20 Best 3-Year DNP Programs – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA

Are you a registered nurse interested in earning a doctorate in nursing, but worry about the time commitment? If so, a 3-year DNP program may be an option worth considering.

These programs offer the opportunity to earn the highest nursing degree in three short years. Perhaps you like the idea of this type of program but need to know where to begin. You may wonder, "What are the best 3-year DNP programs?”

In this article, I will answer that question by sharing a list of the 20 best 3-year DNP programs for 2024. I will share information with you about the cost of these programs and tell you what you need to get accepted and what to expect from the curriculum and clinical experiences. When you finish reading, you will have enough information to help you decide if pursuing a three-year doctorate in nursing is the right choice for you.



WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF A 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAM?


The best 3-year DNP programs aim to prepare nurses for advanced professional practice in their chosen specialty. The programs will help you reach the highest level of nursing practice through classwork, clinical hours, and simulation lab or immersion experiences. You will gain the skills needed to analyze research and determine evidence-based practice and how to influence changes in healthcare practice in various clinical or non-clinical settings.

If you choose a clinical DNP specialty, the programs will also help you develop the clinical skills and scope of practice to diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic conditions for patients in your chosen specialty. Non-clinical specialties will also focus on leadership, management, and other administrative skills necessary for academic or executive nursing roles.



3 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS


There are many advantages to earning a degree through 3-year DNP programs. In addition to having excellent job opportunities and good income potential, the following are three main advantages of these programs.

1. You will gain the skills needed to impact the healthcare industry significantly in three short years:

With a degree from any of the best 3-year DNP programs, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to impact healthcare on all levels. In these programs, within a short span of 3 years, you will gain the ability to become a decisive leader and navigate complex healthcare situations. By applying what you learn, you can help translate research into practice and improve patient and professional outcomes.

2. You will be ahead of the game:

Both the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have committed to moving entry-level nurse practitioner education to the DNP level by 2025. Although it is optional to have a DNP to work as a nurse practitioner, pursuing the degree now puts you ahead of the game. You can earn your DNP and be practicing as a nurse practitioner by the time any changes in educational requirements are solidified.

3. You will learn to practice at the top of your license:

In nursing school, my instructors continuously emphasized the importance of practicing at the top of your license. After gaining experience and later teaching nursing and allied health, I understand the importance of what I was taught. Practicing at the top of your license means you will use your knowledge and skills to perform the tasks that truly require your nursing expertise. Becoming a DNP in any specialty fully embodies this message and allows you to perform nursing tasks at the highest level possible. This is an advantage as you will be getting the most out of your degree while also maximizing your earning potential and ensuring you have a lucrative and rewarding career.



2 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS


Despite having many advantages, there are also some disadvantages to 3-year DNP programs. I recommend weighing the pros and cons carefully before committing to any program. The following are two main advantages of these programs.

1. You will have the same scope of practice as advanced practice nurses with an MSN degree:

When I taught nursing, I always asked students what their motivation for going back to school was, and one of the most common answers I got was that they wanted to broaden their scope of practice. Unfortunately, despite going to school longer and paying more money for your education, a DNP degree does not give you greater practice authority than that of a master’s prepared registered nurse. The DNP degree focuses on scholarly aspects of the specialty and sets you up for more involved advanced nursing roles. If you desire a clinical role as a nurse practitioner and are not interested in research or academia, getting a 3-year DNP degree may be a disadvantage.

2. If you want to switch specialties later in your career, you will have to return to school:

When you pursue your degree through 3-year DNP programs, you must choose a specialty concentration upon which to focus your studies. One other disadvantage to these programs is that if you want to change specialties, you may need to return to school and earn additional certification. For example, if you earn a Psychiatric Mental Health DNP degree and later want to become a Neonatal DNP, you will need to return to school and earn a post-graduate certificate as a neonatal nurse practitioner.



WHEN DO 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS START?


Start dates for 3-year DNP programs are determined by the schools offering the programs. Most of the programs featured in this article offer one start date for each program annually. The following are some examples of start dates for five of the best programs.

The University of Maryland offers admission each fall for all DNP specialties except Nurse Anesthesia which starts in the summer.

Classes at the University of Kentucky start each fall.

The Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner 3-year DNP programs at the University of Portland begin each summer.

The University of the Incarnate Word begins classes for its program in January each year.

Sacred Heart University offers a 3-year DNP program with a family practice specialty that begins each fall.



HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS?


The number of credits needed to complete 3-year DNP programs varies. Among the top programs featured in this article, the curriculum plans require between 55 and 90 credits. The number of credits you need will be determined by your chosen specialty and the number of credits you transfer from your previous nursing degree.

Johns Hopkins University offers two 3-year DNP programs. The DNP Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program requires 81 credits. The DNP Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program requires 83-90 credits.

The Nurse Anesthesia DNP program at Duke University requires 83 credits.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you can choose from one of five 3-year DNP programs. Credit requirements for each specialty are as follows:

o Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 76 credits
o Family Nurse Practitioner: 79 credits
o Health Care Leadership and Administration: 66-69 credits
o Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care: 74 credits
o Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 76 credits


The University of Arizona offers two DNP specialties, Nurse Midwifery and Anesthesia. The Nurse-Midwifery program has 69 credit hours, and the Nurse Anesthesia program has 86 credit hours.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers APRN and non-APRN 3-year DNP programs. The non-APRN pathways require 58 credits. APRN pathways featured 68-credit curriculum plans.



HOW LONG ARE 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS?


3-year DNP Programs take three calendar years, which generally means from six to nine semesters. Based on your chosen specialty, you may be able to take two semesters of classes each year with the summers off, or you may need to take a third semester each year during the summer.

The University of Portland’s program is designed to be completed in nine semesters, including three summer semesters.

The 3-year program at the University of Alabama is designed for part-time study and takes seven semesters, including two summer semesters in years one and two and one semester of study in the third year.

At the University of Kentucky, the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP 3-year DNP program takes eight semesters. The pathway requires attending summer semesters in the first two years and spring and fall attendance in the third year.

East Tennessee State University’s 3-year DNP programs take nine semesters to complete.

The Nurse Midwifery and Nurse Anesthesia programs at the University of Arizona are eight-semester programs.



HOW MUCH DO 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS COST?


One of the main factors prospective students consider when choosing an academic program is the cost. Knowing what a school charges and if there is financial assistance available can help you choose a program within your financial means. It is important to research carefully as costs vary significantly for 3-year DNP programs, ranging between $25,000 to more than $195,000.

Ohio State University charges in-state students $955.43 per credit and out-of-state students $975.43 per credit. The 3-year DNP programs offered at the school have curriculum plans with 50 to 87 credits. In-state students pay between $47,771.50 and $83,122.41.41. Out-of-state students pay between $48,771.50 and $84,862.41.

The University of Minnesota charges tuition at a rate of $1053 per credit. The school offers nine concentrations with different credit requirements. The programs cost between $70,551 and $86,346, depending on your chosen specialty. For example, the Adult Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist DNP program is a 75-credit program and costs approximately $78,975. The Nursing Informatics pathway requires 67 credits and costs an average of $70,551.

At the University of Maryland, in-state students pay $1,159.50 per credit, and out-of-state students pay $2,136.50. This amount includes a flat fee rate of $331.50. The university offers eight 3-year DNP programs with curriculum plans ranging between 80 and 93 credits. Therefore, the cost of the program for state residents is between $92,760 and $107,833.50. Non-resident students pay between $170,920 and $198,694.50.

The University of Alabama offers two DNP specialties, Health Care and Nurse Education. The Health Care pathway requires 40 credits and costs approximately $17,600. The Nurse Education pathway requires 60 credits (48 credits from coursework and 12 from dissertation), costing $26,400.

Tuition for each of the 3-year DNP programs at Michigan State University costs approximately $57,207.



WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS?


3-year DNP programs typically have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 to be considered for admission. In some cases, schools may offer admission opportunities to students with lower GPAs, but the higher your grade point average, the better your chances of securing a spot in one of these programs.

For example, Johns Hopkins, Duke University, and the University of Minnesota have firm 3.0 GPA requirements. The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill allows applicants with a GPA as low as 2.75 with a solid justifiable explanation for their academic performance.



WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS?


As you research potential college programs and options, it is important to review the admission criteria for each school that interests you carefully. 3-year DNP programs typically require applicants to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, an active RN license, and at least one year of clinical nursing experience. However, admission guidelines vary among schools according to state and federal guidelines. The following are the admission requirements for five of the best 3-year DNP programs in the nation.

The admission requirements for Johns Hopkins University's DNP programs include holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or an entry-level Master's in Nursing degree from an accredited program with at least a 3.0-grade point average from your most recent nursing degree and possessing an active and unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse. Although it is not required, a minimum of one year of clinical nursing experience is preferred. Along with your application, you must submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts from all previous programs, a current resume or curriculum vitae, and a goal statement. GRE scores are not required but may be submitted. Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit their TOEFL or IELTS scores.

To be considered for admission at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, you need a BSN degree and a current, unencumbered RN license in North Carolina or a Nurse Licensure Compact State. Applicants with a nursing GPA of 3.0 are preferred. However, if your grade point average is between 2.75 and 2.99, you may be offered conditional admission. Work experience relevant to your chosen specialty is also required.

For example, the AGPCNP pathway requires experience working with adults or older adults in a community, hospital, or ambulatory setting, and FNP applicants need experience in community/public health, inpatient or outpatient, working with patients of all ages. You must submit three letters of professional recommendation, a professional resume or curriculum vitae, and a statement of intent.

Admission requirements for Texas Tech University Health Science Center’s 3-year DNP programs include the following. You must have a BSN from an accredited nursing program with a BSN grade point average of 3.0 or higher and complete undergraduate research and statistics courses with a minimum grade of “C.” Applicants must have an unrestricted Texas or compact registered nursing license and have at least one year of clinical nursing experience. Along with your application, you must complete a critical analysis essay and submit three reference letters, an oath of residency, a resume or CV, and official transcripts from previously attended programs. After passing the initial admissions review, eligible candidates must complete an interview with a DNP faculty member.

If you would like to apply for admission at The University of Portland, you will need to submit a DNP writing sample using provided prompts specific to the FNP or AGPCNP programs. You will need to submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. Additional requirements include a BSN or master’s degree from an accredited program, a current RN license (Oregon license recommended for clinical placements), a GPA of 3.0 or above, and completion of an admission interview if requested. Admission preference will be awarded to applicants who live in Oregon or Washington and have two years or more of nursing experience.

Admission to Sacred Heart University’s 3-year DNP program with a concentration in family practice requires meeting the following admission criteria. You must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with an undergraduate nursing grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The first step is to fill out an online application. Additionally, you must provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and an admission essay. You must provide a copy of your current, unencumbered RN license issued by your home state and a copy of any other state licenses, such as advanced practice licensure and certification. Eligible candidates will participate in an admission interview.

Finally, in addition to knowing the criteria for admission, there are a few things you can do to help improve your chances of getting into a top DNP program. A few things I like to recommend to prospective DNP students are work on improving your undergraduate GPA, get excellent letters of recommendation, and be prepared to explain your motivation for earning a DNP with admission faculty.



WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS?


The curriculum for 3-year DNP programs offers a combination of core and specialty-relevant classes. You can plan to take specific core required DNP classes. According to AACN guidelines, all DNP programs must offer separate courses for Advanced Health/Physical Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology. The following are some examples of the classes taken at five of the schools featured in this article.

At Johns Hopkins University, you may choose from two 3-year DNP programs, the Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Core classes for each program are similar and include courses such as Context of Healthcare for Advanced Nursing Practice, Biostatistics for Evidence-Based Practice, Advanced Pathophysiology/Physiology, Human Growth and Development, Advanced Nursing Health Policy, and Clinical Pharmacology.

The Psychiatric Mental Health NP pathway includes concentration-specific classes such as Neurobiology of Mental Disorders, Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Psychotherapeutic Frameworks and Modalities. The Family Nurse Practitioner program offers classes, including Advanced Diagnostics, Clinical Reasoning: Acute Conditions Across the Lifespan, and Clinical Reasoning: Chronic Conditions Across the Lifespan.

Duke University offers a Nurse Anesthesia 3-year DNP program. In this program, you will take classes, including Diagnostic Reasoning & Clinical Assessment for Nurse Anesthetists, Anesthesia Pharmacology, Implementing & Evaluating Healthcare Practices, Physics Related to Anesthesia, Anesthesia Specialty Techniques, and Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice.

Core courses for the APRN DNP specialties At the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, you may choose between five pathways for the 3-year DNP programs. Each pathway includes core courses, such as Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice, Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Nursing Practice, Advanced Health & Physical Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice, and Advanced Diagnostic Reasoning.

Additionally, the curriculum for each program includes concentration-specific classes. For example, you may take classes such as Primary Care of Adolescents & Adults, Sexual & Reproductive Health for Advanced Nursing Practice, Management of Complex Psychiatric Mental Health Problems Across the Lifespan, Care of Children with Complex Health Problems, or Managing Human Resources in Complex Health Care Systems.

The University of Southern Mississippi offers Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner options for its 3-year DNP programs. In addition to core courses, the FNP program includes classes such as Family Nurse Practitioner Diagnosis & Health Management, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, and Population Health & Epidemiology. If you pursue the PMHNP pathway, you will study Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Diagnosis & Management with Individuals, Psychopharmacology, and Psychobiological Theories & Assessment in Advanced Psychiatric Nursing.

At the University of the Incarnate Word, the Family Nurse Practitioner DNP program features classes, including Epidemiology & Vulnerable Populations for Advanced Nursing, Informatics in Healthcare, Primary Care of Adults with Chronic & Acute Conditions, and Resource Management for Nurse Leaders. The Psychiatric Mental Health NP program features classes such as PMHNP Diagnosis & Management, Psychopharmacology for the Psychiatric Mental Health NP, and Statistics for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice.



WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS?


Like all accredited nursing programs, 3-year DNP programs require a clinical component. The number of practical training hours you need may vary based on the specialty you choose to pursue. Accredited programs align with the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The DNP Essentials states that "in order to achieve the DNP competencies, programs should provide a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program.” The programs featured in this article require between 1,000 and 2,880 clinical hours.

At the University of Iowa, students in the 3-year DNP programs complete between 1,000 and 1,090 clinical hours. Clinical practicums are completed in ten and fifteen-week rotations, and all clinicals must be completed within the state of Iowa. The university offers clinical placement assistance to ensure you have adequate practical training experiences with qualified preceptors.

The number of practical training hours at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center varies depending on your specialty concentration, ranging from 1,000 to 2,100 hours. The Nurse Anesthesia pathway is designed so you will complete clinical requirements during the final four semesters of the program. All other pathways have clinical rotations throughout the entirety of the program. Program faculty are deeply involved in selecting qualified preceptors and appropriate clinical sites. Faculty members from the DNP program will assist you with finding clinical sites and preceptors.

Clinical Placement Coordinators assist in locating clinical sites and preceptors at the University of Arizona. Throughout the program, you will collaborate closely with preceptors, an administrator, and your clinical coordinator, who are each dedicated to ensuring your success in the program. The Nurse-Midwifery pathway requires students to complete at least 900 hours of hands-on training and a DNP Project that awards additional clinical hours. The Nurse Anesthesia program includes 2,250 clinical hours.

At the University of Louisville, the Nurse Anesthesia DNP track requires 2,880 clinical hours. All other 3-year DNP programs at the university require a minimum of 1,000 hours of clinical practice training. The programs culminate with a DNP Project designed to demonstrate the synthesis of your experiences. The DNP Project awards 330 of the required practical training hours. The university offers clinical placement assistance and works to find suitable placements and preceptors based on your geographic location and specialty area.

The University of Portland offers Adult-Gerontology Primary Care and Family Nurse Practitioner pathways. Each program includes a minimum of 1,000 clinical practice hours. Practical training is divided into four clinical practicums, each consisting of 120 to 180 hours of hands-on patient care. The School of Nursing offers assistance in finding and securing clinical contracts, placement sites, and qualified preceptors.



WHAT ARE THE BEST 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 20 Best Online and Campus-Based 3-Year DNP Programs in the nation for the year 2024.)


1. Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD


Specialties Offered:

Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


2. Duke University - Durham, NC


Specialties Offered:

Nurse Anesthesia


3. University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN


Specialties Offered:

Adult/ Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Health Innovation & Leadership, Integrative Health & Healing, Nurse-Midwifery, Nursing Informatics, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women's Health/ Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner


4. The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Education


5. University of Maryland - Baltimore, MD


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner / Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


6. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Care Leadership & Administration, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


7. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Systems, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


8. University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Executive Leadership in Health Care


9. University of Tennessee Health Science Center - Memphis, TN


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesiology, Nurse Midwifery, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health/ Family Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Acute Care/Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


10. University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ


Specialties Offered:

Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Anesthesiology


11. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Lubbock, TX


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


12. University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Population Health Nursing, and Systems Leadership & Innovation


13. The University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, AL


Specialties Offered:

Health Care and Nurse Education


14. Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care (AGPCNP), and Nurse Practitioner Psychiatric Mental Health (PMHNP)


15. University of Portland - Portland, OR


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


16. University of Louisville - Louisville, KY


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


17. Sacred Heart University - Fairfield, CT


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner


18. University of the Incarnate Word - San Antonio, TX


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


19. East Tennessee State University - Johnson City, TN


Specialties Offered:

Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner


20. University of Southern Mississippi - Hattiesburg, MS


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY



WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?


New graduates of 3-year DNP programs earn approximately $89,410 yearly. This salary breaks down to $42.00 per hour, $1,719 per week, and $7,450 per month.

Hourly$42.99
Weekly$1,719
Monthly$7,450
Annual$89,410



WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS EXPECT?


After graduating from 3-year DNP programs and gaining some experience, the average salary increases to $132,804. This pay is equal to $63.85 per hour, $2,554 per week, or $11,070 per month.

Hourly$63.85
Weekly$2,554
Monthly$11,070
Annual$132,804



10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF 3-YEAR DNP PROGRAMS


The 10-year job outlook for graduates of 3-year DNP programs is quite positive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, this field has a predicted increase of 45.68% between 2021 and 2031. The promising outlook can be attributed to a few things. For example, there is a current shortage of both nurses and physicians. Additionally, in 2018, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties moved to establish the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as the entry-level degree required for nurse practitioners by 2025.

2021-31
+45.68%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



MY FINAL THOUGHTS


Once you weigh the pros and cons and decide that earning a doctorate in nursing is the path for you, I think the most important question is not, “What are the best 3-year DNP programs,” but “What is the best 3-year DNP program for you?” The 20 best 3-year DNP programs for 2024 featured in this article are excellent choices to begin your journey to becoming a Doctor of Nursing Practice. I encourage you to use this list, do your research, and start pursuing your dream today!


Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).