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Massachusetts is among more than 5 states with the most Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs in the country. Currently, nine Massachusetts colleges and universities offer this advanced nursing degree, though five of them are University of Massachusetts campuses. This number is likely to grow quickly in the years to come, as the AACN wishes to move the necessary level of education for advanced practice from MSN to DNP by 2015.
The common mission of Massachusetts DNP programs is to prepare advanced practice nurses to provide the highest possible level of care to a diverse population of patients. The programs aim to promote leadership in nursing, and prepare graduates for roles in clinical practice, administration, and policy.
The curricula of DNP programs in Massachusetts vary depending on the particular college or university. Regis College offers a post-master's DNP program comprised of 27 core credits and 9 elective credits. Simmons College also offers a post-master's program. It is designed for advanced practice nurses or experienced nurse managers with at least two years or 5,000 clinical practice hours. Simmons offers courses online, but requires students to complete two on-campus residencies per semester. The curriculum is made up of 24 core credits, a six-credit Capstone project, and six elective credits, for a total of 36 credits.
Other programs, such as that offered by MGH Institute for Health Professions, offer entry to applicants with either a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. This program can be completed in four years or eight semesters.
Admission requirements also vary between programs, but only slightly. Students applying to Massachusetts DNP programs should expect to have to meet the following requirements:
Tuition varies depending on the college or university, and is subject to change annually. Simmons College lists its tuition at $1,082 per credit hour. MGH Institute for Health Professions charges $1,114 per credit hour.