Doctoral Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Advance in your career as a clinical leader with the skills to support the delivery of high quality and safe care in complex health care systems.

Nurse leader in a clinical setting

Program Overview

In our doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program, you’ll graduate ready for the role of an advanced practice nurse capable of leading change and delivering the highest level of quality care. As you progress through our flexible program, you’ll develop clinical leadership skills to deliver culturally competent, evidence-based, value-based and system-based care.

With guidance from our experienced, full-time faculty, you’ll be prepared for leadership positions in direct care of individuals and populations, as well as for positions that focus on patient outcomes and complex systems management and transformation.

At graduation, you will be prepared to meet the eligibility criteria to sit for a family nurse practitioner certification examination or the adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist examination.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Widener University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Program Options

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Students are required to complete 560 clinical hours beyond the Master of Science in Nursing program. 

Students can enroll in the DNP program at either our Main Campus in Chester or at our Harrisburg Campus.

Our flexible course delivery system offers full- and part-time options designed for working practitioners to ensure that you can meet the program requirements on a timeframe that fits into your schedule.

Part-time students can progress at their own pace within the established seven-year time limit for degree completion for doctoral students.

All DNP classes are offered online through a web-enhanced delivery system. 

A post-baccalaureate RN-to-DNP option is available. Students must complete 74 credits in the approved post-baccalaureate RN-to-DNP family (individual across the lifespan) CRNP option or 66 credits in the approved post-baccalaureate RN-to-DNP adult-gerontology CNS option.

Admissions Requirements

Graduates of accredited master’s programs are invited to apply for admission by submitting evidence of:

  • Completed online application.
  • Transcripts from all previously attended higher education institutions.
  • Minimum of a 3.2 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the MSN program.
  • Graduate statistics course with a grade of at least C (2.0).
  • Two references—one from an educator or an advanced practice nurse and one from an employer with a graduate degree.
  • Goal statement that highlights the applicant’s interests with emphasis on health care practice improvement.
  • Current national APRN certification in an advanced practice nursing role and population as appropriate.
  • Valid RN and APRN licenses.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Graduate level epidemiology course pre-/corequisite.

GRE scores are not required. International applicants and applicants whose native language is not English must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores with a minimum score of 213 for the computer-based test or 550 for the paper test.

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Students interested in an accelerated track can enroll in Post Baccalaureate RN-to-DNP Individual /Family Across the Lifespan CRNP program or the Post Baculaueate RN-toDNP Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist program.

Graduates of nationally accredited baccalaureate programs are eligible to apply for admission by submitted evidence of:

  • Completed online application.
  • Transcripts from all previously attended higher education institutions.
  • Minimum of a 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Undergraduate statistics course with a grade of at least C (2.0).
  • Two references—one from an educator or advanced practice nurse and one from an employer with a graduate degree.
  • Goal statement that highlights the applicant’s interests with emphasis on health care practice improvement.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Valid RN license.
  • Interview with a nursing faculty member (arranged after a preliminary review of application materials.)
  • 07/15 - for matriculation in the fall semester
  • 11/15 - for matriculation in the spring semester
  • 04/01 - for matriculation in the summer semester

Program Highlights

nursing doctorate student in sim lab

Clinical Experience

Our faculty will partner with you to identify a clinical training location that meets your professional goals. With more than 300 affiliated clinical sites, you'll have access to the setting and specialty that interests you. 

nursing faculty in clinic

Close Faculty Mentorship

Thrive in a learning community provides close mentorship and one-on-one support. Our expert, full-time faculty members bring active clinical and academic research experience to the classroom. Here, you'll build a network that will follow you long after graduation.

Faculty

Partner with expert faculty who aren’t just teaching the courses but are creating the science of nursing education.

Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks
Professor of Nursing

I ascribe to a pragmatic philosophy of teaching and learning. I believe that nursing education must be practical and logically aligned to the diverse needs of the population we served.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

You'll take the inside track to a rewarding education, career, and future in nursing.

  • Christiana Health System
  • Penn Medicine
  • Widener University
  • Wilmington University
  • Pennsylvania Hospital

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Advanced practice nurse
  • Nurse leader
  • Nurse educator

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how scholarships, assistantships, fellowships, and other sources of aid can make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

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