Simmons University Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Simmons University offers an online doctor of nursing practice (DNP), also called a practice doctorate of nursing. The program is designed for MSN-prepared, board-certified advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with at least two years of professional RN work experience. Experience is preferred in one of the following areas: clinical APRN experience, clinical nurse specialist (CNS) experience, or leadership-focused experience.

Nursing@Simmons DNP courses are delivered live and online through synchronous class sessions. The program can be completed in seven, 14-week terms. Students complete 30 credits plus 1,000 clinical hours, including those completed during the MSN degree program. One campus immersion weekend is required at the campus in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Simmons DNP program incorporates analytical and leadership principles with evidence-based practice to prepare well-equipped professional leaders. The program prepares graduates to:

  • Promote safe and efficient healthcare delivery
  • Conduct practice-based research
  • Design healthcare policies to improve organizational financing, regulations, safety, quality, and healthcare access
  • Collaborate with care teams and professionals across disciplines to improve health outcomes
  • Use current technology, informatics, and data analytics to promote improvement and change in organizational systems
  • Promote and use evidence-based practice to improve healthcare outcomes and lead to preventative healthcare

Terms five through seven are dedicated to the DNP project. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in “The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice,” a DNP project can take on various forms, including practice portfolios, manuscripts submitted for application, practice change initiatives, systematic reviews, research projects, or other unique final products.

DNP graduates may take high-level leadership positions in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, healthcare systems, and long-term healthcare organizations. Simmons University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The DNP program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Simmons University is located in Boston, MA.

What to Expect from the Simmons University Online DNP Program

Admission Requirements: Applicants must have earned an MSN from a regionally accredited U.S. institution with a preferred minimum GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, applicants must have completed a three-credit statistics course with a grade of 83 percent or higher and hold an unencumbered RN license in their state.

Finally, applicants must have clinical licensures such as nurse practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); or board certification in management such as Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) or Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML).

The DNP applicant must have at least two years of clinical or leadership-focused work experience. Application materials may include an application and application fee, proof of unrestricted RN licensure, a writing sample, official transcripts (paper or electronic), and a current CV or resume. No GMAT or GRE scores are required.

Study Plan: The DNP program begins in May and September and is designed to be completed in seven, 14-week terms. Coursework is 100 percent online with one campus immersion weekend and includes a DNP project.

DNP Curriculum: The online DNP program comprises 30 credits plus at least 1,000 clinical hours, which may include MSN clinical hours plus work completed on the DNP project.
Courses currently include advanced research methods; informatics; ethical/legal issues in advanced practice; professional leadership and practice change; quality improvement in healthcare; health policy; epidemiology; biostatistics; and DNP project seminar (repeated three times).

Online Experience: Nursing@Simmons DNP students can take advantage of live, face-to-face class sessions, a part-time program that allows nurses to continue working, small class sizes, and an immersion weekend in Boston. Multimedia, research assignments, and other components round out the weekly live class sessions.

Faculty office hours, email, and chat keep students and peers connected outside of class and provide opportunities for further explanation and guidance. Additionally, online students have access to academic advising, an online bookstore, an online library, technical support, and career services.

On-Site Requirements: One campus immersion is required in Boston, MA. All other coursework is 100 percent online, and the DNP project may be completed locally.

Paying for the Simmons University Online DNP Program

Simmons University online DNP program tuition numbers are listed in the tables below. Interested nurses should contact the School of Nursing and Health Professions for cost clarifications and updates.

Graduate nursing students may seek various funding options for the DNP program, including unsubsidized federal student loans by applying through the FAFSA, employer tuition reimbursement programs, employer tuition discounts, outside scholarships and grants, and private loans.

Simmons University Post-MSN to DNP

  • Designed for MSN-prepared nurses with clinical or managerial certification/licensure
  • Take advantage of live, face-to-face class sessions, small class sizes, and one immersion weekend in Boston
  • Enroll part-time and continue working, completing your DNP in seven, 14-week terms
Program Essentials
Degree Level Doctoral Degree
Program Start Dates May, September
Credits Needed to Graduate 30
Time to Complete? Graduate in seven 14-week terms.
100% Online? Yes, plus clinical hours
Program Accreditation CCNE
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Masters degree or higher
GRE or GMAT Required? No GMAT/GRE required
Work Experience Required? At least two years of licensed RN work experience is required
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 30
Average Cost Per Credit $1,475.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $44,250.00

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.