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DNP Online

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Our complex healthcare environment benefits from advanced knowledge and practice expertise, which can positively affect healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations. Colorado Technical University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program is designed for licensed RNs with a Master’s in Nursing who are looking to continue on to the Doctorate level, which is the terminal degree for nursing. Demand for nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree continues to grow as employers are quickly recognizing the unique contributions that expert nurses are making in the practice arena, reports the AACN.1

Highlights of the DNP Program:

  • Developed using the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Comprehensive practice-focused program requires 1,000 hours of documented, supervised post-baccalaureate clinical hours for graduation, 500 of which must be completed at CTU
  • The program culminates in a project that allows you to translate evidenced-based practice and research findings into a practice change project using your area of advanced nursing practice.
  • Our focused doctoral program offers you the opportunity to pursue a degree in 21-27 months2 without putting your life on hold.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Goals:

  • To help students prepare for advanced nursing roles in systems leadership and administration, maximizing the application of evidence to improve healthcare outcomes.
  • To expand the knowledge of the advanced registered nurse for a leadership position in the profession.
CCNE Accredited Degree Program

Relevant Institutional/Programmatic Accreditation
CTU is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program at Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Program FAQs

At CTU, we understand that licensed practicing nurses return to school with different knowledge and experience levels. Accordingly, we design our nursing curriculum using adaptive technology.

CTU’s nursing students use intellipath® adaptive learning technology, comparable to the computerized adaptive testing nurses use to enter the profession, focus on new knowledge development, and skip the content they already know. We infuse our faculty-led nursing courses with intellipath® assignments, writing assignments, discussion boards, virtual simulations, clinical experiences and journaling, among others.

Our students also experience interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical courses without worrying about participating in group project assignments. They also complete clinical experiences and a mix of traditional assignments.

No—The Doctor of Nursing Practice is not an advanced practice nursing program. The DNP program leads to a terminal degree that provides advanced nursing education in systems leadership and application of evidence-based practice to improve healthcare outcomes. It does not lead to a change in the scope of practice.

The DNP program is designed to allow the working nurse to advance in his or her DNP degree while continuing to work within the community. With an asynchronous (any time of day) classroom format, this allows students to formulate a study schedule that can be incorporated into their professional life. Instructors also provide synchronous chats to support varied adult learning needs.

The Clinical Coordinator will work with each student to identify a preceptor for the DNP practicum. Students may identify and submit a preceptor for review and approval if appropriate and in alignment with the structured doctoral project. Student engagement in the process is vital to securing a practicum placement that meets programmatic requirements and is fulfilling for the student.

Students must disclose if they are requesting to do their practicum within their current place of employment or health system. Students may not complete practicum hours in their current departments or with in-line supervisors. Students are required to complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours at CTU. The number of hours will vary depending on how many clinical hours the student completed in their MSN program. In addition to successful completion of all courses, all DNP graduates must have completed a total of 1000 post-baccalaureate hours to graduate from the DNP program. .

Information about the DNP Project can be found in the DNP Handbook which is in the Nursing Learning Center. Course faculty, the DNP Project Team, and the Clinical Coordinator are available for support.


  • April 04, 2023
  • May 09, 2023
  • June 13, 2023




  • Online

Note: Students in CTU's Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program can start four times a year, in January, April, July and September.

Program Details

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  • Program Overview

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree for nurses who are interested in becoming a nursing practice expert. Applicants must hold a current, active and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States, as well as a programmatically accredited Master of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution.

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice is designed to build on the skills, talents and educational groundwork of a Master of Science in Nursing program and helps students prepare for advanced nursing roles in systems leadership and administration, maximizing the application of evidence to improve healthcare outcomes. The program provides instruction in healthcare delivery systems, health economics and finance, health policy, research methods, translation of evidence into practice, concepts in population health, and nursing leadership.


    This program does not lead to additional licensure or certification.  As such, CTU has made no determination regarding prerequisites for licensure or certification in any state or jurisdiction.

    College of Nursing Mission Statement:

    Through an innovative curriculum and student- centered teaching, the nursing faculty teaches, supports, and inspires students to become competent, caring, and accountable professionals who serve a diverse client population within a dynamic health care environment.

  • Degree Requirements

    Course Title Course Description Credit Hours
    NRSG810 Scientific Underpinnings of Nursing Practice 4
    NRSG812 Applying Evidence-Based Practice and Research to Improve Health Outcomes 4
    NRSG815 Information Systems and Advanced Nursing Practice 4
    NRSG817 Health Policy and Advancing Nursing Practice 4
    NRSG825 Population Health and Epidemiology 4
    NRSG830 Organization and Systems Leadership 4
    NRSG831 DNP Project I: Design and Planning 6
    NRSG832 DNP Project II: Implementation of Evidence Based Practice 6
    NRSG833 DNP Project III: Evaluation of Change 5
    DNP Specialty Topic I 4
    DNP Specialty Topics II 4
    Total Credit Hours: 49
    Students who have not completed the required 500 post-baccalaureate clinical hours must complete the DNP Transitions course/s prior to beginning their DNP Project courses.
    Course Title Course Description Credit Hours
    NRSG820 DNP Practice Transitions I
    NRSG821 DNP Practice Transitions II
    NRSG822 DNP Practice Transitions III
    Total Credit Hours: 13
    Courses- DNP Specialty Topic Options
    Course Title Course Description Credit Hours
    HCML870 Health Policy and Regulations 4
    HCML872 Economics and Financing of Healthcare Organizations 4
    HCML874 Continuous Improvement for Systems in Healthcare 4
    HCML876 Informatics in Healthcare 4
    LDR870 Self-Insight and Personal Development as a Leader 4
    MGMT824 Strategic Thinking and Organizational Alignment 4
    ODC870 Organizational Strategy & Design 4
    ODC872 Current Topics in Organizational Development 4
    ODC874 Leading and Managing Large Scale Transformation 4
    ODC876 System Thinking and Decision Making 4
    PM874 Special Topics in Project Management 4
    PM876 Risk and Quality Management 4

    Total Credit Hours: 49

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  • Admission Requirements

    Admission to this program requires a current, active and unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States. All students must maintain this licensure throughout the program of study.

    Students must have graduated with a programmatically accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from a regionally accredited institution. A minimum grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for acceptance into the program.

    Prior to starting the nursing program all applicants must submit an unofficial or official copy of their college transcript from their MSN degree for review. Applicants to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program who meet all general admission requirements, but did not successfully complete a graduate level statistics course, may be granted provisional admission, until the completion of a graduate level statistics course with a B- or higher. Provisionally accepted students who do not complete a graduate level statistics course prior to NRSG812 Applying Evidence-Based Practice and Research to Improve Health Outcomes will be administratively withdrawn. CTU offers HCM671 Healthcare Statistics that fulfills this program requirement. Students who do not have prior graduate level statistics should consult with their Student Success Coach about options to satisfy this requirement.

    The DNP requires a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. CTU may recognize up to 500 hours of supervised, documented clinical hours from your post-baccalaureate (MSN or Post Graduate Certificate) experience toward this clinical requirement.

    Potential DNP students must have completed a minimum of 120 documented clinical hours at the post-baccalaureate level prior to admission to the DNP program. Students with 120 clinical hours or greater, but less than 500 clinical hours, will be scheduled for the DNP transitions course(s). This course can be taken at varying credit hours depending on clinical hours transferred into the DNP program. Verification of post-baccalaureate clinical hours completed in the MSN or Post Graduate Certificate program must be submitted on the Colorado Technical University Attestation of Supervised Clinical/Practice/Practicum form.

    At this time, Colorado Technical University cannot accept inquiries for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program from residents of the states of Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

  • Next Steps

Program details are provided lower on the page.

Classes start April 4, 2023 *

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*Start dates may vary by program and location.

1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, June 2017
2. This doctoral degree program can be completed in 21-27 months, depending on the number of clinical hours that need to be completed; however, many factors will impact your time to completion, including course loads, proficiency and/or, transfer credits and breaks.

This program is not a Nurse Practitioner program or a PhD and is designed for students with a current, active, and unencumbered RN license in the US. Applicants must also have a programmatically accredited Master of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution

Download the DNP Online Program Handbook.

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