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How Much Does The DNP Program Cost? – (Program Cost Of Top DNP Programs)


Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

Receiving a terminal degree like a Doctorate of Nursing Practice is a prestigious accomplishment. You know what they say, with hard work comes great reward. There is, however, one caveat to earning your DNP degree. This caveat is, it is not free. Like so many people out there, you probably have no idea what the DNP program will cost. I have put together this guide to break down how much some of the nation’s top DNP programs cost. So, let's go ahead and answer that lingering question, how much does a DNP program cost?


How Much Does The DNP Program Usually Cost?


As with most advanced practice degrees, your entry point into a program will be a significant factor in determining your DNP degree's actual cost. If you enter a DNP program with your BSN degree, the program's cost will range from $26,490 all the way up to $254,260. This is because you do have to complete a portion of the Master’s curriculum as well. More classes equal more cost. Now, if you enter a DNP program with your MSN already completed, the average cost of the DNP program will range from $17,660 to $169,510. The cost of completing your MSN to DNP degree is less due to needing to complete fewer classes to accomplish your degree.

BSN to DNP$26,490 - $254,260
MSN to DNP$17,660 - $169,510


What Are the 5 Important Factors That Influence The Cost of Your DNP Program?

The following are 5 key factors that will affect the cost of the DNP program that you choose.

1) As previously stated, the degree with which you enter the DNP program will impact the amount of money you can expect to pay to earn your DNP degree.
2) Another factor that will influence the cost of the DNP program you choose is whether you live in the school's state. Many schools tend to give a discount to students who live in-state as opposed to out of state.
3) Loans. If you had to take out a loan to pay for your DNP program, you might accrue extra costs in the form of interest on your student loan.
4) Public vs. Private. There are two types of institutions out there that you can consider completing your DNP program at. You can choose from a public institution or a private one. Public institutions tend to be less expensive than private ones. If you are looking to save money, this may be one cost-effective strategy to investigate.
5) Specializing. If you choose to specialize with your DNP, you may end up having to earn more credits. The need to earn more credits will affect the cost of your program.


DNP PROGRAM COST FOR THE TOP BSN-TO-DNP PROGRAMS

Below let’s take a closer look at the cost of some of the top BSN-to-DNP programs in the nation.

1. University of Missouri: This University offers its students the option to pursue their DNP degree after a BSN degree. Your DNP cost at the University of Missouri would be around $38,386.

2. University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill offers students who hold a BSN the option to earn their DNP. The BSN to DNP program cost here is 11,000 to $ 12,000 per semester for in-state students. For out-of-state students, you can expect to pay $19,000 to $21,000 per semester. This does not include fees and additional costs.

3. Maryville University: This institution is located in St Louis, Missouri, and offers students who hold a BSN an opportunity to earn their DNP. This program is 68-77 credits. This program's cost is $813 per credit for the MSN portion and $897 per credit for the DNP portion.

4. Ohio State University: Ohio State University offers students who have completed their BSN an entry into their DNP program. Their program can run you around $980.00 per credit if you live in the state and approximately $2,700 per credit if you live out of state. The BSN to DNP program at Ohio University takes 72 credits to complete.

5. Liberty University: Liberty University is a private institution located in Virginia. They offer their students the choice to enter the DNP program with a BSN. You do, however, need to have at least one year of clinical experience under your belt to be accepted. Liberty University charges its students $595.00 a credit.

6. Seton Hall University: Seton Hall University accepts students who have completed their BSN into their DNP program. You will need to complete anywhere from 73 to 79 credits depending on the specialty chosen. This program will cost you $1,336 per credit. This does not include additional fees that will be applied.

7. Loyola University: Loyola University accepts students into their DNP program after completing the BSN. Their BSN to DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner Track is 78 credits long. The cost of the DNP program here will be $818 per credit. This does not include additional fees.

8. Emory University: Emory University offers its students the ability to choose from various specialties while earning their DNP. At Emory University, students who hold a BSN can apply for the program. Their programs are 7 semesters long, and the cost is $20,050 per semester.

9. University of Portland: This BSN-DNP program at the University of Portland is 76 credits. The cost per credit is $1,326.

10. Wichita State University: Wichita State University offers students a research-based doctoral program. This program requires that you earn 41 credits to complete it. The tuition cost for this BSN to DNP program is $480 per credit.

11. University of Pennsylvania: The University of Pennsylvania has always been well known for its nursing programs. Here you can earn your DNP if you have already completed your BSN. The program will take you about 2 years to complete, and you will be charged around $477 per credit.

12. Scranton University: If you have your BSN, Scranton University offers a program to earn your DNP as a Nurse Anesthetist. This is an on-campus program that is 83 credits long. The BSN to DNP program cost at the University of Scranton is $772 per credit.

13. Columbia University: Columbia University offers students with a BSN to pursue their DNP degree. This option will take you three years to complete full time. The BSN to DNP program cost at Columbia University comes to around $66,156. Keep in mind that there will be additional fees to be paid as well.

14. Rush University: Rush University offers full and part-time programs that will take you anywhere from 2-3 years to complete. They have many different specialties you can choose from. Here the DNP program will cost you $1,166 per credit and takes 71 credits to complete.

15. Rutgers University-Newark: At Rutgers School of Nursing, you can earn a DNP degree post-bachelor’s, which takes you around 85 credits to complete. If you are a resident of New Jersey, you will be charged $943.00 per credit, and if you are not a resident of New Jersey, you will be charged $1,367 per credit.


DNP PROGRAM COST FOR THE TOP MSN TO-DNP PROGRAMS

Below let’s take a closer look at the cost for some of the top MSN-to-DNP programs in the nation.

1. Duke University offers students who are pursuing their DNP degree to do so on a part-time basis. The MSN to DNP program cost at Duke University will run you about $13,417 a semester. If you choose to pursue the DNP in Anesthesia, the program is on a full-time basis and will cost $27,570. This amount does not account for additional fees.

2. University of Missouri: The University of Missouri offers students a DNP track for those entering with their MSN. This program is 38 credits long. The DNP cost for this program is $20,662.

3. University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill: This institution offers its students an MSN to DNP track. You can expect to pay anywhere from $11,000 to $ 12,000 per semester for in-state students. For out-of-state students, you can expect to pay $19,000 to $21,000 per semester. This does not include fees and additional costs.

4. Yale University: Yale University is home to one of the best DNP programs in the nation. The cost for a DNP program at Yale will run you $31,475 a year. You can expect to spend two to three years earning your degree at Yale.

5. Rutgers University-Newark: At Rutgers School of Nursing, you will be able to pursue a DNP degree post-master's, which takes around 38 credits to complete. If you are a resident of New Jersey, you will be charged $943.00 per credit, and if you are not a resident of New Jersey, you will be charged $1,367 per credit.

6. Rush University: At Rush University, you can either complete your coursework on a full-time or part-time basis. The program will take you anywhere from 2-3 years to complete and requires you to earn a minimum of 62 credits. The DNP program cost at Rush is $1,166 per credit.

7. Columbia University: Columbia University offers its students the option to enter their DNP program as an MSN with an advanced practice degree or an MSN with a non-clinical degree. Regardless of which path you choose; Columbia University will cost you $66,156 to earn your DNP degree.

8. Liberty University: Liberty University offers students who wish to pursue their DNP entrance to their program after completing the MSN. This program is 41 credits long, and the cost is $595 a credit.

9. Eastern Kentucky University: This University offers students with an MSN a flat rate for tuition, regardless if they are in-state or out-of-state residents. The DNP program here will be anywhere from 36 to 39 credits long at a tuition cost of $675 per credit.

10. University of Scranton: The University of Scranton offers students with an MSN a hybrid approach to earning the DNP degree. The program is 30 credits long, and the DNP cost is $772 per credit.

11. Indiana State University: The DNP program at Indiana State University is for students who have earned their Master’s degree in an advanced practice specialty. Their program is 39 credits in length, and each credit is $541.

12. Drexel University: Drexel University offers its students an online 45 credit program to earn their DNP if they already hold a Master’s degree. At Drexel University, you will be paying $1,041 per credit.

13. Briar Cliff University: This University prepares students who already have a Master's degree and who are nurse practitioners to earn their DNP. Their program is 36 credits long. The cost of DNP school at Briar Cliff University is around $26,005. This figure is including indirect costs and fees.

14. Northwestern State University: Here, you will find two separate tracks to earn your DNP. The Online Post-Master’s APRN to DNP Leadership (38 Credits) and the Online Post-Master’s DNP in Organizational Systems Leadership for Non-APRNs (40-42 Credits). This University charges their tuition a bit differently than other programs that are out there. They charge $475 per credit hour up to 9 hours, then $100 per credit hour after that.

15. Ohio State University: Ohio State University offers students the chance to earn a DNP after completing their MSN. The average cost of the DNP program here is $980.00 per credit if you live in the state and around $2,700 per credit if you live out of state. The program takes a minimum of 36 credits to complete.


Conclusion


Well, I hope I answered that burning question for you, how much does a DNP program cost? You can see that there really is no one set price to earning this degree. Each school has its own price for its program. Your DNP program cost can be affected by different factors, as you have seen above. So now that you are equipped with all this new knowledge, I'm sure you will get out there and follow your dream to earn your DNP degree.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


Besides my Tuition What Other Expenses Will I Have as a DNP Student?

Besides your tuition, other expenses will be present when you decide to pursue your DNP. First of all, you will have living expenses. Some examples of living expenses will be your housing, your food, and clothes, to name a few. You will also have to pay for transportation and any other personal expenses you may have. You will have fees such as University fees, lab fees, technology fees, health insurance, and books and supplies. Now, if you are working on an advanced practice DNP, you may have to also incur the cost of paying for your own malpractice insurance.

Are Online DNP Programs Cheaper than On-Campus Programs?

Some institutions will have a discounted tuition cost if their DNP program is delivered entirely online. Keep in mind that not every institution decreases its DNP program's tuition price when it is delivered remotely. You may have to shop around.

Do I have to complete my DNP in a certain amount of time, or can I finish it at my own pace?

Most DNP programs have a set group of classes that are taught every semester. These classes usually are not the same every semester, and they build upon each other. It would be difficult for you to complete your degree at your own pace. A University with rolling admissions for its program is more likely to offer classes that would enable you to slow your pace down as needed. It is best if this is what you are considering, to contact an academic counselor at the institution you plan on attending.

Do I have to pay for my semester's tuition upfront before I start classes?

Each University will have deadlines that your tuition will be due by. This will vary from institution to institution. Some Universities will say you need to pay 50% before starting classes, where others will have a mid-semester deadline. The bursar’s office of the school you wish to attend will be able to better inform you of the school's policies. You may also find these policies on the school's website.

How Can I Get my DNP Paid for?

There are various ways that you can get your DNP paid for or lower the DNP program cost. If you are working for an institution, the first avenue you can try is to see if your place of employment offers a tuition reimbursement program for its employees to advance their careers. Another place you can turn to is the federal government to seek help in paying for your DNP degree. The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website will lead you to complete a FAFSA to be filled out to help assist with payment. Two other loans you can apply for are the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Grad PLUS Loan. You also might be able to find different scholarships out there that can help. The Doctors of Nursing Practice is a great resource to find a DNP scholarship that may work for you. There is also the option of taking out a personal loan. Just keep in mind if you decide to go this route, you will incur interest over time.


Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.