two nurses in blue scrubs converse in a hallway
College of Nursing

Nursing Practice

Course Delivery
100% online
Total Credits
Approximate Tuition Cost
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Nursing Practice Program Overview

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Nursing is the terminal degree for nurses who want to advance their knowledge of nursing practice, gain exceptional leadership and technology skills, and become clinical scholars. Students develop leadership skills to improve health outcomes for individuals and populations by translating scientific evidence into clinical interventions, managing healthcare systems and collaborating with other healthcare providers.

Students prepare for their roles as advanced practice nurses to provide leadership, apply research evidence to clinical practice, and contribute to improving healthcare outcomes via direct practice, policy change, systems evaluation and practice scholarship. They graduate prepared to assume a leadership role in healthcare, make an impact on healthcare policy, apply current research and evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes, and practice with interdisciplinary teams, information systems and quality improvement.

The DNP major comprises the following concentrations:
· The Executive Nurse concentration prepares nurse leaders for the role of nurse executive at the highest level of healthcare administration.

· The Systems Leadership concentration prepares nurse leaders in advanced practice and clinical experts to lead interprofessional teams focused on evidence-based practice, quality improvement and translational research.

Accreditation: The DNP degree in Nursing at Kent State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Program Structure

  • 34 total credit hours
    • 25 major requirements
    • 9 concentration requirements
    • Graduate in as few as 5 semesters

    Professional Licensure Disclosure

    This program is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State’s website for professional licensure disclosure.

    Nursing Practice Admissions Requirements

    • Executive Nurse concentration - bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing
    • Systems Leadership concentration - one of the following: (1) bachelor’s degree in nursing1; or (2) master’s degree in advanced practice registered nursing2 that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing; or (3) B.S.N. degree and a master’s in nursing3
    • Minimum overall 3.000 GPA on a 4.000 point scale
    • Official transcript(s)
    • Completion of an undergraduate- or graduate-level statistics course with a minimum C grade
    • Active, unrestricted registered nurse license in the state in which the student’s practica will be completed
    • GRE scores, no more than five years old (only for post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing applicants) effective for spring 2024 admission term, GRE scores are no longer required.
    • Résumé or curriculum vitae that demonstrates professional experience in nursing
    • Essay (300 words) describing professional goals and reasons for seeking the professional practice doctorate
    • Three letters of reference from healthcare professionals or academic faculty who can speak to the applicant’s professional and academic abilities
    • Pre-admission interview
    • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
      • Minimum 560 TOEFL PBT score (paper-based version)
      • Minimum 83 TOEFL IBT score (Internet-based version)
      • Minimum 78 MELAB score
      • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
      • Minimum 55 PTE score
      • Minimum 110 Duolingo English score

    1Upon admission to the D.N.P. degree, students who hold only a CCNE- or NLNAC-accredited bachelor’s degree in nursing will be admitted also to an APRN M.S.N. degree. This will allow students to complete M.S.N. coursework and enroll in some D.N.P. coursework after successfully completing their first two full-time semesters of graduate study. Students must first complete M.S.N. coursework, earn the M.S.N. degree and obtain APRN national certification before they can continue with D.N.P. coursework and earn the D.N.P. degree.

    2Students with a master’s degree must submit proof of current, national certification as an advanced practice registered nurse within their first semester or prior to beginning their practicum hours, whichever comes first.

    3All students must complete or have completed a course or courses in Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Health Assessment and Advanced Pathophysiology to meet AACN D.N.P. requirements.

    Students selected for admission to the nursing program must meet the College of Nursing’s Clinical Compliance Policy. Priority admission to the Nurse Executive concentration will be given to candidates who hold American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification or American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) Nurse Exceutive certification or have experience in nursing management administration. Please see the College of Nursing website for more information.

    For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies admission website. For more information on international admission, visit the Office of Global Education’s admission website.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Important Dates

    Classes Begin
    Fall 2023 Semester
    Classes Begin
    Spring 2023 Semester
    Classes Begin
    Fall 2024

    Nursing Practice Courses

    Courses for the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program develop nursing knowledge and leadership skills and prepare students for clinical scholarship and advanced practice. Topics include clinical analytics, research methods, evidence-based practice, healthcare leadership, organizational systems, quality improvement in healthcare delivery, population health, and finance and economic policy. All DNS students must also complete 7 credit hours (525 clock hours) of clinical practice. They must further complete a publication-suitable scholarly project which they will propose and develop in a seminar course, and which they will submit and defend to a committee comprised of the student’s academic advisor and at least two other doctoral-prepared members.

    View all course requirements

    Nursing Practice Tuition and Fees

    Ohio Residents

    Per Credit Hour Per 3-Credit Course Approximate Tuition Cost

    $19,400 part-time1

    $12,500 full-time2

    Non-Ohio Residents

    Per Credit HourPer 3-Credit Course Approximate Tuition Cost

    $19,800 part-time3

    $12,600-$12,700 full-time4

    1The $571.90 per-credit-hour tuition rate applies to part-time Ohio resident graduate students taking fewer than 11 credit hours per semester.

    2The flat-rate semester fee of $6,277.40 applies to full-time Ohio resident graduate students taking between 11-18 credit hours per semester.

    3The $581.90 per-credit-hour tuition rate applies to part-time non-Ohio resident graduate students enrolled in a fully online degree program and taking fewer than 11 credit hours per semester, PLUS a surcharge of $10 per credit hour.

    4The flat-rate semester fee of $6,277.40 applies to full-time non-Ohio resident graduate students enrolled in a fully online degree program and taking between 11-18 credit hours, PLUS a surcharge of $10 per credit hour of actual credits taken (between 11-18 semester credits or $110-$180).

    There is a $45 application fee for the program, which will be reimbursed for eligible Kent State preceptors. Contact for more information. Program fees/semester figured on an actual cost basis.

    An additional Distance Learning fee for all students enrolled in a distance learning course is $15 per credit hour. Program tuition and costs are estimated and subject to change.

    Actual tuition costs may vary based on a student’s chosen academic plan. For a complete listing of tuition rates for approved online programs please contact the One Stop for Student Services at 330-672-6000, or via our website Contact Us link.

    The total program costs are estimates and are not final or binding. Program costs are based on standard fees, but fees may vary based on the actual classes taken. Kent State University disclaims any liability arising from the use of or reliance upon these program cost estimates by any person. Program costs are subject to change without notice.

    Other Programs You Might Like
    The Master of Science in Nursing degree meets the educational eligibility requirements for national certification in the respective area of study. The degree program can be completed in four to five semesters (two full academic years) for full-time students. Part-time students typically take three to four years to complete the program. Completion of a thesis is optional.
    The Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner graduate certificate provides nurses who already have a graduate nursing degree the additional specialized knowledge and clinical experience for the women’s health nurse practitioner role. The certificate meets the educational requirements for national certification examination.
    The Nurse Educator graduate certificate provides nurses who already have a graduate nursing degree the additional specialized knowledge and experience for the nurse educator role. The certificate meets the educational requirements for national certification examination. All post-graduate nursing certificates are offered as space and faculty are available.

    Related Reading from the Kent State Online Blog

    Check out one of our featured blog posts below
    U.S. News & World Report has named five Kent State programs as U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2023. Kent State is recognized in the Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs, Best Online Master’s in Nursing Education Programs, Best Online Master’s in Business Programs, Best Online MBA Programs, and Best Online Master’s in Education Programs rankings.
    For the third consecutive term, the National League for Nursing (NLN) has designated Kent State University’s College of Nursing as a Center of Excellence in the category of Advancing the Science of Nursing Education. This new cycle of designation will extend from 2022-2026.

    Advance Your Career With Kent State