Minnesota DNP Programs

Get your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in Minnesota - online & campus-based options.
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Online DNP Programs & nursing PhD programs may be available for Minnesota students. Check current course listings.

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Minnesota DNP Programs

Minnesota is among more than 5 states with the most DNP programs in the country. Currently, 10 colleges and universities in Minnesota offer this terminal level nursing degree. The number of DNP programs is likely to grow quickly, as the AACN is pushing to move the necessary degree level for advanced practice from MSN to this doctoral level degree by 2015.

The missions of Minnesota DNP programs bare many similarities. All are concerned with teaching students excellence in patient care and to promote leadership and autonomy.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Minnesota DNP programs vary in terms of length and curricula. Some programs, such as Capella University's, offer only a post-master's degree option. Cappella's online course schedule is flexible and made up of 52 credits in total. Other colleges and universities, such as Winona State University and the University of Minnesota, have DNP entry-points for post-BSN and post-MSN applicants. Winona State University's BSN-DNP pathway requires completion of 72-74 credits, and the post-MSN curriculum consists of 31 credits. The University of Minnesota offers a BSN-DNP program with 14 different specialty areas to choose from, and the post-MSN pathway has a 36-37 credit curriculum that can be completed in one or two years.

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria vary by program, but the following is common:

  • Bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Submission of official transcripts by schools attended
  • Three references or letters of recommendation
  • A goal statement or essay
  • Official GRE scores
  • Unencumbered RN license (Some programs require a MN license)
  • One year of professional nursing experience
  • Current resume
  • Interview
  • TOEFL scores for applicants who do not speak English as a first language


The cost of tuition depends on the particular college or university, and is subject to change. Currently, Capella posts tuition at $768 per credit. Tuition rates at the University of Minnesota depend on whether or not the student is a resident of that state. The cost per credit is currently listed at about $1,250 for residents and $1,915 for non-residents. Full-time tuition is about $7,500 per semester for residents and about $11,500 for non-residents.

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Minnesota Board of Nursing
2829 University Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: (612) 617-2270
Fax: (612) 617-2190

Minnesota Nurses Association


Schools with Doctoral & PhD Nursing Programs Accepting Students in Minnesota

Featured Accredited Online Programs

Other Schools with DNP Programs in Minnesota

College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
Minnesota State University
228 Wiecking Ctr
Mankato, MN 56001
College of St. Catherine
601 25th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
University of Minnesota
80 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Minnesota State University - Moorhead
1104 7th Ave South
Moorhead, MN 56563
Winona State University
175 West Mark Street
Winona, MN 55987

Minnesota Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs (MN)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a post-graduate level practice nursing degree. A DNP focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing as opposed to working on medical research or teaching.

Due to the fact that most Minnesota DNP degree seekers are working professionals, there are a number of flexible educational options available including RN-DNP (BSN-DNP) bridge programs and specialized programs for certified advanced practice nurses.

Minnesota DNP Degree Prerequisites

In Minnesota, nurses seeking DNP certification must already hold both BSN and MSN degrees. Being the final and most advanced degree offered to professionals in the nursing field, there are strict educational criteria. Since the DNP is a relatively new status in the profession, there has not been much national standardization of academic criteria. Therefore, it is essential for you to check with your Minnesota educational institution of choice to find out what specific prerequisites they require for program admission. You can also check with the ­Minnesota Board of Nursing to find out more about how Minnesota recognizes DNPs.

Although every school has differing entrance requirements, here is an example of one Minnesota schools current DNP program prerequisites.

Online DNP Programs for Minnesota Nurses

Online education is also known as distance learning. As this level of certification becomes increasingly popular in Minnesota, more and more Minnesota higher learning institutions are offering their DNP programs online. This will make it far more convenient for current RNs to take the next step without having to sacrifice time on the clock or professional responsibilities.

Benefits of DNP Certification

There are benefits in Minnesota to holding this advanced degree. Having a strong focus on advanced practice, leadership, and actual application of clinical research, DNPs are often depended on to fill the gap between doctors and nurses.

Also, Minnesota nurses holding this certification are quickly becoming favored for parity with other health professionals when and where a doctorate status is required. This includes being called upon for involvement in advanced diagnosis, legal consultation, and highly specialized clinical research. With their focus on actual clinical application, DNP nurses are typically viewed as the most experienced.

As a nurse, earning a DNP degree will also foster enhanced leadership skills and the knowledge to deliver superior healthcare service to patients, which will in turn advance you professionally.

Resources for Minnesota Nurses Seeking a DNP Degree

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