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

To develop nurse experts into innovative leaders who will transform practice in an increasingly complex healthcare system.

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 (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

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.

Admission Requirements

  • Graduation from an MSN program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) with a specialty focus
  • A current RN license in the state the student intends to conduct DNP residency experience
  • Minimum of two years of professional nursing practice as a Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended
  • Two letters of recommendation from professionals with graduate level education in the student’s area of specialty practice
    • At least one of the letters must be from someone who is doctoral prepared
  • Essay of 500 words addressing the following:
    • How the DNP program will facilitate achievement of your short and long term goals
    • How the Lewis University Mission integrates with the student’s personal and professional identity
  • Essay of 500 words delineating the area of focus for the DNP scholarly project that is pertinent to practice
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) in graduate level coursework
  • Have completed the following prerequisite courses with a grade of B or higher (if not previously completed, students will need to add these courses to their DNP coursework sequence):
    • Graduate level course in Statistics
    • Graduate level course in Population Health
    • Graduate level course in Healthcare Informatics
    • If a student does not receive a grade of “B” or above in a bridge course, the student may not repeat the course and will be dismissed from the program.

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


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