the other hand, the DNP salary for a nurse anesthetist is $174,790 per year, which is the same as $83.03 per hour. A nurse-midwife earns an average of $51.40 per hour or $106,910 per year.
The DNP jobs salary isn’t the same in all states. One primary example is in Montana, which is the highest paying state on average for a nurse anesthetist. In Montana, someone with a DNP who’s a nurse anesthetist earns an average of $246,370 annually. The top-paying state for a nurse practitioner is California, where the DNP jobs salary for someone with this title is $133,780. On the other hand, in Arkansas, the average salary of a nurse practitioner is only $99,740 per year.
Can I Finish a DNP in 12-18 Months?
If a person searches “MSN to DNP how long,” they’ll find a variety of answers. Some people say it takes two years while others say it takes many more years than that.
Many programs let a person go at their own pace to earn their DNP. That’s why some people complete theirs in two years and others take six. However, some programs are 12-month online DNP programs. A person still has the same coursework, but they work at a quicker pace to complete it. Besides 12-month online DNP programs, a person may also find 18-month programs. Generally, both of these accelerated program types are for individuals who have the time to commit to school.
The bottom line when asking “MSN to DNP how long” depends on the course itself and how much time a person can dedicate to the program, but it’s possible to complete the program in a year or a year and a half.