Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

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The doctor of nursing practice emphasizes development of nursing practice expertise at the highest level. The curriculum includes translational research, epidemiology, informatics, statistics, advanced clinical practice, health policy and professional issues. The doctor of nursing practice includes two entry points: the post-master to doctor of nursing practice and the post-baccalaureate to doctor of nursing practice.

The post-master to doctor of nursing practice entry requires the student to have a master of science in nursing with a specialization in an advanced practice or leadership/policy role. If students do not have this preparation in their master of science of nursing, a post-master’s certificate in one of these areas must be completed concurrently with the post-master’s doctor of nursing practice degree.

The post-baccalaureate to doctor of nursing practice entry prepares expert advanced practice nurses or nursing leaders who understand the complexities of health care, including patient safety, advanced diagnostics and treatments, information technology, business management and health care finance. Graduates of this program bring best practices to the point of service, having competence in evidence-based care and translational research methods for quality improvement. Graduates are eligible for specialty certification.

 The advanced practice nurse specialties include: nurse anesthesia, pediatrics-primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner, adult-older adult primary care nurse practitioner, adult-older adult acute care nurse practitioner, and adult-older adult clinical nurse specialist. 


D.N.P. program learning outcomes and performance indicators

At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced, evidence-based management of care in a cultural context at the individual, family, population, and/or organizational/systems level. 
  2. Demonstrate policy analysis and advocacy for social justice, equity and ethical policies in health care delivery.
  3. Analyze and apply models, theories and scientific evidence to improve quality of health care of diverse populations.
  4. Employ interprofessional and leadership knowledge and skills to transform health care and complex delivery systems.
  5. Integrate knowledge of and skills in information systems and patient care technologies for the improvement and transformation of health care.

D.N.P. program and degree requirements

Our CCNE-accredited D.N.P. program is offered via a combination of in-person, hybrid and/or online courses. The D.N.P. clinical and residency requirements vary. These clinical courses help the students attain the required amount of clinical hours for their specialty. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s recommends a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice for the D.N.P.

The Nurse Anesthesia specialty can only be attained through the D.N.P. program, which is 91 credits of full-time study.

The other postbaccalaureate D.N.P. programs require 63–69 credits: post-baccalaureate D.N.P. program and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. These programs include all existing master’s courses plus additional courses to help students meet the D.N.P. competencies. With the exception of the Nurse Anesthesia program, the D.N.P. program was deliberately planned so students will earn a master’s degree en route to the D.N.P. and be eligible to write for the certification exam in their area of specialization upon completion of required courses.

The 30-credit post-master’s D.N.P. program builds on the existing master’s program and is completed generally on a part-time basis. Transcripts of students whose master’s degrees are from nursing master’s programs other than Marquette are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assure attainment of prerequisite knowledge and clinical experience. Additional course work beyond the 33 credit requirement may be necessary to meet all of the essentials of doctoral education for advanced practice.

Graduate School tuition rates for the current year may be found on the Graduate School's website. Several sources of financial assistance, including scholarships, are available.

Admissions requirements

To apply to the D.N.P. program, you must have graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program, normally with a graduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (4.0 = A). A statistics course that included inferential analysis must have been taken within five years of the program's start date. Undergraduate courses in nursing research and in health assessment are required prerequisites, as is a copy of your current Wisconsin nursing license.

Students must file all components of the application process with Nursing CAS by February 15 for a fall semester start, or November 15 for a spring semester start. Note: The D.N.P. NA program only allows for a fall semester start. D.N.P. applicants who apply after the stated deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis only.

Other criteria include:

  • Completed online application form and fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges
  • TOEFL scores (international students only)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (general test only; waived if last cumulative GPA was 3.2 or greater)
  • Curriculum vita or resume
  • Background check and health requirements (prior to beginning course work)

Additional information

For more information, contact:

Taylor Rose Pamperin
Graduate Program Advisor
(414) 288-5632


For information:

Post-masters to DNP

Susan Breakwell, APHN-BC, D.N.P.
Post-Masters to Doctor of Nursing Practice
(414) 288-3848

Post-Bachelors to DNP

Adult-Older Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Debra Casper
(414) 288-3871

Adult-Older Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Christine Shaw
(414) 288-3843

Nurse Anesthesia
Lisa Thiemann
(414) 288-3858

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Kristin Haglund
(414) 288-3824

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Christine Schindler
(414) 288-6179

Pediatric Dual Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Christine Schindler
(414) 288-6179

Kristin Haglund
(414) 288-3824