Nursing (D.N.P.)

Nursing (D.N.P.)

stethoscope with computer and papers

UNH's online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for working advanced practice nursing professionals looking to make a greater impact on the world of healthcare. The low-residency, online DNP program is a post-master's program that focuses on leadership and innovation in nursing. Our students have life-changing experiences, influencing and making changes in healthcare systems.

Credit Hours: 21-33   |    Program Length: 18-28 months

Why get a doctorate in nursing practice?

The need for advanced practice nursing professionals is expected to grow, and now’s the perfect time to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The UNH DNP program is designed for students who hold a Master of Science degree in nursing or an equivalent field. The DNP emphasizes clinical, practice-oriented leadership training and is designed to give you the skills to have a greater impact on the world of healthcare. You’ll increase your earning potential, discover new opportunities and learn how to become a leader with the ability to improve patient outcomes and influence important health policy.

Why choose UNH’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program?

This online DNP is designed for working professionals who want to further their education while balancing the demands of a career, family and everyday life. The program is asynchronous, meaning you’ll be able to complete readings and coursework on your own schedule. Its low residency requirements involve only two campus visits, through which you’ll be able to better connect with other students and your professors. You’ll also have the support of a full-time faculty advisor who will help you balance your workload and manage your academic schedule. Begin in January or August, and complete the coursework in 18-28 months.

Potential careers

  • Advanced practice registered nurse 
  • Certified nurse-midwife 
  • Chief nursing officer 
  • Clinical nurse specialist 
  • Director of critical care 
  • Healthcare manager 
  • Nurse anesthetist 
  • Nurse educator 
  • Researcher

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Department of Nursing Mission and Vision

We educate leaders in nursing, engaged in reflective practice, to provide innovative and exemplary healthcare in partnership with individuals, families, groups, and communities. We transform the delivery of healthcare through generation, dissemination, and application of evidence-based nursing knowledge.

We embrace a culture that embodies the University's and the College's vision, mission, and values of interdisciplinarity, scholarship, innovation, integrity, curiosity, openness, and sustainability. 

become a leader from the bedside to the boardroom

Experience excellence in nursing with New Hampshire's first DNP Program. Nurses with expanded expertise have the ability to shape care at many levels, from improving care for patients and families to reducing health disparities in their communities to leading positive, systems-level change in their organizations.

Curriculum & Requirements

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses for the highest level of specialized nursing practice. DNP graduates are prepared to translate evidence into practice, improve systems of care, and measure health outcomes in diverse settings. Graduates of the DNP program are prepared for culturally competent, evidence-based, system-based care, interprofessional collaboration and leadership. DNP graduates are distinguished by their abilities to:

  • Affect practice
  • Design and implement programs that improve health and healthcare delivery
  • Apply data management and informatics skills to evaluate programs, outcomes, and care systems
  • Influence health policy

Requirements for the Online Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree include:

  • Successful completion of 8 core courses and 3 doctoral scholarly project courses
  • Verification of 1,000 advanced practice clinical hours (includes up to 500 clinical hours earned in master's program);
  • A publishable scholarly paper;
  • Presentation of your DNP scholarly project; and
  • Acceptance of the DNP Project Final Report by your DNP Team.

All courses are offered 100% online. Students are required to attend two on-campus residencies:

  • The first 2-day residency is early in the program to meet with peers and nursing faculty, and identify ideas for the DNP project;
  • The second 1-day residency is at the end of the program, for the oral presentation and defense of the DNP Project. 

Cohorts are admitted twice a year, with starts in January and August.

The DNP program builds upon the experience of master's-­prepared nurses. Registered nurses who have obtained a master's degree are welcome to apply.

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires students complete 21-33 credits via 11 courses.  The online DNP program aims to produce graduates prepared to improve health and care outcomes through coursework in organizational and systems leadership, quality improvement processes, and translation of evidence into practice, to name a few.

Degree Requirements

NURS 894Special Topics (Healthcare Finance Management)3
NURS 894Special Topics (Creative Leadership)3
NURS 894Special Topics (Applied Analytics for Quality Improvement in Heath Care)3
NURS 963Advanced Clinical Epidemiology3
NURS 964Technology and Health Care3
NURS 967Evidence Synthesis3
NURS 969Health Policy and Advocacy3
NURS 973Health Care Quality3
NURS 980Doctoral Scholarly Project I3
NURS 981Doctoral Scholarly Project II3
NURS 982Doctoral Scholarly Project III3

Students are required to successfully complete DNP coursework, have 1,000 documented advanced practice clinical hours (includes up to 500 clinical hours earned in master's program), produce a publishable scholarly paper, and present their DNP Project.

If a student completed fewer than 500 clinical hours in their Master’s program, the student must enroll in NURS 970 Clinical Practicum for Advanced Practice Nurse, under the supervision of the DNP director.  NURS 970 is a 2-credit course and allows the student to complete up to 250 clinical practicum hours; this course may be repeated once. 


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: May 1
  • Spring: November 1 (Extended to December 1 for Spring 2021)
  • Special: Applications accepted on a rolling basis, with priority consideration for applicants who submit application and supplemental materials by deadlines

Application fee: $65

Campus: Online

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Three letters of reference pertaining to academic ability, professional competency, and personal character are required.

Personal Statement

The professional statement must include a written essay responding to each of the following.

  1. How will a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of New Hampshire help you attain your professional goals?
  2. Describe your current advanced nursing role and explain what you are planning to do with your nursing career in your specialty after you complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
  3. In addition to the information contained in your resume, what strengths do you possess that would contribute to your success in the Doctor of Nursing practice program and in a community of inter-professional scholars?
  4. Identify one scholarly inquiry from your practice you would like to explore as part of the DNP program (e.g., quality improvement initiative, evidence-based practice guidelines, new model of care, policy analysis).

Statements must be included with your submitted application.


Curriculum vitae or resume that includes academic preparation, clinical experience and professional activities is required.

Additional Department Requirements

In addition to the standard graduate school requirements, the program requires the following:

  1. An unencumbered RN or APRN license in the United States must be documented at the time of application.
  2. RNs with a master's degree in any field are eligible to apply. Plans of study will be individualized for students without a master's in nursing on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.


For program-specific application questions, please contact the UNH Online Student Success Coaches: or 855.250.6699

Explore Program Details

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 final campus visit occurs at the end of the program, when students present their DNP Project during the DNP Scholarly Symposium. 

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. A listing of local accommodations can be found at here.

While in the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program, students are required to successfully complete all DNP coursework, have 1,000 documented advanced practice clinical hours (includes up to 500 clinical hours earned in master's program), produce a publishable scholarly paper, and successfully present their DNP Project.

DNP projects are designed in consultation with faculty and content experts during the student’s first residency. This allows DNP students to develop knowledge, skills, and strategies for a quality improvement project.  Students assume the role of leader of their DNP project team in interdisciplinary collaboration, consultation, and partnership as they plan and implement their project. The DNP project proposal is developed in NURS 980, Doctoral Scholarly Project I; the project is implemented in NURS 981, Doctoral Scholarly Project II; and then evaluated and disseminated during their final course, NURS 982, Doctoral Scholarly Project III.

Tuition & Fees:

Tuition for 2020-21 Academic Year*:

  • $785 per credit for New Hampshire (NH) residents
  • $865 per credit for non-NH residents                                                                  

Program Total Number of Credits: 21-33
*eTerm 5 2020 through eTerm 4 2021

Technology Fee per Semester:

  • 1-4 credits $26.00
  • 5-8 credits $52.00
  • 9-16 credits $104.00


Financial Aid

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loans is the form of federal financial aid available to Graduate Students. To apply, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The UNH priority deadline is March 1. This is the date by which the FAFSA must be received by the federal processor, however, if your application is received after March 1st you will still be considered for the Federal Direct Loan, which is not subject to the priority deadline.

The basic eligibility requirements to be considered for Financial Aid include:

  • Attend classes at least half-time (5 or more credits per semester).
  • Enrollment in a degree program.
  • Documentation of United States citizenship or eligible non-citizen status.
  • Must maintain satisfactory academic progress.


The purpose of this handbook is to bring together important information, and to tell you about other sources of information that are either essential or helpful. It is intended to complement, not replace, the rules and regulations as set forth in the University of New Hampshire Graduate Catalog

DNP Handbook

Eight of the 11 online Doctor of Nursing Practice courses are delivered in an 8-week term. These courses are condensed and move at a faster pace than traditional full semester courses. The three Doctoral Scholarly Project courses (NURS 980, NURS 981, NURS 982) span 40 weeks in order to give students ample time to complete their DNP Project.

Sample Schedule - Starting in Fall/August

Sample Schedule - Starting in Spring/January

  • A current student in the UNH Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, Lisa Wilson, recently received an $8,000 nursing scholarship from the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education, which plays a central role in empowering nurse educators in America. Lisa was one of only eight students in the United...
    A current student in the UNH Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, Lisa Wilson, recently received an $8,000 nursing scholarship from the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education, which plays a central role in empowering nurse educators in America. Lisa was one of only eight students in the United...