Working professionals in the nursing field can earn an online Doctor of Nursing Practice as a way to improve their career options, but most nurses need to seriously consider their return on investment. While a person is narrowing down his or her options, it’s important to determine the average cost of a DNP program versus how much more they will be able to make, and how much more satisfied they will be with their job. Then, a person can decide if he or she would prefer a less expensive option, like one of the most affordable DNP programs.
While some schools offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice program at less than $10,000, others charge students $40,000 or even more. This is a bit intimidating for individuals who have a household and family. That’s not counting the fact that a person may already have student loan debt from earning their previous degrees. Therefore, it’s vital for a person to compare their options to find the cheapest DNP programs.
Our Method: Ranking the Most Affordable Online DNP Programs
Cost isn’t everything, but for the Best Health Degrees ranking of the most affordable online DNP programs, it is the primary factor in putting programs in order. However, to make the cut, all programs featured must be accredited, trusted by employers in the field, and recognized for their quality and career impact.
1. New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University offers online DNP programs that provide graduates of BSN/MSN programs the coursework they need to complete their education and advance within their chosen careers. Graduates learn the skills and protocols necessary to not only manage a nursing operation but also to adhere to the highest standards of care in terms of treating patients and meeting their needs. DNP programs are designed to be affordable and accessible to students who attend online or in the classroom. New Mexico State University offers one of the most affordable online DNP programs available in the southwest.
New Mexico State University is well-known for its reputable faculty and quality educational degree programs. Their online degree is affordable and allows students who may not be able to attend a classroom setting, an opportunity to get the degree they need to excel in their chosen career. Students are guaranteed the resources and tools they need to complete their education in a timely fashion.
2. Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University offers an affordable online DNP degree program that is designed to allow advanced practice nurses an opportunity to further their education and receive their Doctorate. This degree will provide nurses with the necessary education to act as experts in their field, evaluating practices and integrating different levels of primary and acute care for the patients they serve. The concepts of both professionalism and compassion go hand in hand and are part of every DNP program. Texas Woman’s University has one of the most affordable online DNP programs in the state of Texas.
Texas Woman’s University has a long-standing tradition of providing quality educational programs to its students. It offers affordable course programs with both online and classroom options. Students are provided access to some of the best educators in the area as well as the extensive list of resources offered by the University. The goal is to provide each student with the highest quality education in a format that is both accessible and affordable.
3. East Carolina University
East Carolina University offers an affordable online DNP degree program for students who want to receive their doctorate and pursue a career in either management or advanced patient care. Each DNP degree program offers students state-of-the-art technology and the resources they need to work in any type of environment, including rural areas where qualified nursing candidates are lacking. The school also offers mentorship and personalized class plans that can help students complete their projects and gain additional hands-on experience. East Carolina University offers one of the most affordable DNP online degree programs along the east coast.
East Carolina University is well-known for offering students advanced programs that offer a solid curriculum that is backed up with state-of-the-art technology. Students who attend the university are able to choose either classroom-based learning or an online degree program that will allow them to continue to work while finishing up their degree.
4. University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
The University of Texas Medical Branch has designed an affordable online DNP degree program for students who want to advance their careers by receiving their doctorate. Students who choose to attend the University receive the knowledge and abilities needed to effectively provide the highest level of care to patients in their care as well as the skills needed to manage a staff of nurses in a professional and competent manner. By offering one of the most affordable online DNP programs available, the University of Texas Medical Branch ensures each student gets a quality education without the high price tag.
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston offers students an advanced education taught by some of the most well-respected instructors in the business. The University offers innovative technology along with other valuable resources that make it possible for students who are working full-time, to attend college and earn the degree they need to be successful.
5. Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University provides an affordable online DNP degree program to students who are looking to complete their education by earning the highest degree possible, their doctorate in nursing practice. Students who have already received their APRN license and have their MSN degree are able to enroll in this program and continue to pursue their education. This degree program is designed to provide students what they need to succeed as professionals in their field, whether it be hands-on clinical patient care or as an administrator at a healthcare facility. Georgia Southern University is proud to be able to offer one of the most affordable online DNP programs in the southeast United States.
Georgia Southern University has an established track record of offering effective and reputable degree programs to the nursing students it serves. Students who enroll in one of Georgia Southern University’s DNP programs are able to work full-time, care for their families and still continue to pursue the degree they need to move forward with their career.
6. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville offers an affordable DNP online degree program that has been developed to provide returning students with the advanced education they need to gain an advantage in their careers. The University offers innovative technology combined with coursework that is guaranteed to provide them with what they need to work as a professional in their field. Each student’s degree program is tailored to meet their unique needs. Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville offers one of the most affordable online DNP programs in the Midwest.
Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville has a reputation for offering online degree programs that are second to none in the DNP category. The school prides itself on offering the latest technology as well as having the most in-depth coursework available. Their online courses offer students the degree they need, while they continue to work and support their families.
7. Indiana State University
Indiana State University has an affordable online DNP degree program for students who are looking to earn their doctor of nursing practice degree. The online course offers material that is needed to excel in advanced medical practices as well as be able to manage a staff of nurses in a professional capacity. The DNP degree program includes courses that discuss all aspects of nursing, including ethics, advanced patient care, and directives on how to effectively manage digital records and files. Indiana State University is well-known for offering some of the most affordable online DNP degree programs available in the Midwest.
Indiana State University has been one of the most well-respected universities in Indiana for many years. Their faculty members have years of experience and are capable of guiding students so that they are able to graduate, confident that they have succeeded in reaching their goal. Indiana State University continues to be a leader in its field when it comes to affordable online DNP degree programs.
8. University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas in Arlington offers affordable online DNP programs for students who are ready to return to school to finish their education. The online DNP degree programs utilize innovative technology and a wide variety of resources that make your online learning experience convenient and easy to follow. Reputable faculty members are easily accessed allowing students the opportunity to ask questions and receive the answers they need in a short period of time. The University of Texas offers one of the most complete and affordable online DNP degree programs in the state of Texas.
The University of Texas in Arlington works diligently to develop online degree programs that provide each student with what they need to succeed. Through well-known faculty members to state-of-the-art technology, each student who graduates from the University can feel confident knowing they have the education they need to fit in among other professionals in the nursing field.
9. University of Tennessee in Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee in Chattanooga is proud to offer an affordable online DNP degree program to students who wish to pursue their doctorate degree in nursing practice. Individuals who have earned their MSN degree can return to the University of Tennessee to complete their education by choosing the online DNP degree program. The class offers specialized classes that focus on advanced nursing and management skills so that the graduate can move forward in their career. The University of Tennessee has in place one of the most affordable online DNP degree programs available in the area for those who want to earn their doctorate.
The University of Tennessee is well-known for the quality of its educational programs. Now, with their online degree programs, students can earn their degree while they continue to gain experience through their job. Online programs can be completed at the student’s own pace ensuring they have the understanding they need to move forward with confidence.
10. East Tennessee State University
East Tennessee State University offers an affordable online DNP degree program to its students who want to receive their doctorate but prefer to do it in their own time. The University offers specialized classes to ensure each student has the knowledge and the skills they need to provide advanced care to their patients and effectively manage their team of nurses. Quality courses and innovative technology go hand in hand to provide students the education they need to succeed. East Tennessee State University provides its students with one of the most affordable online DNP degree programs in the state.
East Tennessee State University is one of the best schools in Tennessee for online, undergraduate and post-graduate education. The school strives to provide each student with the best possible learning opportunities. Students who need to remain on the job to support their families, can now complete their education and explore new avenues for advancement in their chosen career.
How Do I Save Money on My DNP Program?
In general, even the cheapest online DNP programs are around $10,000. When an advanced practice registered nurse with a master’s degree is searching for a school, he or she should review the website and contact the school. Once a person determines the average cost of an online DNP program in his or her area, he or she may want to choose the cheapest online DNP programs.
In most cases, the DNP tuition for an online program is already cheaper than that of an on-campus program. An advanced practice nurse, for instance, may fine an affordable online doctor of nursing a good investment. An online program gives clinical practice or advanced practice nursing professionals a chance to get the most out of their nursing programs. Online classes are convenient and build on your collegiate nursing education.
Besides searching for the cheapest DNP programs, a person can also save money by applying for grants and scholarships. Both state and federal aid is available to help with the cost of DNP tuition.
Additionally, a person may want to look into local and national organizations that provide grants and scholarships to make an affordable program even cheaper.
Some other programs to check out include:
- Missouri State University
- University of South Alabama
- Fort Hays State University
- Western Carolina University
- San Jose State University
- Frontier Nursing University
- University of Central Arkansas
Out of state students may find a nursing program at a public school more expensive, but staying in-state can save you a lot. Your nursing degree will be tailored to the needs of your state, and you can lead in fighting health disparities and bringing quality improvement to your area.
Another option that can help with DNP tuition is employer tuition reimbursement programs. Once a person attends school, his or her employer may cover a portion of the expenses. Usually, the employee has to make an agreement with the employer that he or she will complete the program and work for the company for a designated length of time.
Do I Need the GRE to Get an Online DNP?
The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is a standardized test that many schools require a person to take before admission. The colleges use the students’ score, among other factors, to decide if a student is eligible for a particular program. Post-master’s DNP graduates may not need a GRE or clinical hours. Your previous education and work experience in the healthcare industry are valuable for distance learning. Students enrolled primarily online often have lower admissions standards.
Although there is a standard version of the test, a student may need to choose one of the specialty exams to prove his or her worthiness in a particular area of study. Two sections of the test are multiple choice while the third is a writing exam.
Some schools require prospective DNP students to take this test to qualify for a graduate degree program. However, it’s possible to find schools that don’t require the GRE to go from a master’s to a doctorate in nursing. Additionally, a potential pupil may find BSN to DNP programs online that don’t require the GRE. It’s as simple to find as “BSN to DNP programs online no GRE.” Once a person inputs “BSN to DNP programs online no GRE,” a number of choices will pop up. It’s vital to visit each site and look for the requirements of their doctorate program to ensure that a person doesn’t have to take the GRE to qualify.
Where Can I Work with a DNP?
There are a number of jobs a person can take on once he or she has a DNP. It’s possible to find jobs in nursing research, but most employers in this field would prefer a person to have a PhD, which is a degree that centers around research in nursing. DNP program coursework offers many opportunities to specialize in high-paying fields.
One common option for those who have a DNP is working as a nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner. This particular person, in advanced nursing practice, has very similar responsibilities to a physician. For instance, as a nurse practitioner, a person can evaluate, perform testing, diagnose, and treat a variety of medical issues, which may vary based on an individual’s specialty. Additionally, the scope of practice of a nurse practitioner varies from state to state. In some states, a nurse practitioner may open his or her own practice. In other states though, a DNP nursing jobs are in offices where the individual works underneath a physician.
There are a variety of nurse practitioner specialties a person can choose from, such as evidence based practice, population health, health care systems, health policy, neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse executive, psychiatric mental health, organizational and systems leadership, and more. Nursing practice programs emphasize systems leadership skills in healthcare organizations. A strong nursing doctor program aims to make leaders, not followers, out of nurse practitioners.
It’s important to understand the options before a person selects a degree path. One option a person has to choose from when wanting to be a nurse practitioner is general medicine. This particular nurse practitioner would get out of school and find jobs in a primary care practice or could open up his or her own practice as a general nurse practitioner, depending on the person’s state. A person may also want to consider behavioral health, gerontology, gynecology/obstetrics, and more.
DNP nurse jobs also include leadership roles, such as a director of nursing in a healthcare facility. These jobs consist of a person managing other nurses to improve health outcomes for patients. Nursing and health professions with a nursing practice DNP have a wealth of options.
Other positions for those with a DNP are in teaching. A person with a DNP can take on positions in teaching where they’re responsible for teaching the future general of nurses. These positions are in nursing schools and colleges. A person will need to earn a teaching certificate before applying for any of these positions.