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Doctor of Nursing Practice – Leadership


Our online DNP-Leadership program is delivered through Penn State’s World Campus and taught by Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing faculty. Delivered on a part-time or full-time basis with all of the courses being developed to ensure our students are well-prepared to be leaders and expert clinicians.

Why a DNP?

As industry evolves, so has Penn State Nursing. A DNP is the industry standard for nurse practitioners and those who want to assume clinical leadership or specialty roles. A DNP is the highest level of nursing practice for clinicians and clinical leadership. Graduates from our program will be well prepared to deliver expert clinical care and improve health care outcomes.

Why Penn State Nursing?

Choice clinicals. Academic excellence. Expert faculty. World-renowned University.

We have established clinical partners throughout the world and have dedicated staff to help you secure the clinical sites in the locations you want. For a program that focuses on the best quality clinical care, the DNP project is the culmination of all your hard work.

Our graduate team is comprised of expert faculty and staff dedicated to student success through individualized mentorship and guidance. Our students are prepared to deliver expert clinical care and improve health outcomes. Penn State is a leader in online education with innovative and engaging classroom experiences designed to enhance your learning

The Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing is also home to some of the nation’s most influential nurse faculty and you will learn and be mentored from the best — like Kelly Wolgast, DNP, RN, FACHE, FAAN COL (R), US Army, assistant dean for outreach and professional development, who championed Penn State’s COVID-19 response.

What are my career options with a Penn State DNP?

A Penn State DNP positions you to become a nurse leader in a variety of capacities. For example, a DNP-prepared nurse can become a nurse practitioner (NP), with a specialty, or assume responsibility as a high-level administrator with the ability to influence clinical training or nursing policy.

DNP Options:

  • DNP-Nurse Leadership
    • BSN to DNP-Leadership Option
    • MSN to DNP-Leadership Option

The DNP options are offered online, making them perfect for working professionals and allows students to experience Penn State from the comfort of their homes. They are available for both full- and part-time study. All the DNP programs begin and end with in-person intensives, hosted at University Park or Hershey campus. Delivered over a few days, you’ll get to experience Happy Valley while meeting your academic adviser who will support you throughout the entire program. This responsive, low-residency format is intended to meet the needs of today’s nursing students. Juggling your professional and personal responsibilities is no easy feat, we can help you achieve your goals without pressing pause on the rest of your life.


Course work focuses on preparing transformational nursing leaders to improve health and healthcare outcomes through evidence-based practice, informatics, healthcare policy, and immersion experiences. All the DNP options culminate with a DNP project that translates current evidence into practice to improve health outcomes.

Requirements for enrollment:

At minimum applicants must have the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or
  • a postsecondary degree in Nursing that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree earned from an officially recognized degree-granting international institution.

More detailed admission requirements are outlined on the Penn State Bulletin website.

Costs and Financial Aid:

2023–24 Academic Year Rates
$1,017 per credit

Tuition rates are assessed annually.

Apply now!

Priority application deadlines – March 1, June 30, October 1
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, to receive priority status apply by the previously listed deadlines. 

Program details, including information on courses, can be found on the Penn State World Campus website.

For more information


Nese College of Nursing named a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence