5 Best Direct Entry DNP Programs for Non-Nursing Majors – 2024


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a college graduate with a non-nursing degree interested in becoming an advanced practice nurse? Does earning a terminal nursing degree and becoming a Doctor of Nursing Practice sound like a dream come true? If so, a direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors is an excellent choice to help make that happen!

If you have started the research process to decide on a degree path, you may wonder, “What are the best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors? "As you continue reading, I will help answer that question by sharing the 5 best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors for 2024. Throughout this article, you will find information about these programs, including start dates, program costs, examples of courses you will take, and ways to improve your chances of getting into a great program.



RECOMMENDED ONLINE DNP PROGRAMS

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF A DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAM FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


The goal of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is to provide a pathway for non-nursing degree holders to transition their careers to nursing and earn a doctorate in the profession. These programs allow students with diverse educational and career backgrounds to gain nursing experience and earn the highest clinical nursing degree, a Doctor of Nursing Practice. These programs aim to prepare you with the knowledge, clinical skills, and expertise necessary to care for individuals and their families, depending on what specialty you choose.



7 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN AN DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAM FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


There are many benefits to earning a doctorate in nursing, including acquiring excellent nursing skills and abilities. The following are seven of the most important skills and abilities you will gain as a student in one of the best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors.

1. How to Provide Evidenced-Based Practice:

One of the more important skills you need as a practicing nurse is an understanding of evidence-based practice. Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors will teach you how to use research and evidence to drive nursing practice. Utilizing the most up-to-date information allows nurses and practitioners to provide care backed by science, which is instrumental in promoting positive patient outcomes.

2. How to work with other healthcare professionals:

A necessary skill in any nursing or healthcare field is the ability to work with other professionals. Students in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors work alongside other care providers and learn how to collaborate. Collaborating with other healthcare team members promotes continuity of care, reduces the risk of nursing and healthcare errors, and promotes better patient and organizational outcomes.

3. Clinical Leadership and Decision Making:

As an advanced practice nurse with the highest clinical nursing degree, people will look to you to fill leadership roles. Direct-entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors will prepare you with the knowledge necessary to use clinical decision-making and leadership skills. These skills are especially important as patients, peers, and employers look to you to provide patient care from a leadership perspective. A few examples include determining best practices for a clinic or making critical decisions for patients when it is outside the scope of practice for others.

4. Assessment and Diagnosis Skills:

Students pursuing their degrees through direct-entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors typically have little or no healthcare experience. As a student in one of these programs, you will gain the necessary skills to assess and diagnose patients.

5. Clinical Nursing Skills:

While this may seem like a more obvious skill and ability, it is a major consideration since you will enter the program with no prior nursing experience. Clinical nursing skills are developed over time, but you will begin the process of mastering them during your DNP direct entry program. Direct-entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors typically include laboratory simulations, classroom instruction, and at least 1,000 hours of hands-on clinical practicum.

6. Healthcare Administration Skills:

Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors not only prepare you for clinical nursing practice but also provide you with the knowledge you need to develop as a healthcare leader or administrator. These skills prepare you for possible administrative roles within a clinic or healthcare organization. Learning healthcare administration skills makes it possible for you to manage administrative and financial aspects of healthcare that other professionals may not know or understand.

7. How to be an Advocate:

Nurses of all degree levels advocate for patients. The higher your degree, the greater your responsibility to become an advocate. Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors teach you the importance of advocacy and ways to become an effective advocate for patients, your healthcare team, and the profession.



5 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


Researching potential degree programs and career paths involves examining the pros and cons to determine if one outweighs the other. The following are five advantages of choosing one of these direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors.

1. You have a streamlined process to earn two degrees:

When you decide to make nursing your second career, the typical process is to first become a registered nurse. Based on your previous education, earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing can take two to four years. After becoming an R.N., you would then apply for an MSN or direct-entry DNP program. One of the top advantages of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is that these programs are designed to streamline the process of becoming a nurse while pursuing the highest nursing degree. By choosing one of these programs, you can earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing and become a licensed registered nurse without taking a break between your R.N. and DNP programs.

2. You will hold the highest advanced practice nursing degree:

Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors allow you to transition from a non-nursing career directly to an advanced practice nursing role. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is the highest clinical nursing degree you can achieve, and it allows you to practice at the very top of your nursing license and ARNP certification.

3. You can use your degree to teach:

Graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are qualified to become university or college faculty members. You can teach undergraduate or graduate-level nursing courses. While this may not interest you right away, it can be a big advantage later in your career if you want to transition from a direct care clinical role.

4. You will gain research experience:

Another advantage of the direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is that you will gain research experience. One component of most DNP programs is a DNP project. These projects include time spent on your research project and can also include time spent with research faculty. DNP students are also eligible for graduate assistantships when available, which could include opportunities to participate in research projects at your school.

5. You can become a nurse without any previous experience:

Perhaps the greatest advantage of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is that you can become a nurse even though you have no previous experience. If you want to transition your career to a clinical nursing role, these programs are excellent options!



3 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors offer many advantages. They also come with some disadvantages, which you should consider before applying. The following are three main disadvantages of these programs.

1. Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are expensive:

Since direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can take four to five years to complete and require many credits, they can be expensive. While there is financial aid available, it is unlikely it will cover the entire cost of your degree. You will need to consider the overall cost and the fact that your ability to work full-time will be decreased for several years.

2. Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors require a significant time commitment:

Committing four to five years of their life to a new degree may not be possible for some students. These degrees take a long time and will require you to put other professional and personal goals on hold. If you are not ready to sacrifice your free time and other personal priorities, the length of time this program requires may be a disadvantage.

3. Admission to direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can be quite competitive:

The specific nature of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors means there are not as many spots available as there may be in more traditional nursing programs. Many DNP programs only have a few spots each term, to begin with, so choosing a direct-entry option may decrease your chances further of gaining admission.



WHO ACCREDITS DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Both agencies ensure nursing programs meet or exceed the minimum requirements necessary to ensure students graduate with the knowledge and experience needed to provide safe and competent care.

S.NO.Accrediting Agency
1Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
2Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)



WHEN DO DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS START?


Because of limited class spots, many direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors start once per year. Larger schools with more faculty and clinical sites may offer more start dates. The start dates for the top five direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors in the U.S. are as follows.

The direct-entry DNP program at Boston College starts once per year in the fall.

At the University of Washington, the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors offers start dates in the fall and spring each year.

Seattle University offers another of the nation’s best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. The program begins in the summer of each academic year.

The University of Vermont offers admission to its direct entry DNP program each summer in August.

The direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’ begins each year in the fall semester.



HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


The number of credits needed in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors varies, with most ranging between 100 and 175 credits. The following are some examples of credit requirements for some of our featured programs.

There are 107 credits in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Boston College.

The University of Washington direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors features a 172-credit hour curriculum.

Seattle University’s direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors require 169 to 176 credits, depending on your specialty concentration. The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care and Family Nurse practitioner pathways require 169 credits. The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program has 171 credits. The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care program is 173 credits, and the Certified Nurse Midwifery DNP is 176 credits.

At the University of Vermont, students in the direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors complete 106 to 112.5 credits, depending on previous transferable credits and concentration specialty.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers two direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. Both the Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology pathways require students to complete 126 credits.



HOW LONG ARE DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


The best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can typically be completed in about four years if you pursue the degree full-time. Part-time students can take five years or longer to earn the degree. The following are examples of how long it takes to complete the programs featured in this article.

Seattle University's direct-entry DNP program for non-nursing majors takes four years to complete. The program is designed as an Advanced Practice Nursing Immersion Program (APNI Program). The first five semesters include some DNP courses but are primarily devoted to pre-licensure study, after which you will take the NCLEX-RN. Upon earning your R.N. license, you will progress into advanced practice and concentration-specific coursework.

Boston College’s direct entry program for non-nursing majors takes approximately four years to complete. The program begins with five semesters of advanced generalist master's level coursework. The final six semesters consist of the DNP curriculum.

Students in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at the University of Washington complete the program in four years of full-time study. Students first complete an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which takes four quarters or one year. The remaining three years are focused on the DNP portion of the program.

At the University of Vermont, full-time students enrolled in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors can graduate in 11 semesters. Part-time students take five to six years, depending on the number of credits they pursue each semester.

Both the FNP and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care direct-entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors at the University of Hawaii at Manoa can be completed in four years.



HOW MUCH DO DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS COST?


The cost for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can range from $71,000 to more than $238,000. Total cost is based on tuition, books, fees, and other expenses and may vary based on a student's state residency status. The list below is the tuition costs for the nation's top five programs.

Tuition for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Boston College is based on a per-credit rate of $1,636. The program requires 107 credits, making tuition a total of $175,052. The tuition rate is the same for all students, regardless of state residency status.

The University of Washington direct Entry DNP program for non-nursing majors has an estimated tuition cost of $135,544.

Seattle University offers another of the best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. The school offers five different specialty tracks, each with different total costs as follows:

o The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care N.P. degree costs an estimated $149.396.
o The Adult-Gerontology Primary Care N.P. track is $152,932.
o The Certified Nurse Midwifery DNP track costs $155,584.
o The Family NP DNP degree costs $149,396.
o The Psychiatric Mental Health DNP costs $151,164.


The University of Vermont charges tuition on a per-credit basis for its direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors, with different rates for in-state and out-of-state students. Vermont residents can expect to pay from $71,868 to $76,275. Out-of-state residents’ tuition will range from $119,780 to $127,125.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa calculates tuition differently based on a student's residency status. In-state students in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors pay approximately $126,126. Non-resident tuition for the program averages $238,896. Non-resident students pay slightly lower tuition rates for the summer semester, which means if you pursue the program through the summer semesters, your total cost may be reduced.



WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


Each school offering direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors determines the minimum GPA requirement for admission to its program. Most schools require a 2.8-3.0 cumulative GPA. The following are the minimum grade point average requirements for admission to the programs featured in this article.

The minimum GPA for admission to the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Boston College is 3.0.

At the University of Washington, prospective students seeking admission to the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors must have a cumulative college GPA of 2.8.

Seattle University requires applicants for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 accumulated for the last 60 semester credits earned.

Candidates seeking admission to the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at the University of Vermont must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa requires applicants to have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to be admitted into its direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors.



WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


The admission requirements for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are different than they are for traditional graduate nursing programs. You will want to pay special attention to the prerequisite course requirements. Here are the admission requirements at five of the best schools:

For admission to the University of Washington’s direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors, you must apply to both the accelerated BSN and DNP programs. Upon acceptance, you will complete the BSN component and then transition seamlessly to the DNP program.

Admission to the accelerated BSN program requires having a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and a minimum GPA of 2.8. You must have taken three prerequisite natural science courses with a minimum grade of a B in each course. Additional BSN prerequisites include a Lifespan, Growth, and Development course and a statistics course. Candidates must also have 100 hours of paid or volunteer work in a healthcare setting occurring over a three-month period within the last 12 months.

The DNP program requires an in-process BSN degree, a GPA of 3.0 earned during your last 60 semester credits, an active Washington RN license by the time the DNP program starts, and meet the Essential Behaviors for DNP Students requirements.

To be admitted to the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Boston College, applicants must have a minimum bachelor’s degree from an accredited school with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all undergraduate and graduate coursework completed. Applicants must also have completed all prerequisite courses. The required prerequisite courses include at least four specified science classes, Nutrition, Human Development, Statistics, Anatomy & Physiology I & II, General Chemistry, Microbiology, and Pathophysiology. Candidates must submit their official transcripts to verify grades for all prerequisite classes. While the GRE is not required, it is preferred.

To apply for admission to the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Seattle University, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is preferred. Candidates with lower GPAs may be considered if additional documentation supports they will be a good candidate for the program. Applicants must submit a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and official transcripts. Non-native English speakers must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores. All candidates need a non-nursing baccalaureate degree with transcripts reflecting the completion of all prerequisites.

Admission criteria for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at the University of Vermont include having a non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. You must submit three letters of recommendation, an admissions essay, and a resume. GRE scores are not required but can be submitted and may help strengthen your application. Candidates must complete all prerequisite courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Required prerequisite courses include Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Nutrition, and Statistics.

Admission requirements for the University of Hawaii at Manoa direct entry DNP for non-nursing majors include possessing a non-nursing bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited school. Applicants need a minimum college GPA of 3.0 and must complete all prerequisite courses. These courses include Anatomy and Physiology, General Microbiology, Human Growth and Development, Applied Human Nutrition, and Introduction to Research. International applicants may need to submit a TOEFL score based on their unique situation.



WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


The curriculum for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors includes a mixture of undergraduate and graduate nursing courses as well as concentration-specific coursework. Required classes vary among schools based on a student’s previous college experiences, transferable credits, and chosen specialty. The following are examples of classes you will take at the nation's five top direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors.

Courses in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Boston College include Examining Diversity in Nursing and Health Care, Nursing Leadership in Complex Health Care Settings, Health Care Quality Management, Population Health Principles, Program Planning & Evaluation, Methods of Scholarly Inquiry, and Advanced Psychopharmacology.

The direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors curriculum at the University of Washington includes accelerated BSN classes such as Health Assessment and Foundational Skills for Nursing Practice, Foundations of Interprofessional Practice, and Psychosocial Nursing in Health and Illness. DNP courses in the program include Perspectives on Implementing Research in Advanced Nursing Practice, Health Politics & Policy, Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Nursing Practice, and Wellness, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention.

At Seattle University, courses you will take during the pre-licensure portion of the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors include Pathophysiology, Pharmacology for Nursing Care, Promoting Population Health Theory, and Theory Informed Critical Inquiry. Classes in the DNP portion include Epidemiologic Analysis of Populations at Risk, Clinical Reasoning, and Health Care Policy for a Just and Humane World.

Classes for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at the University of Vermont include Professional Nursing Issues, Pathophysiology, The Science of Nursing: Mental Health, Advanced Pharmacology, Biostatistics & Epidemiology, Optimizing Health & Management of Community Health Issues, and Advanced Topics in Health Informatics.

The curriculum for the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors includes classes such as Professionalism in Nursing, Bio-behavioral Health, Introduction to Community & Public Health Nursing, Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice, Pharmacology for Nurses in Advanced Practice, Chronic Illness Management, and Principles of Evidence-Based Practice for Advanced Nursing.



WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS?


Practical training for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can include clinical hours, simulation labs, immersion experiences, and DNP practicum project clinical hours. The number of clinical hours varies based on the program structure and specific school degree requirements. The following is detailed information about the practical training for some of the nation’s best programs.

Students at Boston College complete clinical hours in a variety of practice settings, with rotations at a minimum of three clinical sites throughout the program. Clinicals occur in settings such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fenway Health, and many more! Students complete at least 1,000 clinical practice hours, depending on their chosen DNP specialty track.

The practical training requirements at the University of Washington are completed in both the accelerated BSN degree and DNP degree tracks. The practical training for the BSN portion includes clinical hours earned in the focus areas of population and community health, nursing care of ill adults, pediatric nursing, care of childbearing families, and a final practicum rotation focused on the transition to clinical practice. In the DNP program, you will complete three advanced clinical practicums and a practice doctoral clinical immersion. Students in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors typically complete at least 1,040 clinical hours.

Practical training for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at Seattle University is divided between the pre-licensure and the DNP program pathways. During the pre-licensure period, which occurs during the first five quarters, you will participate in clinical rotations with other students under the supervision of a qualified preceptor. All clinicals are within the Seattle city limits or no more than 30-40 miles away. Once you have earned your R.N. license, you may complete clinicals individually with an approved preceptor. The pre-licensure period includes 600 clinical hours. You will complete an additional 400 advanced practice clinical hours during the DNP portion of the program, making the total clinical hours for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors 1,000.

Practical training for the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors at the University of Vermont occurs in various clinical settings based on your specialty. Clinical hours include rotations focusing on Adults and Elders, Women and Newborns, Children, Mental Health, Community and Public Health, Acute and Common Health Conditions, and more. All students complete a minimum of 1,000 direct and indirect clinical practice hours to meet graduation requirements.

At the University of Hawaii at Manoa, students in the direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors participate in a variety of practice labs and clinical immersions. Clinicals occur in community and hospital settings. Clinical rotations include opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge of health assessment, bio-behavioral health, acute care nursing, and nursing care of childbearing families. Students complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours.



3 MAJOR CHALLENGES STUDENTS FACE IN DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS AND HOW TO OVERCOME


No matter how prepared you feel, you will undoubtedly face challenges in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. Knowing possible challenges and how to overcome them can help you prepare for success despite the difficulties. The following are three major challenges you will face as a student in these programs and suggestions with suggestions for how you can overcome them.

CHALLENGE #1: There is a steep learning curve.


About the Challenge:

Transitioning from a non-nursing background to a rigorous direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors is challenging. There is a steep learning curve for any nursing student, and the accelerated nature associated with these programs can make them even harder.

How to Overcome:

You must prepare to hit the ground running. Make sure your personal and work responsibilities are managed before applying for this program. Get organized and be prepared to spend a lot of time studying and completing clinicals. The best way to overcome this challenge is to utilize any emotional support and accept help from friends and family when it comes to simple tasks like grocery shopping or running errands. Any extra time you can get back in your day will help you manage the overall amount of work you need to complete.


CHALLENGE #2: Time Management


About the Challenge:

Finding enough time to take classes, study, complete clinical hours, and keep up with your day-to-day responsibilities can be challenging, especially in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. The rigorous schedule can leave you feeling stretched thin and as if there is not enough time in the day to accomplish the needs you need to accomplish.

How to Overcome:

The best way to overcome this challenge is to get organized. Use a planner, calendar, or online app to map out your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Having everything in one place will help keep you on track and prevent missing important deadlines. Knowing ahead of time when you have more free time can help you plan for important events or even short vacations. Good time management means you leave time for yourself, which can help prevent burnout.


CHALLENGE #3: Passing the NCLEX


About the Challenge:

As a non-nursing student entering the program, the first major hurdle you will face is passing the NCLEX-RN. After the first year of the program, you will typically have completed the courses and clinical hours needed to sit for the exam. Passing the NCLEX-RN can be challenging, so you need to be prepared.

How to Overcome:

There are many resources available to help you study for the licensure exam. These include study guides, practice tests, and even individual tutoring. Your nursing faculty will provide you with ways to prepare and will likely offer NCLEX prep classes. I also recommend you check out our article on How to Pass the NCLEX-RN First Time: 18 Do’s & Don’ts.



WHAT ARE THE BEST DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS IN THE NATION?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 Best Online and Campus-Based Direct Entry DNP Programs for Non-Nursing Majors in the nation for the year 2024.)


1. University of Washington - Seattle, WA


Specialties Offered:

Nurse-Midwifery


2. Seattle University - Seattle, WA


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology, Adult-Gerontology, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Midwifery


3. University of Vermont - Burlington, VT (Hybrid)


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)


4. University of Hawaii at Manoa - Honolulu, HI (Hybrid)


Specialties Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


5. Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA


Specialties Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner


VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY



WHERE DO GRADUATES OF DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS MOSTLY WORK?


Graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can work anywhere that typical DNPs work. The following list is three of the top settings where program graduates work.

1. Hospitals:

Depending on your specialty, there are jobs for all levels of nursing providers in every hospital. Large healthcare systems hire DNPs to fill numerous roles, such as providers, administrators, consultants, and nurse educators. The variety of job opportunities makes hospitals an excellent choice for graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors to find work.

2. Academia:

Graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors often work in colleges or universities as nursing instructors. In this setting, you may teach LPN and undergraduate or graduate nursing programs. You may also choose to be a research faculty member or pursue a tenure track.

3. Medical Clinics:

Another place graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors work is outpatient medical clinics. These can be general practices or specialties in nature. You can also hold administrative roles such as a practice manager, chief nursing officer, and more!



5 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


When you graduate from direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors, you can choose from many job opportunities. Where you work may depend on where you live or your specialty concentration. The following are five of the best jobs for graduates of these programs.

1. Primary Care Provider:

Based on your specialty, you can use your degree to practice as a primary care provider. You may work in a public or private clinic, urgent care, or outpatient hospital services. Developing long-term relationships with patients can be rewarding and a great job to choose after graduating from one of the best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors.

2. Chief Nursing Officer:

The job of a CNO comes with a lot of responsibilities and is also on the higher end of the pay scale. You will be responsible for nursing departments within your organization, including overseeing staffing, finances, short and long-term planning, policy creation and updates, and keeping up with the latest updates on evidence-based care. Your role as a Chief Nursing Officer allows you to advocate for other nurses, ensuring they have quality working conditions and can provide high-quality care to their patients.

3. Research Nurse:

You can use the research skills and experience gained in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors to help you land a job as a nurse researcher. Research nurses work in a variety of settings, including medical device companies, pharmaceuticals, the government, and more.

4. University Faculty:

Using your degree to educate other nurses is noble and rewarding. The future of the nursing workforce relies heavily on there being enough qualified nursing instructors. As a graduate of one of the direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors, you can play an instrumental role in preparing future generations of nurses.

5. Hospice Provider:

A less common but highly rewarding job is working as a hospice provider. With a degree from direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors, you will be well-qualified to meet the care needs of patients at the end of their lives. Providing this sensitive and important care alongside nurses, aids, social workers, and other providers is an excellent use of your skills and degree.



WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?


New graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can expect to make around $41.80 per hour, which is equal to $1,672 per week or $7,250 per month. The pay is equivalent to 86,950 annually.

Hourly$41.80
Weekly$1,672
Monthly$7,250
Annual$86,950



WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS EXPECT?


The average salary for graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is $62.09 per hour, $2,484 per week, or $10,760 per month. This pay equals $129,153 per year.

Hourly$62.09
Weekly$2,484
Monthly$10,760
Annual$129,153



10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 45.67% increase in jobs for advanced practice nurses, including graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. This increase is expected between 2021 and 2031.

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



IS THE COST OF A DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAM FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?


While the direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can be quite expensive, earning the degree can pave the way for a high-paying career. With higher annual salaries than BSN and MSN-prepared registered nurses, the cost of earning the degree can be well worth the return on your investment.



BONUS! 5 EXPERT TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED INTO THE BEST DIRECT ENTRY DNP PROGRAMS FOR NON-NURSING MAJORS


Admission to direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can be quite competitive. There are a few things you can do to help make your application more attractive and increase your likelihood of admission. The following are five tips to improve your chances of getting into one of the best programs!

1. Volunteer in a health-related organization.

While direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are designed for candidates without nursing experience, it will be helpful to show you have committed time to a health-related organization. Volunteering will give you real-world experience and exposure that demonstrates a genuine interest in a healthcare career, which is something admission faculty look for in candidates.

2. Complete your prerequisites before applying.

Admission criteria for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors typically require candidates to complete specific prerequisites before beginning the program. If you complete the prerequisites before applying, you have a better chance of admission. Getting the right prerequisites takes research and planning on your part, especially if you plan to apply to more than one school. So, review the admission criteria for each program that interests you carefully.

3. Write a compelling personal statement or essay that is error-free.

The personal statement or essay is a crucial component of your application process when applying to direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. Choosing nursing as a second career is a big choice, and you will need to feel comfortable explaining why you chose to transition your career with a compelling statement. Have concrete reasons for why you want to earn this degree and why you have chosen their specific program. Do not forget to edit your submission and ensure it is error-free.

4. Do your homework.

Before applying, do your research about different programs. You can start with the five best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors featured in this article. Be sure to select schools that offer a specialty track you wish to pursue. Double-check the admission requirements and verify that the required immersions and start dates fit your schedule. Being prepared and knowledgeable about the program when speaking to admissions faculty or completing an interview is an excellent way to improve your chances of becoming a viable candidate for admission.

5. Carefully select your professional references.

Choose people to write your reference or recommendation letters which can speak to your different abilities. Letters of recommendation should include the writer's knowledge of your personal and professional accomplishments and the likelihood of success in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors. Good candidates for writing letters of recommendation include academic advisors, former college faculty, employers, and professional mentors.



MY FINAL THOUGHTS


If you have a non-nursing degree and want to earn a graduate degree in nursing, direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are an excellent option. These programs allow you to seamlessly transition from a non-nursing role to the role of a registered nurse and earn a terminal degree as a Doctor of Nursing Practice. It is natural to question, “What are the best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors?” or wonder where to begin. The 5 best direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors for 2024 found in this article are a great starting point.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. What Is The Best Direct Entry DNP Program For Non-Nursing Majors In The Nation?

The best direct entry DNP program for non-nursing majors is offered at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.

University of Washington - Seattle, WA


2. Is It Easy to Get Admission Into Direct Entry DNP Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

Admission to direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can be extremely competitive. However, if you meet or exceed all the admission requirements, there is a good chance you will get in.


3. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into Direct Entry DNP Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

The minimum GPA to get into direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is usually a 3.0. Some schools accept students with lower GPAs if there is proof of other academic achievements that indicate a likelihood of success.


4. Can I Get Into Direct Entry DNP Programs For Non-Nursing Majors With A Low GPA?

Although some direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors accept applications from students with lower GPAs, it is important to realize that admission is competitive. The higher your GPA, the better your chances of getting into a program.


5. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For Direct Entry DNP Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

The typical cost per credit for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors can range from $600-$1500.


6. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?

Direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are quite challenging and require a considerable time commitment. Although working part-time may be possible, it takes careful planning to succeed at both work and school.


7. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?

Working full-time while enrolled in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is possible but can be difficult. Most schools recommend students do not work, especially during the pre-licensure phase of the programs. If you must work, consider counseling with your academic advisor and employer to work out the details of your schedule. Most students who work while enrolled in these programs find choosing a part-time enrollment option is best.


8. What Are The Hardest Classes In Direct Entry DNP Programs For Non-Nursing Majors?

The hardest classes in direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors are usually Pathophysiology, Biostatistics, and Advanced Pharmacology.


9. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?

New graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors make approximately $89,950 per year.

$86,950


10. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?

The average hourly pay for direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors graduates is $62.09.

$62.09


11. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?

Graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors earn an average of $10,760 each month.

$10,760


12. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of Direct Entry DNP Programs For Non-Nursing Majors Make Per Year?

The average salary for graduates of direct entry DNP programs for non-nursing majors is approximately $129,153 per year.

$129,153


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
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).