Expand your knowledge and skills as a nursing professional at the top level by maximizing your ability to care for those in need.

30 Credit Hours
100% Online Classes
135K Average Salary DNP*


Practice Nursing at its Highest Level

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is the terminal practice degree for the profession of nursing. The impetus for enhancing graduate education for practicing clinicians includes an increasingly complex healthcare environment, explosive growth in knowledge of science and therapeutics, quality and safety concerns, and financial pressures driving efficiency efforts.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is a 30 credit hour program that builds upon advanced clinical skills with coursework on quality improvement, evidence-based performance, and systems approaches to meeting the health care needs of the public. The DNP coursework is available 100% online, allowing for convenience and maximum flexibility around nurses’ and healthcare professionals’ work schedules.

Each Doctor of Nursing Practice student must complete a minimum of 1000 post BSN residency hours. Qualified students may transfer in up to 496 MSN-level practicum hours toward the 1000-hour requirement.

Attendance at a minimum of two (2) DNP Immersions (one-day each) will be a requirement for graduation from the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. One of the two immersions will include the final Scholarly Project Presentation.

DNP Vision Statement

CCNE Accreditation

To develop nurse experts into innovative leaders who will transform practice, reorient the healthcare system, and champion health equity using multi-level approaches in an increasingly complex healthcare landscape.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing/master’s degree program in nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice program and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Lewis University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Sample Courses:

It is intended that students of the program will:
  • Research Design and Measurement for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Healthcare Ethics
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Quality and Safety Sciences in Healthcare
  • Financial and Strategic Management for Healthcare Decision Makers
  • DNP Scholarly Project Planning

Student Projects

Nursing and health professionals thinking about applying to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program should take a look at what current DNP students are working on. Curriculum insight gives prospective students the inspiration they need to advance their careers and education in the health industry.


You’ll benefit from networking with our nursing alumni. Our nursing alumni are highly respected and working in many specialties. Recent contributions highlighting their research can be found here.

Tuition Assistance

Not only does Lewis University offer a competitive cost of tuition, but various opportunities for discounts and scholarships are available for students and applicants who qualify.

  • Graduate Assistantship - Graduate Assistants receive tuition and fee reimbursement in exchange for working for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CONHS). Priority for selection is based on academic achievement, potential for leadership, and financial need.

  • IONL Discount - Through partnership with the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL), eligible students can earn a 15% tuition discount towards their degree. Students who are IONL members must submit the necessary forms each semester.

  • Frequent Flyer Scholarship - Lewis University alumni qualify for a 20% tuition scholarship when admitted into a graduate degree, doctoral degree, second bachelor degree, or qualifying certificate program. More information about the Frequent Flyer Scholarship Program.

  • JJC Employee Discount - Full and part-time employees of Joliet Junior College who enroll in for-credit courses at Lewis University are eligible for a 15% tuition discount. Students must verify employment each semester to receive the discount.

  • Employer Tuition Discounts - Lewis University partners with various employers, including those in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations, schools, and government agencies to offer tuition discounts for employees. Employer Partner List.

Please refer to the Financial Aid Office for more information on types of aid and tuition assistance.

Nurse Faculty Loan Forgiveness Program

Nursing students enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, students in the MSN Nursing Education program or students in any of the 4 Nurse Practitioner tracks (FNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP, PMHNP) are eligible to apply if they are committed to assuming a full-time faculty role upon graduation in an accredited nursing program or as a full-time preceptor through an academic practice partnership agreement.

Full-time or part-time graduate students who plan careers as nurse faculty are eligible to apply and may be eligible for up to five (5) years of financial support. (All support is contingent upon ongoing federal funding and therefore subject to change.) Up to 85 percent of the total loan amount will be forgiven if the graduate works full-time for four (4) years in a nurse faculty position immediately following graduation.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Contact: Dr. Pam Taylor at ptaylor4@lewisu.edu

Admission Requirements

  1. Graduation from an MSN program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly known as National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) with a specialty focus. 

  2. Minimum of two years of professional nursing practice as a registered nurse. 

  3. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. 

  4. A current Unencumbered RN License in the state the student intends to conduct DNP residency experience. 

  5. Two letters of recommendation from professionals with graduate level education in the student’s area of specialty practice. At least one of these letters of recommendation must be from someone who is doctoral prepared. 

  6. Essay (maximum 1,000 words) addressing the following:  
    1. How the DNP program will facilitate achievement of your short and long term goals.
    2. How the Lewis University Mission integrates with your personal and professional identity
    3. The area of focus for your DNP scholarly project that is pertinent to practice
  7. A current resume or curriculum vitae. 

  8. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in graduate level coursework 

  9. Applicants are required to have successfully completed the following coursework with a grade of B or better:
    1. A graduate level course in Statistics. 
    2. A graduate level Population Health. 
    3. A graduate level Healthcare Informatics.  
  10. If not previously completed, these courses will be in addition to the course requirements for the DNP degree. 

Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions for application requirements and specific next steps.


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