Current opportunities to join our faculty. Learn more



Learn more about the shift from MSN-NPs to DNP-NPs

NPs fulfill a myriad of needs in the health system, delivering a program that ensures they can obtain the highest level of clinical education exemplifies our commitment to excellence in nursing. Transitioning to doctorally-prepared nurse practitioners as the new standard for entry to practice has been a well-established industry preference. Several national organizations have been working to facilitate this transition seamlessly, organizations supporting this movement include the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine, and National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

Penn State Nursing is leading the evolution in Pennsylvania by migrating our nurse practitioner program to the DNP level. Preparing NPs at the DNP level is the recommended standard. Obtaining your DNP NP is also the most efficient use of your time. The majority of master’s level curriculum carry a credit load that is just shy of the requirements for a doctorate level. For example, obtaining the soon to be eliminated MSN-NP Individual/Family Across the Lifespan program requires a minimum of 45 credits whereas the new DNP-NP Individual/Family Across the Lifespan program requires a minimum of 68 credits. So, for a student with a BSN degree who’s planning to become an NP can obtain their doctorate for roughly an extra five courses. If you obtained your MSN at 45 credits and then obtained your DNP after your masters you would need an additional 38 creidts with additional clinical/practicum time for a total of 83 credits!!!

However, the minimal increase in required courses are still at the doctorate level. Students considering the DNP-NP should plan for a rigorous curriculum that aligns with Penn State’s standard of excellence in academics.

Still have questions?