Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice

The College of Nursing offers a post-master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice program for nurses already holding a master’s degree in nursing with specialization in an advanced practice nursing role, nursing administration/ leadership, or health care policy. Nurses who have a master's degree in nursing, but not in one of these three foci, are required to complete a post-master's certificate in one of these specialties while pursuing the DNP The 30-credit post-master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice builds on the Marquette’s existing master’s program. 

Transcripts of students whose master’s degrees are from nursing master’s programs other than Marquette University are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assure attainment of prerequisite knowledge and clinical experience; additional course work beyond the 30-credit requirement may be necessary to meet all of the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. A graduate course in organizational and systems leadership, such as NURS 6009 Organizational and Systems Leadership, is a prerequisite for the program. If students have already taken required courses listed for the post-master's to Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum as part of a prior degree, these courses are not counted toward the DNP, and other graduate-level courses approved by the program director/adviser are substituted to fulfill the 30-credit degree requirement.

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Learn more about admission requirements, application deadlines, financial aid, schedule a tour and everything you need to know to get started on your graduate school journey. 


  • Program Highlights
  • Curricular Plan
  • Admission Requirements
  • Program Faculty
  • The post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree requires 30 credit hours of course work
  • Advanced level residency coursework to allow you to practice at the highest level
  • Personalized program plan to fit your need
  • Advisor who works closely with you throughout your program
  • Offers a variety of in person, hybrid and online courses
  • DNP and PhD prepared faculty to guide you through your DNP scholarly project

DNP Core Courses - 30 Credits

HEAL 6825/7825     Quality & Patient Safety in Health Care or

HEAL 6830/7830     Quality Improvement Science in Health Care

HEAL 6835/7835     Health Care Informatics, Technology and Professional Issues

HEAL 6848              Health Care Policy

HEAL 7010              Translational Research

HEAL 7012              Epidemiology

HEAL 7049              Outcomes Management

HEAL 8015              Applied Statistics for Health Sciences

NURS 7980-86        Residency appropriate to specialization

NURS 7996             Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone 1

NURS 7997             Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone 2

  • The applicants for the post-master to Doctor of Nursing Practice must have an earned nursing master’s degree with a specialization in an advanced practice or leadership/policy role with evidence of certification in a specialty, if applicable. Applicants with other graduate degree foci, must concurrently complete a post-master’s certificate in one of the APRN or leadership/policy specializations along with the DNP curriculum
  • The required minimum graduate program GPA of 3.000 on a 4.000 scale is required for the Post master’s to DNP. For graduates of foreign nursing schools, a formal evaluation of their graduate nursing program of study documenting equivalency to a U.S. graduate program in nursing.
  • A statistics course which included inferential analysis is required and must be completed within 5 years of program start date. If the time period of 5 years has been exceeded for the statistics course, it may be possible for applicants to demonstrate proficiency by examination through an approved testing source (list of approved examinations available from the College of Nursing).
  • Graduate Record Exam Scores (GRE). Waived if cumulative GPA is 3.200 or higher.
  • Unencumbered Registered Nurse license to practice in the United States. A Wisconsin or eNLC license is required at the time of admission.
  • BCLS from the American Heart Association, which must be maintained during all programs. Additional certifications may be required depending on the student’s clinical preparation.
  • Letters of reference: Three completed recommendation forms prepared by previous or present employers and teachers familiar with graduate education in nursing.
  • A written statement of professional goals, including reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume.
  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges or universities.
  • (For international applicants only) a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • A completed application form and fee online directly to NursingCAS.

Information regarding Graduate School tuition/fees and financial assistance is located on the Graduate School website.

Susan Breakwell DNP, PHNA-BC (Option Coordinator)

Kristin Haglund PhD, PNP, FNP

Joan PenningtonTotka PhD

Abiola Keller, PhD, PA-C

Mauricio Garnier-Villarreal, PhD