Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Achieve the highest level of nursing practice and shape the future of healthcare with a DNP degree from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.  A curriculum that blends advanced nursing practice, leadership, systems thinking, quality and safety, health policy, and healthcare economics and finance prepares you to transform healthcare in an increasingly complex environment. 

Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) Tracks

Nurse Practitioner Clinical Nurse Specialist
Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Family with Emergency specialty Adult-Gerontology
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Psychiatric Mental Health Adult-Gerontology with Oncology specialty
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care with Oncology specialty Psychiatric Mental Health with Substance Use and Addictions specialty Adult-Gerontology Acute Care
Family Women's Health  

Program Distinctions

Choose Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and shape the future of healthcare through a transformative educational experience grounded in a rich Ignatian heritage and mission to serve humanity through learning, social justice, and faith. Within a close-knit community of faculty and students, we embrace cura personalis by considering individual needs  and respect for unique experiences, while preparing exceptional advanced practice nurses and nurse scientists who transform healthcare in an increasingly complex healthcare environment.

Program Structure

  • Enroll as a full or part-time student
    • Average completion time is 4-5 years
    • Post-master's completion time is 2-3 years
  • Extensive online course offerings
    • CNS tracks are fully online and clinical placements can be arranged where students live or work
    • 1-2 required immersion weekends each year of the program for integrated learning and collaboration with classmates and faculty
  • Clinical rotations are designed by faculty members, and students are not responsible for securing their own clinical placements
  • Academic-practice partnerships are throughout the Chicago metropolitian area, including vulnerable and underserved communities
  • DNP Projects focus on translating evidence to practice, practice change, or health policy change

Clinical Experience Requirement

A minimum of 2,000 hours of recent clinical practice experience is required before entering the first APRN clinical rotation. 


To apply, you must be a Registered Professional Nurse in the United States, with a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or master's degree in nursing from an accredited institution.

APRN Certification

  • Graduates are eligible to complete NP or CNS certification exams in their respective role and population focus areas
  • Graduates qualify for APRN licensure as an NP or CNS (requirements vary by state)

For More Information

For more information about the DNP program please contact gradinfo@luc.edu or 312.915.8900. Admission is competitive and based on the strength of application materials and interview.

The post-graduate APRN certificate program at Loyola University Chicago 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 US 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.

Loyola University Chicago is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.