The Doctor of Nursing Practice requires a minimum of 72 s.h. of graduate credit. Students may complete the program in three to five years, depending on their focus area. Individuals who have been granted an M.S.N. may complete the D.N.P. with a minimum of 27 s.h. of graduate credit.

Students choose from a number of specialties, including adult gerontology nurse practitioner—primary care, adult/gerontology nurse practitioner—acute care, anesthesia nursing, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner—primary care, pediatric nurse practitioner—acute care, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner; and in health systems work. For yearly plans that detail course work in these specialty areas, see "Plans of Study" below. Visit D.N.P. Plans of Study on the College of Nursing website for a semester-by-semester view of required course work for each D.N.P. specialty. A dual certification program also is available that allows students to combine two of the specialties, except for anesthesia nursing or health systems.

D.N.P. students complete basic graduate core courses, specialty courses, advanced core courses, and practicums. In didactic course work, they explore clinical leadership, public policy and advocacy, specialty systems, change theory, finance and business, and entrepreneurial tools.

Students must complete a minimum of 1,000 practice experience hours. Individuals who enter the program having completed an M.S.N. may transfer approved clinical hours from their M.S.N. program to the D.N.P. program. The clinical hours requirement is evaluated for each student who has completed an M.S.N. with a specialty program. Students who completed more than 1,000 practice experience hours in an M.S.N. advanced practice program still must complete the number of D.N.P. practicum and project hours determined in consultation with their advisor and the D.N.P. program director.

Transfer credit applicable to the D.N.P. is limited and must be approved by the College of Nursing assistant dean for graduate practice programs. Transcripts for individuals who have completed an M.S.N. are evaluated individually.

Students must adhere to all Graduate College policies regarding academic standing, probation, and dismissal. Course work taken 10 or more years before a student plans to graduate from the D.N.P. program must be updated according to University policy.

Plans of Study

D.N.P. Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner—Primary Care Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
Graduate physiology course 3
 Hours21
Second Year
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 5
NURS:5032 Mental Disorders in Advanced Practice 3
NURS:5033 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing I 2
NURS:5034 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing II 2
NURS:5035 Graduate Pharmacology Specialty 2
 Hours24
Third Year
NURS:5401 The Care of the Frail Elderly 3
NURS:6200 Primary Care: Adults and Older Individuals I 3
NURS:6201 Primary Care: Adults and Older Individuals II 3
NURS:6701 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I 3
NURS:6702 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II 3
NURS:6703 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours23
Fourth Year
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours13
 Total Hours81

D.N.P. Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner—Acute Care Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
Graduate physiology course 3
 Hours21
Second Year
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 5
NURS:5033 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing I 2
NURS:5034 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing II 2
NURS:5035 Graduate Pharmacology Specialty 2
 Hours21
Third Year
NURS:6410 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care I 3
NURS:6411 Adult-Gerontology Acute Care II 3
NURS:6701 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I 4
NURS:6702 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II 4
NURS:6703 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours19
Fourth Year
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours16
 Total Hours77

D.N.P. Anesthesia Nursing Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 3
NURS:6000 Human Anatomy for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6005 Chemical and Physical Principles of Anesthesia Practice 3
NURS:6006 Pharmacology of Anesthesia Practice 3
NURS:6016 Equipment and Technological Principles of Anesthesia Practice 3
MPB:5200 Medical Physiology Online 5
PCOL:6204 Pharmacology for Health Sciences: Nurse Anesthetist 5
 Hours38
Second Year
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:6007 Basic Principles of Anesthesia Practice 5
NURS:6010 Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Practice I 4
NURS:6012 Advanced Principles of Anesthesia Practice II 1
NURS:6050 Introductory Clinical Anesthesia 2
NURS:6051 Clinical Anesthesia I 2
NURS:6052 Clinical Anesthesia II 2
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours24
Third Year
NURS:6053 Advanced Clinical Anesthesia 2
NURS:6054 Obstetrical Anesthesia 2
NURS:6055 Rural Anesthesia 2
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours16
 Total Hours78

D.N.P. Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
Graduate physiology course 3
 Hours24
Second Year
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 5
NURS:5032 Mental Disorders in Advanced Practice 3
NURS:5033 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing I 2
NURS:5034 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing II 2
NURS:5035 Graduate Pharmacology Specialty 2
 Hours21
Third Year
NURS:6100 Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents I 3
NURS:6101 Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents II 3
NURS:6200 Primary Care: Adults and Older Individuals I 3
NURS:6201 Primary Care: Adults and Older Individuals II 3
NURS:6701 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I 3
NURS:6702 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II 3
NURS:6703 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III 4
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours24
Fourth Year
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours16
 Total Hours85

D.N.P. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner—Primary Care Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
Graduate physiology course 3
 Hours21
Second Year
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 5
NURS:5032 Mental Disorders in Advanced Practice 3
NURS:5033 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing I 2
NURS:5034 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing II 2
NURS:5035 Graduate Pharmacology Specialty 2
 Hours24
Third Year
NURS:6100 Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents I 3
NURS:6101 Primary Care: Infants, Children, and Adolescents II 3
NURS:6701 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I 3
NURS:6702 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II 3
NURS:6703 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III 3
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours20
Fourth Year
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours13
 Total Hours78

D.N.P. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner—Acute Care Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
HHP:5300 Advanced Human Physiology (or graduate physiology course) 3
 Hours21
Second Year
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 5
NURS:5033 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing I 2
NURS:5034 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing II 2
NURS:5035 Graduate Pharmacology Specialty 2
 Hours21
Third Year
NURS:6400 Pediatric Acute Care I 3
NURS:6401 Pediatric Acute Care II 3
NURS:6701 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I 4
NURS:6702 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II 4
NURS:6703 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours19
Fourth Year
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours16
 Total Hours77

D.N.P. Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
Graduate physiology course 3
 Hours21
Second Year
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
NURS:5023 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice I 2
NURS:5024 Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice II 2
NURS:5031 Health Promotion and Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice 5
NURS:5032 Mental Disorders in Advanced Practice 3
NURS:5033 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing I 2
NURS:5034 Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice Nursing II 2
NURS:5036 Psychopharmacology for Advanced Clinical Practice 3
 Hours22
Third Year
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6500 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Theory I 4
NURS:6501 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Theory II 4
NURS:6701 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum I 3
NURS:6702 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum II 3
NURS:6703 Advanced Practice Clinical Practicum III 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours25
Fourth Year
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours13
 Total Hours81

D.N.P. Health Systems Specialty

The following course work is required.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5002 Leadership and Management Essentials 3
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5008 Foundations of Nursing Science I 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5018 Clinical Education in the Care Environment 3
 Hours15
Second Year
NURS:5015 Health Systems, Finance, and Economics 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6550 Executive Leadership and Management 4
NURS:6552 Managing Care in an Organizational Environment 4
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
 Hours17
Third Year
NURS:5016 Health Care Infrastructure and Informatics 3
NURS:6551 Financial Management 4
NURS:6554 Seminar on Healthy Work Environments 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
 Hours13
Fourth Year
NURS:6553 Seminar on Innovations 4
NURS:6704 Practicum in Executive Leadership and Management 4
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6811 Social Determinants of Health and Health System Inequities 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours16
Fifth Year
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
Elective 4
 Hours11
 Total Hours72

D.N.P. for M.S.N. and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) students or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) can complete the following course work to fulfill the D.N.P. degree requirements.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
NURS:5007 Applied Epidemiology 3
NURS:5009 Evaluating Evidence for Practice 3
NURS:5017 Quality and Safety 3
NURS:6802 Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy 3
NURS:6808 Population Health for Advanced Practice 3
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project 2
 Hours17
Second Year
NURS:6800 Emerging Science 3
NURS:6809 DNP Role Integration I 2
NURS:6810 DNP Role Integration II 2
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project (fall semester) 1
NURS:6825 Doctor of Nursing Practice Project (spring semester) 2
 Hours10
 Total Hours27

Applicants to College of Nursing graduate programs must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Applicants must have a g.p.a. of at least 3.00. A criminal background check is required for all graduate students upon admission. The College of Nursing has additional application requirements, as follows.

Admission to the D.N.P. Program

Application requirements specific to the D.N.P. program are:

a bachelor's degree with a major in nursing from an accredited program;

satisfaction of the legal requirements for the practice of nursing in Iowa;

current written recommendations from three persons knowledgeable about the applicant's competence in the practice of nursing and potential for leadership and scholarship (forms required);

a current résumé, goal statement, and supplemental/information form;

transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate course work;

D.N.P. applicants to the direct care programs with master's degrees in nursing from other schools must provide verification of completed clinical hours from their institution's graduate director or must submit appropriate course syllabi; and

completion of an upper-level statistics course within five years of the application deadline (acceptable University of Iowa courses include BIOS:4120 Introduction to Biostatistics, PSQF:4143 Introduction to Statistical Methods, STAT:3510 Biostatistics, and STAT:4143 Introduction to Statistical Methods; see Transfer Courses on MyUI for information about using equivalent courses from other institutions).

Application deadline for the D.N.P. program is February 1 for all specialties except anesthesia nursing, which has a June 1 application deadline.

Applications are reviewed once a year. In order to be reviewed, the application must be complete, with all materials submitted.

Applicant interviews are required for the D.N.P. program; in some cases, virtual  interviews such as through Zoom may be arranged.

Due to the level of web-based course work required, international students in the D.N.P. program of study are not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student immigration status. Questions regarding visas and immigration documentation should be directed to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).

The D.N.P. program prepares nurses for leadership and advanced practice roles within today's complex health care system. Graduates acquire the knowledge and skills to provide the highest standard of care for individuals, families, and communities.