About the DNP

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Obtain the highest level scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes. 


Do you want to earn a terminal degree in nursing practice? The changing demands of our complex healthcare environment require the highest level scientific knowledge and practice expertise to assure quality patient outcomes.  A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will enhance  your career opportunities, increase your earning potential, and provide you with the highest level of professional education to make a greater impact on individuals, populations and healthcare organizations.

A Program That Works Around Your Schedule

The online DNP was specifically designed for working professionals who want to further their education while maintaining employment and balancing the demands of family and everyday life.

  • All DNP courses are offered online and asynchronously, meaning you don’t need to log into a course at any specific time, rather you complete required readings, discussion boards, and other course assignments on your own time.
  • Courses are purposefully kept small so you can really get to know your fellow students and professors. The UNH Nursing Department works hard to ensure online students feel connected and a part of the University.
  • Online students are assigned a full-time Nursing Department faculty advisor who will help develop a manageable academic schedule.
  • Opportunities for connections through use of technologies such as Skype and other synchronous tools are available.

Low Residency: Connecting with Professors & Students

Along with completing 33 credits, DNP students can develop real and meaningful connections with their professors and fellow students through two required visits to our Durham, NH campus. The first required campus visit consists of a 2-day intensive residency early in the program. This also allows nursing faculty to offer enrichment and learning activities and to discuss the expectations for the end-of-program deliverables. The second required 2-day campus visit occurs during the final term of the program, when students present and defend their final scholarly DNP Project. Residency agendas will be sent to students in advance. Students will be responsible for making their own local accommodations for both of these residency requirements. Local accommodations can be found at http://admissions.unh.edu/visit-campus/surrounding-area/hotels-and-lodging

Flexible Time to Completion

You can move through the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program at YOUR pace by taking classes as they fit into your schedule. You also have the freedom to take courses in any sequence with the exception of the three Doctoral Seminar Courses which are taken after successful completion of the first eight courses. Review our sample academic schedules to see how you can complete the program in as few as 18-28 months depending on whether you earned academic credit toward the degree.

To apply, please review our Admissions Information.

Why a DNP from UNH

  • Graduates of our DNP program will have the opportunity to pursue various leadership roles in nursing practice, including, but not limited to, chief nursing officer, director of critical care, and innovative nursing faculty.
  • UNH Doctor of Nursing Practice students have presented their work at national conferences, participated on a panel of experts at international conferences, and have peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication.

Our Professors

In 2016, the UNH Department of Nursing celebrated 50 years of excellence in postsecondary education and research. Our faculty are distinguished by their publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at national and international conferences, contributions to nursing education, leadership roles in national and regional organizations, and as recipients of special awards and fellowships.

  • Gene Harkless
    Gene Harkless
  • Susan Fetzer
  • Donna Pelletier
  • Joanne Samuels
  • Dayle Sharp
    Dayle Sharp
  • Kerry Nolte Headshot
    Kerry Nolte
  • Gene Harkless

    Associate Professor

    Email: gene.harkless@unh.edu

    Dr. Harkless earned her DNSc, Family Studies Cognate from Boston University. Dr. Harkless is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Nursing. As a family nurse practitioner for over 35 years, she provides primary care at Families First, a state supported primary care clinic. A Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Harkless has been named New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner of the Year and received the NHNPA Lifetime Achievement Award. Her scholarship includes work on shared decision-making, international health, quality improvement, and frail elders. Her past sabbaticals include curriculum consulting in Norway, India, and Indonesia funded by the Fulbright program. Dr. Harkless has held positions on the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association Board of Directors since 2007, including that of president from 2010-2014.

  • Susan Fetzer
    RN, PhD, CNL


    Email: sfetzer@unh.edu

    Dr. Fetzer earned her PhD in Nursing at Adelphi University.  She has been recognized with the President’s Award from the New Hampshire Nurses Association and as the Nurse Leader of the Year by the New Hampshire Organization of Nurse Leaders. Dr. Fetzer is the Director of Research at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua and a visiting professor at National Chen Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan. Her research interest is post-operative symptom management.

  • Donna Pelletier

    Clinical Associate Professor

    Email: donna.pelletier@unh.edu

    Dr. Pelletier earned her DNP at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Along with her position at the university as Director of the Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, she currently practices as a family nurse practitioner in an urgent care/occupational health clinic. Her research interests include health coaching, lifestyle behavior change, and health promotion to improve population health. 

  • Joanne Samuels
    PhD, RN, CNL

    Associate Professor

    E-mail: joanne.samuels@unh.edu

    Dr. Samuels earned her PhD in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is a member of the Clinical Nurse Leader Board of Commissioners and reviewer for the Journal of Nursing Care Quality. Her research interests started with pain management quality improvement and have evolved to mentoring organizational change agents to make sustainable changes to patient outcomes. 

  • Dayle Sharp
    PhD, DNP, McPH, FNP-BC

    Clinical Associate Professor

    Email: dayle.sharp@unh.edu

    Dr. Sharp earned her PhD and DNP from the University of Texas at El Paso. Along with her current position at the university she maintains a clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner in an urgent care setting.  Her research interests include rural health and public health, especially related to underserved populations.  

  • Kerry Nolte
    PhD, FNP-C

    Dr. Nolte completed her PhD at Northeastern University and her Masters of Nursing at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Nolte is an assistant professor and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Her clinical practice experience includes providing care as an FNP in community health at a Federally Qualified Health Center and urgent care environments. As a nurse she specialized in critical care and cardiac surgical care. She has experience in global health including leading global health courses and as a Project Hope volunteer. Dr. Nolte’s scholarship interests include community health, harm reduction, HIV prevention, opiate abuse, and needle exchange. She in an alum of the Jonas Nurse Scholar program. She serves as the Opioid Policy Lead for the New Hampshire Nurse Practitioners Association and is an appointed member of the New Hampshire Narcan Commission.