10 Reasons Why Online DNP Programs Are Well-Respected And Credible


Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA


If you are a registered nurse considering earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, you may be trying to decide whether going to school on campus or online is the best option. You may have a well-established career by now and feel online learning is the best option for you. In that case, you may wonder, “Are online DNP programs respected and credible?” If this sounds familiar, this article is for you!

As you continue reading, I will share with you my ideas about the 10 reasons why online DNP programs are well respected and credible. These 10 reasons will give you insight into why earning your DNP online could be a good idea and help you decide if this is the path you want to follow to obtain your degree.



Why are Online DNP Programs Well Respected and Credible?

(The following are the 10 reasons why online DNP programs are well respected and credible.)


REASON #1: Online DNP Programs Are Accredited by Leading Agencies

One of the top reasons why online DNP programs are well respected and credible is their accreditation. Online DNP programs receive accreditation from independent accrediting agencies, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. These agencies review the programs’ curriculums, available student resources, and instructional practices to ensure students receive high-quality education.


REASON #2: The Programs Award the Highest Nursing Degree Possible

Online DNP programs are credible and well respected because they award students the highest nursing degree possible. By studying in one of these programs, you will obtain the knowledge and clinical skills to practice at the highest clinical level of nursing.


REASON #3: A Degree from an Online DNP Program Positions You for Excellent Career Opportunities!

Depending on your interests and whether you want a clinical or non-clinical role, you can choose from many career paths and specialties with a degree as a Doctor of Nursing Practice. You could become a Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Researcher, Nurse Executive, or Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, you are not limited to pursuing only one career option. For example, you may choose a clinical role as a nurse practitioner and later decide you want to move into a non-clinical role and become a nurse executive. The options are truly limitless!


REASON #4: Online DNP Programs Allow You to Earn a Doctorate for Less Than a Traditional Campus-Based Program

While the cost of nursing programs varies from one school to the next, one of the reasons online DNP programs are well respected and credible is that they give nurses the opportunity to earn a doctorate degree for less than the cost of a traditional campus-based DNP program. Earning a terminal degree for less makes it easier for prospective students searching for ways to juggle living and education expenses.


REASON #5: You Will Have Opportunities to Grow Your Professional Network

Online DNP programs open doors of opportunity for networking with other professionals in diverse fields. You will meet faculty and staff from your program, other graduate students, preceptors, and mentors, all of whom have the potential to become long-term professional contacts. The fact that you can expand your professional network is one of the many reasons people respect online DNP programs and feel they are credible.


REASON #6: Online DNP Programs Prepare You to Become a Healthcare Influencer

Another of the biggest reasons why online DNP programs are well respected and credible is that students are prepared with the highest level of nursing instruction. You will learn advanced nursing theory and develop doctoral-level skills that you can use to influence healthcare through many platforms. Whether you lobby for new healthcare legislation or healthcare reform or work to promote healthcare services to people and communities in underserved areas, you can make a significant difference!


REASON #7: You Can Earn Your Degree Without Giving Up Your Current Job

In addition to the many reasons that earning a DNP is worth it, online DNP programs make it possible for working nurses to earn a doctorate degree without sacrificing their current jobs and income. Many students complete their DNP Scholarly Projects with mentors at their current place of employment, which is another perk of keeping your job while enrolled in the program.


REASON #8: DNP Graduates Improve Patient Care and Population Health Outcomes

Online DNP programs are well respected and credible among employers because they know that graduates of these programs are well-prepared with the knowledge and skills needed to promote healthcare initiatives that affect all patients and members of the healthcare team. DNP graduates know what it takes to improve patient care and, by implementing their knowledge, have a positive impact on individual, family, and population health outcomes.


REASON #9: Online DNP Programs Provide a Systemic Perspective to Practice-Based Training

Online DNP programs prepare students to analyze and interpret data, understand the healthcare industry, and lead healthcare teams using a systemic approach applied to practice-based clinical training. This is important because it means graduates of online DNP programs can analyze and implement evidence-based practices.


REASON #10: The Programs Prepare Students to Meet the Nationwide Shortage of Healthcare Providers

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the demand for primary and specialty care physicians will exceed available practitioners by a range of 37,800 to 124,000 doctors by 2034. One of the reasons online DNP programs are well respected and credible is they educate and prepare students capable of practicing in advanced nursing roles and acting as primary care providers.



My Final Thoughts


Many registered nurses consider earning a terminal degree as a Doctor of Nursing Practice but are unsure of which learning option is best, which often leads to the question, “Are online DNP programs respected and credible?” In this article, you learned 10 reasons why online DNP programs are well respected and credible to help you decide if earning a DNP is the path you want to pursue. There are endless opportunities for growth and development, career advancement, and earning potential. With so much to gain, there really is no time like the present to get started earning your degree!



Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert


1. Do Online DNP Programs Have To Be Accredited To Be Respected And Credible?

To be respected and credible, it is recommended that online DNP programs are accredited.


2. Do Online DNP Programs Have Coursework Similar To That Of On-Campus DNP Programs?

Yes, if the online DNP program is accredited, it should have similar coursework to that of on-campus DNP programs.


3. Do Online DNP Programs Have Practical Training Similar To That Of On-Campus DNP Programs?

The practical training for online DNP programs is typically the same as that of campus-based DNP programs. The exception may be that online learners may be responsible for finding their own clinical sites and preceptors.


4. Do Online DNP Graduates Earn The Same Starting Salaries As On-Campus DNP Students?

The starting salaries for graduates of online DNP programs are generally the same as those of students who graduate from campus-based DNP programs.


5. Is The Demand For Online DNP Graduates The Same As For On-Campus DNP Graduates?

Yes, the demand for online DNP graduates is the same as the demand for graduates of on-campus DNP programs.


6. Are Online DNP Programs Well-Respected By Employers?

Accredited online DNP programs are typically well-respected by employers because employers understand the strict guidelines schools must meet for their programs to achieve and maintain accreditation.


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).