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Doctorate (DNP) in Nursing Practice

Obtain the necessary skills to provide top tier nursing care and improve patient outcomes. This online program will prepare you for advanced practice and leadership roles. You will be trained to lead at the highest clinical and executive ranks. Our DNP Program has Full Approval status from the Kentucky Board of Nursing based on the letter of accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

IMPORTANT: This rigorous program allows students to complete all didactic course work fully online, but requires students to attend in-person immersion blocks (1- 3 days) on the Lexington campus twice each semester. During the immersion blocks you will attend orientation and networking events and complete various degree-related activities, including testing, skill assessments, and standardized patient modules.

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At a Glance

Fall 2024 BSN-DNP

Application Due Date:
Fall 2024 MSN-DNP due 3/30
Start Date:

Spring 2025 (part-time option only)

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Credits and Tuition Cost (2023-2024, Full-time rate $8,817 per semester)

Credits Required: 34 - 77
Cost Per Credit: $981.00


Online with In-person Requirements

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Doctorate in Nursing Practice overview

Program format
Online with In-person Requirements
Total credits
Total Credits
34 - 77
Program level
Degree awarded
Degree Awarded

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What You'll Learn


This online program prepares you for advanced practice and leadership roles in health care organizations. It is designed for practicing nurses who have already earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) or a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.).

As a Post-B.S.N. student, you will develop expertise to care for specific populations as a nurse practitioner. Direct care nurse practitioner specialty track options include:
Adult Gerontology, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Non-direct care providers specialize in Executive Nursing Leadership.

As a post-M.S.N. student, you may specialize in Clinical Leadership in Health Care or Executive Leadership and Health Care.
Individuals already certified as Nurse Practitioners or Clinical Nurse Specialists in Adult Gerontology Acute Care, Family, Psychiatric Mental Health, or Pediatric (acute or primary care) who desire to expand knowledge in their existing practice specialty can do so as part of the Clinical Leadership in Health Care option.

  • Provide expert clinical care and leadership to perform at the highest scope of practice for the specialty.
  • Translate, apply, and evaluate evidence to guide improvements in practice and outcomes of care.
  • Analyze, evaluate, and implement health policy at multiple levels, including institutional and governmental policies.

Read more on our learning outcomes here.

nurses working

How to Apply

Application Requirements

The NursingCAS application system opens September 15 for Fall enrollment, and June 15 for Spring enrollment.

The application fee is $80.00, payable through NursingCAS. For information on application fee waivers, visit the NursingCAS website. There is no additional application fee to the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.  Applicants to the DNP program must select one specialty in their application. 

Please upload the following with your application in NursingCAS:

  • Current CV/Resume - You should have your current/updated Curriculum Vitae or resume in hand prior to beginning the application. This will provide you with needed information regarding prior schools attended, dates, prior employment and dates, etc. needed for the application. Applicants are required to upload current CV/resume. See sample format.
  • Recommendations - You will need current contact information on each of your three references (full name, employer name and email address) before beginning the application. These individuals will be required to upload a letter of recommendation to NursingCAS.  References attesting to the applicant's expertise in nursing or health care are preferred from the following:
    1. A recently faculty advisor or nursing faculty member (doctorally prepared)
    2. A current supervisor
    3. No more than one peer 
      • Identifying your selected references and initiating the recommendation request is part of the NursingCAS application.  Hard copy or electronic versions of recommendations sent directly to the school will not be accepted
  • Writing Sample - An example of scholarly written work completed within two years of application, related to nursing that demonstrates excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate clearly and logically. Examples of scholarly work include a formal research paper written for your BSN or MSN Program; a published article on a nursing issue; or a paper written on a nursing issue of interest to you.
  • Personal Statement/Goal Statement - The mission of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing is to promote health and well-being through excellence in nursing education, research, practice and service while fostering diversity and inclusion. To support our mission, we strive to build a community that includes students of diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and cultures.
    • Please write a one to two double-spaced page essay describing what you as a person would bring to our educational community, the advanced practice nursing profession, and the community you seek to serve.
    • Include your short- and long-term professional goals. Identify a system or population you are interested in working with and discuss a problem in that system/population that you wish to expand your knowledge on during your DNP program.
  • Licensure - Applicants must upload copy of the State Board of Nursing validation of their current, unencumbered RN license(s), and APRN license if applicable. 
  • Personal interview(s) are required.

Admissions Criteria

  • Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale 
  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program
  • Master of Science in nursing degree from a CCNE or ACEN accredited program (only if applying to MSN-DNP program)

Program Contact

Kathy Collins
Student Services Director


Fall 2024 BSN-DNP

Application Due Date:
Fall 2024 MSN-DNP due 3/30
Start Date:

Spring 2025 (part-time option only)

Application Due Date:
Start Date:

Distance Learning

Licensure & Authorization

Where you live matters when completing distance education activities. If you will live outside of Kentucky while completing your program, please check the Distance Learning Authorization & Licensure page to confirm that the program can be offered in your state or country, and if relevant, that it meets professional licensure requirements in your state. Please note: Admission and enrollment in a fully-online program can NOT lead to the issuance of a J-1 or F-1 student visa. 

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University of Kentucky has been approved to participate in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Student Support

Once you become a student, you will have access to a wide variety of academic support services to maximize your success. These services are available completely online to meet the needs of our online students.

Why UK Online

UK degree

Degrees are conferred by the University of Kentucky, an accredited university.

Flexible schedule

Fit learning into your busy schedule with no prescribed class times.

Be Supported

Access supporting services and success coaches to help you succeed.


I received the very best graduate nursing education and clinical practice experience in the DNP program at UK.
Lori Nolan


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