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Online Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Gonzaga offers a Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice as well as a Post-Baccalaureate pathway to obtaining a DNP degree.

At Gonzaga, our mission is to deliver clinical leaders who practice and live as people for others. With commitment and hard work, you will graduate with a quality education and a well-respected degree. Emerge practice-ready, rigorously trained, and as a leader poised to influence positive change. Be ready to serve and change the healthcare industry for the better.

National Trends

As patient needs and care environments have become more complex, nurses need to attain requisite competencies to deliver high-quality care. These competencies include leadership, health policy, system improvement, research and evidence-based practice, and teamwork and collaboration, as well as competency in specific content areas such as community and public health and geriatrics. …To respond to these increasing demands, the IOM committee calls for nurses to achieve higher levels of education and suggests that they be educated in new ways that better prepare them to meet the needs of the population.”

– “The Future of Nursing, Focus on Education” by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Student Testimonial

Returning for my DNP was a personal goal of mine. I want to stay competitive and have options open for opportunities to practice in clinical settings as well as in academia. The DNP program was a great investment. The cost was well worth it, and it was competitively priced. I felt that I received a great education and did not go broke while achieving it! Read more.
– Dr. Meagan Soltwisch, DNP, FNP-C

2016_04_13_DNP_BlogHeader_TraceyGonzaga’s model of education that includes mind, body, and spirit is compelling as it resonates with my own life view.  Gonzaga offers higher education that incorporates social justice and humanistic values in order to make a difference when serving the common good. I wholeheartedly believe in the dedication to higher-learning in order to respectfully serve others as a health care provider, and as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and community member. Read more.
– Dr. Tracey Day DNP, NP(F)

All About Gonzaga's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

DNP Program Quick Facts

  • Eligible students: This online program is available to registered nurses who have earned a master’s degree, specifically nurse practitioners, health system leaders/nurse administrators, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.
  • Schedule: DNP courses are offered online in the fall, spring and summer.
  • On-Campus Immersions: The program requires one on-campus immersion that must be scheduled prior to enrolling in the first practicum course (NURS 701). The immersion is a 2-3 day orientation to the program and overview of program requirements. Students receive valuable information related to accessing electronic library resources, creating an electronic portfolio, conducting a DNP project, and writing for publication. The student has the option of coming to campus a second time for the oral defense of the student’s scholarly project proposal, which occurs during NURS 702, the second practicum course. The proposal defense can also occur through video conferencing.
    NURS 705
    DNP Immersion *Scheduled prior to enrolling in the first practicum course (NURS 701). 2-3 day visit to campus/orientation.
    NURS 702 DNP Practicum II: Application of Evidence-Based Practice ll **OPTIONAL CAMPUS VISIT DURING 702 for oral defense of DNP project proposal.
    NURS 704 DNP Practicum IV: Application of Evidence-Based Practice ***OPTIONAL CAMPUS VISIT DURING NURS 704 for final defense of DNP project.

    *The student is required to submit an individualized practicum proposal and objectives for the practicum experience.

    **Proposal defense can also occur through video conferencing.

    ***Proposal defense can also occur through video conferencing. Prerequisite: NURS 703 and NURS 763, Co-requisite: NURS 764

  • Credit & Practicum requirements: The post-master’s DNP requires the completion of a minimum of 31 credit hours. The number of practicum hours that each student must complete is individualized based on the number completed in the student’s master’s program. Students must complete 1,000 practicum hours including hours earned during their Master’s degree.  Regardless of hours completed in their Master’s degree, all DNP students must complete a minimum of 360 practicum hours in the DNP program.
  • Transfer credits: For the Post-Master’s DNP pathway, students may transfer up to 6 credits of comparable graduate level coursework from another doctoral program at the discretion of the nursing faculty.
  • Degree completion: Students must complete the Post-Master’s DNP degree program within five years of starting GU. Also, students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to be eligible to graduate.

Program information is subject to change. Contact an Admission Counselor for further questions.

DNP Program Outcomes

The DNP Program strives to prepare students for success by achieving the following goals:

  • Serve as leaders and champions of change within complex healthcare systems
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills to optimize health in a selected area of nursing
  • Demonstrate humanistic, reflective practice, ethical reasoning, and advocacy for a selected population
  • Synthesize theory and evidence to create, implement and evaluate strategies to improve practice

Why Gonzaga Nursing?

  • Pass Rates: Our students consistently achieve pass rates well above national averages.
  • Experience: Our nursing programs have been delivering distance education for more than 30 years. Our faculty is experienced in working with online students and teaching in online platforms.
  • Ranking: Gonzaga University has been ranked one of the top universities in the West for 16 years by US News & World Report. In addition, The Princeton Review and Forbes Magazine have separately ranked us one of the nation’s best universities.
  • Practicing Faculty: All Nurse Practitioner faculty actively work in health care and provide students access to current health care policy issues, evolving trends, and real-world challenges facing the industry.
  • Accessible and Flexible:You have complete access to professors as needed through online discussion boards, email, and scheduled phone or Skype appointments. Your coursework can be accessed from anywhere thanks to a convenient online environment.
  • Jesuit: Gonzaga online nursing students experience the subtle, yet intentional infusion of the Jesuit mission of men and women for others. This humanistic approach creates a community that encourages an exchange of knowledge with and among each other—the faculty, the students, and the communities in which they live and work to impact change.
  • Systems Thinking: Graduates of Gonzaga’s DNP Program are prepared to engage in systems thinking to solve complex problems, translate evidence to improve health care practices and population health, lead quality improvement and change initiatives, and demonstrate effective interprofessional collaboration.
  • The “Master Key”: An online nursing degree from Gonzaga University opens doors. It is that simple. The advantage that comes with a degree from a well-respected, Jesuit university with over 125 years of rich history is substantial. Gonzaga has earned a reputation among employers as delivering graduates who bring great value to their organizations. We like to think of our advanced degrees as “master keys” suited to unlock any door facing our graduates. You will discover new ways of thinking and innovative ways to do the kind of work you want and are called to do.

192797_CCNE_logoGonzaga is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The baccalaureate, MSN, and DNP programs at Gonzaga University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

Please note: Gonzaga must obtain authorization from each state in order to admit students into an online program. The list provided here outlines the current status for each state by program.View State Authorization list.

Application Deadlines:

  • Health Systems Leadership – March 2018 Start Deadline, January 22nd
  • All nursing programs (except HSL) – May 2018 Start Deadline, December 18th
  • Apply Now

At a Glance


31 minimum

Average completion time

7 semesters (including summers)

Cost per credit



Online Course Delivery

Admission cycles

Fall, Spring Summer


One, three-day immersion required in Spokane, WA


“#4 Best Regional University in the West” by U.S. News & World Report, 2018

“#7 Best Value Among West Regional Universities” by U.S. News & World Report, 2018

“#3 Best Colleges for Veterans in the West” by U.S. News & World Report, 2018

“#13 Best Alumni Network” by Princeton Review, 2015

“#1 Best Value Among Private Colleges and Universities in the State of Washington” by Money Magazine, 2014

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