DNP Program


AACN Guide to Graduate Nursing Program



The DNP is a terminal professional degree for nurses in advanced practice and leadership, and it represents attainment of the highest level of clinical nursing competence and educational parity with other health team members holding clinical doctorates. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the professional organization for baccalaureate and higher degree programs, has recommended that all advanced-practice preparation should be at the doctor of nursing practice level.

Graduates of the DNP program bring the best practices to the point of service, having competence in evidence-based care and translational research methods for quality improvement. Marquette University's College of Nursing began the first Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the state of Wisconsin in fall 2008. In 2016, the program was ranked at number 35 in the Top 50 Best Value DNP Programs by Value Colleges.

There are two routes to the DNP degree: BSN to DNP or post Master’s to DNP.

Students entering the post BSN to DNP become either a nurse leader or an advanced practice nurse. The advanced practice nurse specialties include: nurse anesthesia, pediatrics-primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner, adult-older adult primary care nurse practitioner, adult-older adult acute care nurse practitioner, and adult-older adult clinical nurse specialist.

Students who have attained their master’s degree in advanced practice or leadership enter the post master’s DNP program.

DNP Program learning outcomes and performance indicators
At the completion of the program, students will be able to:

a. Provide evidence-based advanced nursing care to individuals, families, communities and/or clinical populations.

b. Apply analytical methodologies to evaluate and monitor patient, population and/or care system outcomes.

a. Analyze and apply models, theories and scientific evidence to improve health care of diverse populations.

b. Demonstrate advanced levels of scholarship, clinical judgment, systems thinking and accountability in nursing practice.

c. Employ consultative and leadership skills within nursing and interdisciplinary health care teams to transform health care and complex delivery systems to improve health.

DNP  program and degree requirements

The CCNE accredited DNP program is offered via a combination of in-person, hybrid and/or online courses. The DNP clinical and residency requirements vary. These clinical courses help the students attain the required amount of clinical hours for their specialty. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s recommends a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice for the DNP.

The Nurse Anesthesia specialty can only be attained through the DNP program, which is 91 credits of full time study.

The other post-baccalaureate DNP programs require 63-69 credits: post-baccalaureate DNP program and be completed on a full or part time basis. These programs include all existing master’s courses plus additional courses to help students meet the DNP competencies. The DNP program was deliberately planned so students will earn a master’s degree en route to the DNP and be eligible to write for the certification exam in their area of specialization upon completion of required courses.

The 33 credit post-master’s DNP program builds on the existing master’s program completed generally on a part time basis. Transcripts of students whose master’s degrees are from nursing master’s programs other than Marquette are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assure attainment of prerequisite knowledge and clinical experience. Additional course work beyond the 33 credit requirement may be necessary to meet all of the essentials of doctoral education for advanced practice.

Graduate School tuition rates for the current year may be found on the Graduate School's website. Several sources of financial assistance, including scholarships, are available.

Admission requirements
To apply to the DNP program, you must have graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from an accredited program, normally with a graduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (4.0 = A). A statistics course that included inferential analysis must have been taken within five years of the program's start date. Undergraduate courses in nursing research and in health assessment are required prerequisites, as is a copy of your current Wisconsin nursing license.

Students must file all components of the application process with Nursing CAS by February 15 for a fall semester start, or November 15 for a spring semester start. Note: The DNP NA program only allows for a fall semester start. DNP applicants who apply after the stated deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis only.

Other criteria include:

For more information, contact:

Susan Breakwell, APHN-BC, DNP
DNP Program Director
(414) 288-3848

Karen Nest
Graduate Program Coordinator
(414) 288-3810

For information regarding specific specialties within the DNP program, please contact the Option Coordinator

Debra Casper
Adult Older Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
(414) 288-3871

Christine Shaw
Adult Older Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
(414) 288-3843

Lisa Thiemann
Nurse Anesthesia
(414) 288-3858

Kristin Haglund
Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
(414) 288-3824

Christine Schindler
Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
(414) 288-6179

Christine Schindler
Pediatric Dual Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
(414) 288-6179

Kristin Haglund
(414) 288-3824

Jane Miles
Systems Leadership and Health Care Quality
(414) 288-3851


College of Nursing Mission Statement

Through a transformational Catholic, Jesuit education, Marquette University College of Nursing prepares nurse leaders to promote health, healing and social justice for all people through clinical practice and development of nursing knowledge.