Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) Online MSN-to-DNP

The School of Nursing at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) offers an online master of science in nursing to doctor of nursing practice (MSN-to-DNP) program that includes a one-week immersion in Hawaii at the beginning of the program, plus fully online coursework. The MSN-to-DNP program requires the completion of at least 500 clinical hours through the completion of a DNP project. This plus the 500 hours earned through the MSN program will complete the total of 1,000 post-baccalaureate supervised practice hours required.

The values of Hawaii Pacific University include

  • Pono which means righteous, moral, and honest
  • Kuleana which means responsibility and rights and the concern for all people, belongings, and interests
  • Aloha which means unity, humility, love and kindness, grace, and patience

These values are especially important to graduates of the MSN-to-DNP program who will operate in roles similar to family doctors: interacting with patients, assessing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses, and collaborating with colleagues and the community. DNPs will encounter patients of various cultures, with differing religious and ethnic backgrounds.

The DNP program is cohort-based with students moving through courses one at a time. Courses last eight weeks each. HPU is committed to small class sizes and boasts doctorally educated faculty who practice locally, nationally, and globally. Faculty focus on offering a rigorous academic environment while ensuring student success and well-being throughout the program. HPU offers dedicated student support services to enhance this objective.

Graduates of the MSN-to-DNP program may go on to clinical and hospital positions and work in specialty clinics, long-term healthcare facilities, and government organizations.

Hawaii Pacific University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The MSN-to-DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Hawaii Pacific University is located in Honolulu, Hawaii (HI).

What to Expect from the Hawaii Pacific University Online MSN-to-DNP Program

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the MSN-to-DNP program must have earned an MSN with APRN certification with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Five hundred practicum hours completed through the MSN go towards the 1,000 post-baccalaureate hours required for the DNP. Additionally, applicants must hold an unencumbered RN license in the United States.

Application materials include an application and fee, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a CV or resume, a writing sample, and proof of RN licensure. Also, a graduate course in statistics and at least one year of professional work experience are required. The GRE is not required.

Study Plan: The MSN-to-DNP program begins in the fall, spring, and summer. It begins with a one-week campus intensive in Honolulu, HI. DNP students move through as a cohort and the program can be completed in 20 months, while most students complete the degree in 24 months. Courses run eight weeks each and students take one course at a time. Nursing students may transfer up to 12 credits into the program.

The DNP project clinical courses require the following:

  • Virtual meetings with the DNP Project Chair
  • Virtual meetings with a Community Content Expert
  • Documented clinical hours at the site where the DNP project will be implemented

All other coursework is completed online.

MSN-to-DNP Curriculum: The MSN-to-DNP program comprises 30 credits plus 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. Courses include evidence-based practice for advanced nursing; leadership and systems management; informatics and technology for advanced practice; optimizing quality in health care system; business and finance essentials for the DNP; development and implementation of healthcare policy; analytical methods for evidence-based practice; doctoral project I: development; doctoral project II: implementation; and doctoral project III; data analysis and dissemination. A one-week campus intensive is included at the beginning of the program.

Online Experience: HPU delivers courses asynchronously through the Blackboard online platform. The DNP project requires virtual face-to-face meetings with the Project Chair and other personnel.

The Center for Academic Success offers tutoring, testing, and accessibility services. Other student services include library and bookstore services, student success advisors, counseling and behavioral health services, technical support, academic advising, financial aid services, virtual faculty office hours, and career counseling.

On-Site Requirements: The MSN-to-DNP program begins with a one-week campus intensive in Honolulu, HI. All didactic coursework is online and clinical hours through the DNP program are completed at an approved local site.

Paying for the HPU Online MSN-to-DNP Program

The HPU MSN-to-DNP program tuition numbers are listed in the tables below, and do not include additional fees. Interested MSN-prepared nurses with APRN certification should contact the HPU School of Nursing for cost clarifications and updates.

Graduate nursing students may wish to inquire with their employers as to the existence of a tuition reimbursement program or tuition discounts. Graduate students may be eligible for unsubsidized federal Stafford Loans and Graduate PLUS loans through the FAFSA application. Other funding options may include private loans and outside grants and scholarships.

Hawaii Pacific University MSN to DNP

Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates Fall, Spring, Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 30
Time to Complete? Graduate in 20 to 24 months.
100% Online? No, 1-week intensive at the beginning of the program and completion of at least 500 clinical hours through the DNP Project
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Masters degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? At least one year of professional work experience
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 30
Average Cost Per Credit $1,025.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $30,750.00

Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the rates for part-time students. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Estimated total tuition does not include additional fees, unless otherwise specified. Please check here for any tuition updates.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.