Achieve the highest level of nursing practice and help shape the future of health care


Become a transformative nursing leader in an increasingly complex health care environment with a DNP degree from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. At Loyola, we prepare you to manage, deliver, and improve patient care. Our DNP curriculum integrates advanced nursing practice, leadership, systems thinking, analytic and information management strategies, quality and safety, health policy, and health care economics and finance. 


The goal of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is to prepare nurses to assume advanced roles in direct care and systems leadership domains at the highest level of nursing to improve health care outcomes through practice-based scholarship.


At the completion of the DNP program, the graduate has the knowledge and skills to:

  • Apply integrated scientific, knowledge and clinical judgements at the highest level of professional nursing practice.
  • Evaluate health care delivery approaches and healthcare systems, with an emphasis on quality and safety.
  • Apply best evidence in approaches to client and system-centered practices.
  • Apply analytic approaches and information technology in the delivery and improvement of client-centered health care and health care systems.
  • Employ ethics, leadership, and advocacy concepts to advance healthcare quality and equity for individuals, systems and populations.
  • Implement intraprofessional and interprofessional leadership and collaboration competencies and methods, at the highest level of professional nursing practice in advancing health and health outcomes.

Our Commitment to You


The goal of the DNP program is to prepare nurse leaders to assume roles in direct care and systems at the highest level of nursing and improve health care outcomes through evidence-based practice and scholarship.


Curriculum Overview


Loyola's DNP program offers courses in advanced practice, leadership, inquiry, and a clinical practicum. Students meet with their faculty academic advisor to determine their final course of study.



All DNP students take the same foundation of courses, including:

  • Population Focused Health
  • Leadership and Roles in Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Social Justice and Ethics in Health Care
  • Statistics for Health and Biological Sciences
  • Healthcare Policy and Economics
  • Evidence Translation for Advanced Clinical Practice
  • DNP Project

Learn more about coursework by exploring specific tracks.



Clinical experiences provide a basis for translating evidence and theoretical knowledge into practice. At Loyola, we maintain collaborative partnerships in diverse health care settings throughout the Chicago area and beyond. Faculty design the clinical practicums and guide students as they select their clinical sites.

A minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice experience is required before entering the first clinical rotation in the NP and CNS tracks.



Immersion Experiences provide the unique opportunity to meet in-person with faculty and students across population and specialty tracks within the DNP program. Hosted at Loyola University Chicago's Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, the Immersion Experiences supplement coursework and foster progression, connection, and continuity within the DNP program.



The hallmark of a successful DNP student is the ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of one’s specialty and communicate that expertise to others through a final project. Typically, this scholarly project is completed in one year. The development, implementation, and evaluation of this project occurs over three semesters.

Recent Doctor of Nursing Practice Projects


Dr. Patricia Bachmeier
A Quality Improvement Project for Nurses Caring for Patients with Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.
Faculty Director: Dr. Vicki Bacidore
Dr. Lacey Lou Lefere
Reducing nurse leader stress through the implementation of an evidence-based program for building resilience capacity.
Faculty Director: Dr. Kathleen Bobay
Dr. Amy Pasmann
Nutritional Screening in Ambulatory Oncology: A Quality Improvement Project.
Faculty Director:  Dr. Patricia Friend
Dr. Nancy Raschke-Deichstetter
Implementation of the Pre-Briefing Best Practice Standard During Mental Health Simulations with Pre-Licensure Nursing Students
Faculty Director: Dr. Carol Kostovich
Dr. Lei Marcelle Toquero
Implementing Evidence-based Fall Prevention Bundle to Reduce Preventable Falls in a Long-term Memory Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Project 
Faculty Director: Dr. Audrey Klopp
Dr. Melissa Burke
Combining Structured Telephone Support with CardioMEMS to Enhance Patient Activation
Faculty Director:  Dr. Amanda Peacock
Dr. Erica Dixon-Johnson
Cura Personalis:  Bringing Palliative Care to the Whole Person with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Faculty Director: Dr. Amanda Peacock
Dr. Meaghan Maroney
Increasing MICU Caregiver Knowledge and Optimizing Mechanical Ventilation Liberation Through the Implementation of a Portion of the ABCDEF Evidence Based Bundle
Faculty Director: Dr. Vicki Bacidore
Dr. Carol Montilla
Scoping Out the Metrics:  Implementing a Multidisciplinary Quality and Safety Committee in the Rush University Medical Center Endoscopy Lab
Faculty Director: Dr. Vicki Bacidore
Dr. Sara Pustai
Risky Business:  A Call for Risk Assessments with Stratification for Trauma Patients
Faculty Director: Dr. Mary McNamara
Dr. Teresa Seymour
ED B.A.S.H. – Emergency Department Bedside Assessment and Safety Check Handoff:  A Quality Improvement Project to Enhance Nursing Communication and Patient Safety in the Pediatric ED
Faculty Director: Dr. Darlie Simerson



The advanced practice nursing tracks (NP and CNS) are open to registered nurses with a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited program, who are not already certified as an NP or CNS. 

The DNP in Systems Leadership is open to registered nurses with a master's degree in nursing.

Apply today



NP and CNS tracks: 

  • Fall: July 1 

Systems Leadership

  • Fall: July 1

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. 




The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC, 20001, (202) 887-6791.

The U.S. Department of Education requires any institution offering distance education/online programs to students outside of its home state to acquire authorization from the states in which students reside. Regulations vary from state to state. While Loyola University Chicago is authorized, exempt or pursuing authorization in most states, some restrictions apply. Please see our State Authorization page for the most up-to-date information.