Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Nursing leadership is about impact. Broaden yours.

With your Doctor of Nursing Practice, you will be able to shape the future of nursing practice. You already translate evidence‑based care into practice and improve health outcomes for diverse populations. Now the sum of your experience can position you to transform the future of healthcare. Earn your DNP online from Duquesne University.

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Study 100% online

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3 start dates per year

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No GRE required

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Tuition discounts available

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Study abroad opportunity

Why earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice online?

Earning a doctoral degree takes time and commitment. That is why online learning is perfect for self-starters. It allows you to do your coursework on your own schedule in the convenience of your home or work environment.

The smart choice — an online DNP degree.

  • 100% online coursework. As a DNP student, your coursework is 100% online.
  • Study abroad. Expand your transcultural care knowledge while studying abroad at Duquesne’s Rome or Dublin campuses.
  • One‑on‑one faculty mentorship. You will be assigned a faculty member to help guide you through the program.
  • Study at a respected school. Duquesne’s School of Nursing ranks No. 35 in the nation for “Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs” by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice Curriculum

35 Credit Hours | 11 Courses

The online DNP program is a total of 35 credits — nine 3-credit courses and two 4‑credit courses. You can earn your degree in as few as two years. There is a brief on-campus orientation for students before they begin their online coursework.

Coursework for Duquesne’s online MSN‑DNP is designed to enhance your evidence‑based nursing practice and position you for leadership now and into the future. Expand upon your doctoral degree by choosing a concentration in one of three unique areas of study, including Transcultural Nursing, Forensic Nursing or Nursing Education.

Why choose Duquesne for your online DNP?

Choosing the right university for your Doctor of Nursing Practice is important. Here are a few ways in which Duquesne stands out as a leader in nursing education.

Study with us and you can learn to:

  • Contribute to strategic‑level initiatives
  • Effectively assess healthcare policy at the community level
  • Evaluate organizational effectiveness at an institutional level
  • Gauge economic trends in healthcare
  • Design innovative models for patient care services

Learn from nursing leaders and become one yourself.

As an online DNP student at Duquesne, you will have the opportunity to study under one of the best and most respected faculties in the nursing field. Our commitment to nursing is longstanding, and our degree program reflects our dedication.

Our faculty are also alumni.

Meet Dr. Mary Kay Loughran.

Dr. Mary Kay Loughran

She’s more than a lead faculty member at Duquesne University’s School of Nursing. She’s also an alumnus, having earned her DNP in 2014. She knows firsthand what it’s like to balance a rigorous graduate program, demanding career and family obligations.

DNP Faculty Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Nursing

  • DNP, Duquesne University, 2014
  • MHA, University of Pittsburgh, 1987
  • BSN, University of Pittsburgh, 1977

Dr. Loughran is a nurse, educator and former hospital administrator. Her clinical, teaching and executive experience adds a wide range of nursing expertise to the Duquesne faculty.

A former executive vice president at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Dr. Loughran has also served as chief nursing officer and patient care executive. She teaches in classroom and clinical settings.

She’s passionate about educating the next generation of advanced-practice nursing leaders. And she’s ready to teach you.

Our DNP program prepares you to:

Identify and develop educational policies.

Implement policies to positively impact staff development and improve patient care.

Improve patient outcomes.

Positively impact patient care and outcomes by creating improved evidence‑based systems.

Refine organizational systems.

Develop competency in evaluating and refining organizational systems and their effectiveness.

Transform healthcare environments.

Serve as an ethical leader in complex care situations and implement best practices.

Apply clinical judgment.

Combine data from multiple sources, collaborate among disciplines and implement current evidence‑based practices.

Create inclusive environments.

Explore culture and diversity in healthcare environments and identify discrepancies among vulnerable populations.

We offer three unique residency experiences.

1. Elevate your professional writing skills.

Writing is a complex process, especially at the doctoral level. That’s why our writing residency prepares you to deliver high‑quality academic papers and projects. Prior to orientation, you will gain access to writing modules created exclusively for DNP online students. Each module can be completed at your own pace.

2. Study advanced-practice nursing in Rome or Ireland.

This experience is an optional, study-abroad residency. It’s part of the transcultural and global health perspectives course GPNS 917. Online DNP students can study advanced-practice nursing in Italy at Duquesne’s Rome campus or in Ireland at Duquesne’s Dublin campus. This is an outstanding opportunity for doctoral nursing students to learn more about international healthcare systems.

3. Complete a specialized leadership project.

Nurses prepared at the DNP level are expected to provide leadership for evidence‑based practice in nursing. That’s why we require you to complete a Doctoral Practice Project.

Working closely with faculty, you will select an area of interest to evaluate, such as a population, program, system or clinical intervention within a health setting. Each course in our DNP program builds on the last — enabling you to work toward the completion of your DNP project every step of the way.

Your Doctoral Practice Project is personalized at Duquesne.

Duquesne is known for our personal touch with our students. It’s what sets us apart. You will receive regular, one-on-one support from our DNP faculty throughout the program. We’re on this journey with you. And your success is our highest priority.

“If you look at the core competencies outlined in the DNP Essentials, they speak directly to the importance of understanding cultures. And our study-abroad program really accomplishes this.”

— Dr. Mary Kay Loughran, Online DNP Program Coordinator

Online DNP Admissions


To qualify for admission into our online DNP program, you must:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Must hold either a BSN or MSN degree
  • Have completed an undergraduate or graduate statistics course with a “B” or better
  • Hold a current, unencumbered RN license
  • Must be an APRN and/or have demonstrated history of leadership experience

*This process may entail review of a portfolio or other evaluative mechanisms, and may require completion of some master’s level nursing course(s).


  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional goal statement
  • Three electronically submitted professional references
  • Official transcript(s)
  • A phone interview may be required with a DNP Admission Committee member