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Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares APRNs for roles as either Nurse Anesthetists or Nurse Practitioners.  Students are accepted who have a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing.  Nurses with APRN licensure may be provided advanced placement in the program.  The program is intense and requires substantial commitment of time as well as personal and financial resources.  While part-time study may be available depending on the option, students need to fully understand part-time study will substantially lengthen the program of study, incur substantial additional costs, and still not allow for full time employment while completing the program.  

The first part of the program is primarily core courses and these are provided in most options via distant learning methods.  Nurse anesthesia has some core courses offered in asynchronous formats but others are traditional class room courses. 

Clinical experiences are an integral component of every option.  They are jointly arranged by the student and faculty member.  Every attempt is made to assist distant students to complete clinical courses in the area where students live.

The length of the program depends on the student's qualifications at admission and area of concentration. For example, the program length for a student entering with a BSN or higher degree without advanced practice certification will take approximately 3 years, full-time to complete. The program length for a student entering with a MSN and APRN licensure will take about 18 months of full-time study to complete.

UTHSC College of Nursing's DNP program is ranked #23 in the 2019 US News and World Report rankings.

Partnership Enrollment Programs

Southwest, Dyersburg State, LeMoyne-Owen, or Rhodes students should click here to learn about our Partnership Enrollment Programs.

DNP Details

  • Coursework is presented online except in the anesthesia option that has a blend of traditional classroom and online courses.
  • Designed to offer students flexibility in determining their own living arrangements, schedule of study, and timing of engagement in coursework.
  • On-campus time is used for simulations, skills workshops and interprofessional experiences.

DNP Program Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment/scholarship in nursing practice.
  2. Critically analyze complex clinical situations and practice systems.
  3. Evaluate and apply conceptual models, theories, and research in order to improve healthcare of diverse populations.
  4. Systematically investigate a clinically focused area of nursing in order to advance healthcare.
  5. Analyze the social, economic, political, and policy components of healthcare systems which affect care planning and delivery.
  6. Assume leadership roles in the development of clinical practice models, health policy, and standards of care.
  7. Integrate professional values and ethical decision-making in advanced nursing practice.


The College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). "The Commission ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. The Commission serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and post-baccalaureate nurse residency programs." 

The College of Nursing DNP program is accredited by CCNE through December 31, 2024.

The Post-BSN Nurse Anesthesia Option is fully accredited by the:
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
222 S. Prospect Ave., 
Park Ridge, IL, 60068 
(847) 655-1160

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). 

Last Published: Aug 6, 2018