Nursing students performing a procedure

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program available through Creighton University's College of Nursing creates strong leaders in nursing.

Designed for practicality and practice, the course work for this program is offered online. You’ll gain advanced scientific knowledge and practical, hands-on skills to succeed in more advanced roles in healthcare.

How earning a DNP from Creighton sets you apart

Nurses who possess a comprehensive set of skills are in high demand because they help ensure the best outcomes for patients. That demand continues to grow, and nurses who have earned a DNP have access to a greater number of opportunities, including those in private practice, hospitals and universities.

A Doctor of Nursing Practice indicates that you’ve not only expanded your knowledge of patient care, but that you’ve also advanced your skills in communication, leadership and critical thinking. Creighton University’s nursing programs are recognized for developing highly skilled, compassionate nurses, making our graduates in high demand.

You’ll have the necessary skills to be able to address, prevent and resolve ethical dilemmas and situations using moral reasoning and values-based dialogue that you strengthened while in the program. These highly sought skills are an essential part of your Creighton education, and they position you for success in a variety of practice environments, including schools, correctional facilities, private companies, home health agencies, mental health settings, long-term care facilities and more.

Advance your nursing career at your own pace

The online DNP program is extremely flexible and can be tailored to your own interests and goals. You’ll be able to choose from multiple DNP tracks, and the coursework that supplements your clinical experience can be completed online. Earning your DNP online makes it easier to fit into a busy schedule—you can complete your coursework when it works for you.


The name change from Clinical Systems Administration to Nursing Administration and Leadership was implemented to more accurately describe the nursing leadership programs offered at Creighton University. In addition, the name change provides clarity for prospective students looking for an advanced nursing leadership program.

Program At A Glance

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This program is offered Online

Application Deadline

May 1

October 1

October 1


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Active, unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum of 2,000 hours of professional nursing work experience (prior to clinical courses only). Hours vary based on track.
  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions attended
  • Three letters of recommendation, one from a supervisor/employer
  • Personal statement
  • Completion of undergraduate statistics course and physical assessment course (or equivalent)
  • Application
  • $50 application fee
  • Additional requirements for international students



The DNP program is designed to prepare nurses who:

  • Integrate nursing science with theories and knowledge from interdisciplinary sciences to advance the health of people and quality of clinical practices.
  • Provide leadership in the analysis of health care delivery systems and clinical practices, and the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of strategies for creating and sustaining continuous improvement.
  • Apply information technology and decision support systems to analyze, evaluate, and improve structure, processes, and outcomes in health care.
  • Engage in policy analysis, formulation, implementation, and advocacy activities to improve health care locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Apply communication, collaborative, and dispute resolution skills and techniques to maximize team performance in analyzing and resolving complex issues.
  • Apply appropriate methods and models in partnership with families, individuals, groups, communities, and providers to improve health and address gaps in population-based healthcare.
  • Employ a systematic process of moral reasoning and values-based dialogue to address, prevent, and resolve ethical dilemmas and situations.
  • Engage in the generation, translation, application, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence to administrative and/or clinical practices.
  • Integrate advanced and specialized knowledge and skills when implementing practice roles in clinical care delivery or management of care delivery systems.


Specializations and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Tracks

Through Creighton’s Doctor Nursing Practice (DNP) plans of study, you’ll learn to manage the care of individuals and families in specialized areas, including advanced health promotion, diagnostics, medication and therapeutic treatment.

To help you enhance your skills in specific practice areas, our DNP program offers these focused APRN tracks:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner—manage the care of individuals in acute care settings. Graduates who complete the Adult-Gerontology ACNP program meet eligibility for national certification through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). View the course requirements of this track.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner—manage care throughout the lifespan of individuals and families. Graduates who complete the Family NP program meet eligibility for national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP). View the course requirements of this track.
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner—care for newborns in level III neonatal intensive care units. Graduates who complete the Neonatal NP program meet eligibility for national certification through the National Certification Corporation (NCC). View the course requirements of this track.
  • Pediatric Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (Dual)—manage the care of pediatric patients across the entire continuum of health from wellness to critical care. Graduates who complete the Pediatric Dual track program are eligible to take the primary and acute care national certification exams through the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB). View the course requirements of this track.
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Across the Lifespan—manage care throughout the lifespan of diverse populations and practice within a variety of acute and primary care settings. Graduates who complete Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program meet eligibility for national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). View the course requirements of this track.

For students who aim to make an impact in policy analysis, formulation, implementation or other areas in the health care delivery system, our Nurse Leader Track provides the knowledge to help you achieve your goals. This focus area includes:

  • Nursing Administration and Leadership DNP—work as an innovative and collaborative advanced leader in health care organizations, improving the quality of health care. View the course requirements of this track.

State Regulatory Requirements

Due to regulatory requirements in the states listed below, we are unable to accept or enroll students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program who intend to reside in any of these states while pursuing a DNP: Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Tennessee and Oregon.**

** In Oregon, neonatal NP students are still eligible to apply
This information will be updated as state regulatory requirements change.
For all other states not listed above, regulations vary depending on the program and/or individual situation. Please contact Creighton University College of Nursing at 402.280.3492 for questions regarding a specific state.


The MSN to DNP program is designed for current APRN nurses, as well as those with an MSN in Administration, who are prepared at the graduate level and are wanting to earn their DNP degree. Applicants who are MSN prepared, but are not currently an APRN or have an MSN in Administration, will need to complete a BSN to DNP curriculum in order to complete all required course content for a Nurse Practitioner track.

Creighton University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This accreditation is earned thanks to Creighton’s carefully designed program curricula and standards, as well as the talented faculty who work to ensure student success.

Meet the department faculty

Specific Application Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, applicants must:

  • Complete an application & submit a $50 application fee
  • Possess a BSN from an NLN- or CCNE-accredited college or university with a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Have an active, unencumbered RN license
    • Must include Nebraska eligibility
    • 2,000 hours of professional nursing work experience in direct patient care (prior to clinical courses only)
    • 2,000 hours of direct patient care in psychiatric mental health (prior to clinical courses in psychiatric mental health track only)
    • 4,000 hours of direct care in level III NICU (prior to clinical neonatal courses only)
    • 2,000 hours of direct care in pediatrics (prior to clinical courses in pediatric track only)
  • Provide official transcripts from all educational institutions attended. Read more about sending transcripts here
    • Must include verification of clinical/practicum hours completed in master’s or certificate program
  • Submit three letters of recommendations; one from a supervisor/employer, who can speak to your performance in an academic or professional setting
  • Submit a personal statement speaking to your long- and short-term goals
  • Have successfully completed an undergraduate statistics course and physical assessment course or equivalent 

A personal interview may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

Additional requirements for international students

Any course work taken at an accredited institution outside of the United States must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Creighton’s admissions committee must receive an official evaluation from WES directly. Photo copies will not be accepted.

World Education Services
PO Box 745, Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0745;
Phone: (212) 966-6311
Fax: (212) 966-6395

This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant international students. Ability to speak and write correct grammatical English is imperative. All applicants who are not native speakers of English or who have obtained a high school diploma or degree outside of the United States must present a TOEFL score of 600 on the Paper-Based Test (PBT) or iBT score of at least 100. Scores over 2 years old will not be accepted. Students must ask the ETS (the testing agency) to send original TOEFL scores to Creighton University (Institutional Code 6121). The College of Nursing reserves the right to require students to re-take the exam. It is also at the discretion of the College of Nursing as to whether a TOEFL score is required of applicants who have earned a college degree from a United States university.

Free Practice TOEFL Tests:

International applicants must also meet English language proficiency requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition rates change in the fall of each year. Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more details.

Financial Aid
To help make your graduate studies at Creighton University more affordable, we encourage you to file the FAFSA to apply for financial assistance. We also encourage you to apply for available graduate student scholarships and fellowships.

Financial Aid and Scholarships Specifically for Nursing Students

Learn more about funding your education

Still have questions? Email or call a friendly financial specialist at 402.280.2731 for any additional questions you may have. 


Dates and Deadlines

The table below details the enrollment deadlines and starting dates of courses for the current academic year. If you have any questions about dates, deadlines, or application materials, please contact an enrollment specialist for personalized assistance.


Start Classes In

Apply By


May 1


October 1


October 1

Apply Now


Creighton University offers a dual degree program to graduate students who are interested in earning their DNP and Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution simultaneously.


As a Creighton College of Nursing student, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the greater good. See some of the student organizations and service opportunities available to you.

Tuition & Financial Aid

We’re ready to help you apply for federal aid, find scholarships and more. Learn about how to fund your investment in education at the Creighton Financial Aid Office.

Funding Your Education