Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a practice-focused degree designed to provide additional knowledge and skills so that nurses may further enhance the health and well being of individuals and communities with whom they work. The population-focused curriculum provides education in evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking.

As the terminal practice degree for nurses, a DNP offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. The DNP program provides nurses in advanced practice, including nurse administrators and nurse educators, with the knowledge and skills to provide innovative leadership to the profession.

  • The degree offers full-time and part-time enrollment
    - Average time to completion (full-time): 2–3 years
  • This program is completed online, with the exception of two required, on-site weekend immersions at the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, IL each year.

You can individualize your learning by selecting electives from a variety of graduate-level offerings from within nursing or other disciplines. This offers you an opportunity to develop expertise in a focused area.

As a DNP student, you will be required to complete practicums that focus on acquiring the advanced skills and knowledge to meet individual and program objectives.
The hallmark of a successful DNP student is the ability to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their specialty and to effectively communicate this expertise to others. You will exhibit your ability to do so through a final capstone project, which is generally completed in one year in conjunction with practicum immersion experiences.

Career services are available—learn more at LUC.edu/career.
When you graduate with your DNP degree, you will be qualified to hold leadership positions in the health care arena in a clinical practice, health leadership, clinical educator, or population-focused role.

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has been successfully educating graduate nurses for more than 50 years. The School is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Loyola’s DNP program centers on the “Health of the Public” and using evidence-based practices to improve outcomes. The program focuses on populations at risk for disease, populations experiencing alterations in health, populations across the globe, and systems that promote safe and efficient health care environments. The program emphasizes leadership in implementing transformational change in your area of practice.

  • Study abroad: We encourage you to hone skills and build your network through intensive courses around the world. Study abroad is open to fulland part-time students. The School of Nursing offers annual study abroad trips to Belize.
  • Student organizations: Graduate Student Nursing Association (GSNA), Student Committee on InterProfessional Education (SCIPEC)
  • Service learning: You will have an opportunity to participate in an International Service Immersion as part of a collaboration between Campus Ministry and the School of Nursing.

Our faculty and clinical preceptors are experts in their fields and hold national certifications in their areas of specialization. They have a wide variety of clinical and research interests and are well respected in their areas of professional specialty.

To apply, you must have a master’s degree and a current nursing license. If you have a non-nursing master’s degree, you will need to complete 3 graduate nursing foundation courses, as well as additional clinical hours.
If you have an MSN in a non-clinical area, you will need additional clinical hours to meet the 1000 total hours of post-BSN supervised clinicals required for CCNE accreditation of all DNP programs.

Begin the financial aid process by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.

The School of Nursing has limited funds available for financial assistance. Visit LUC.edu/nursing/admission/tuition-finaid to learn more about these financial aid opportunities.

For questions or assistance regarding financial aid through the School of Nursing, contact us at 708.216.9101 or SchoolofNursing@luc.edu.

Learn more about faculty, curriculum, and how to apply.