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(Post-Bacc DNP)

Online Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-Bacc DNP)

At Gonzaga, our goal is to help you develop personally and professionally. As a result, you will graduate with a quality education from a well-respected institution and emerge practice-ready, rigorously trained, and poised to influence positive change. Founded in our Jesuit ethos, our mission is to deliver leaders who live and practice Cura Personalis – caring for the whole person.

The Post-Bacc DNP offers three pathways for obtaining nurse practitioner certification and licensure:

The Demand for Doctorate-Prepared Nurses

In October 2004, the members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) endorsed the Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in NursingAACN member institutions voted to move the current level of educational preparation for advanced practice nurses, i.e., nurse practitioners (NPs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), and certified nurse midwives (CNMs), from a master’s to a doctoral degree by the year 2015. This position was reaffirmed in 2010 based on several national trends:

  • “the rapid expansion of knowledge underlying practice;
  • the increased complexity of patient care;
  • national concerns about the quality of care and patient safety;
    • shortages of nursing personnel which demands a higher level of preparation for leaders who can design and assess care;
  • shortages of doctorally prepared nursing faculty, and
  • increasing educational expectations for the preparation of other health professionals” (AACN, 2011)

“While 13 percent of nurses hold a graduate degree, fewer than one percent have a doctoral degree. Nurses with doctorates are needed to teach future generations of nurses and to conduct research that becomes the basis for improvements in nursing science and practice. The committee recommends doubling the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020.

“The Future of Nursing, Focus on Education” by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, October 2010

Now is the time.

Application Deadline:

  • Summer 2015 Application Deadline – April 15th
    • Classes start May 18th

Apply Now

Please Note: We are not admitting Post-Baccalaureate DNP nursing students from the following states: AR, AL, DE, MN and NC. We are only accepting students from the following states for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: WA, ID, OR, MT, CA, NV, UT, AK, WY and AZ.

Recent Graduates

The Post-Bacc DNP at Gonzaga is great for recent graduates (bachelor’s) who wish to accelerate their career and start the DNP program now. This pathway provides the following advantages:

  • Gain clinical experience while obtaining your advanced-practice degree
  • Accelerate progress and obtain your degree in 3.5 years
  • Realize the return on your investment sooner by entering the workforce at a higher level of pay
  • Be prepared to meet the growing demand for doctorate-prepared practitioners

The Post-Bacc DNP courses are offered online (except for on-campus immersions), which means you can continue your study from wherever post-graduation life takes you.

Post-Bacc DNP Details

  • Eligible students: This online program is available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree, and recent graduates are welcome and encouraged to apply. A Post-Baccalaureate DNP prepares nurses as Family Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, and Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioners.
  • Schedule: DNP courses are offered online in the fall and spring (16-week courses) and summer (8 or 12-week courses).  Please note: NURS 563 is 8 weeks in length.
  • Immersions: Students come to campus in Spokane, WA for a minimum of six, on-campus weekend immersions over the course of the program (average 2/year). This is when students participate in the Culminating Observed Structured Clinical Evaluations or OSCEs – a cornerstone for student success. In these structured scenarios, students obtain a focused history and complete a focused exam of a scripted model patient, identify differential diagnoses and the most likely diagnosis, and determine a plan of care based on the most likely diagnosis. The OSCEs are led by practicing faculty who bring real-world scenarios and practical advice to life for the student.
  • Transfer credits: For the Post-Bacc DNP, students may transfer up to 15 credits of comparable graduate level coursework from another doctoral program at the discretion of the nursing faculty.
  • Degree completion: Students must complete the Post-Baccalaureate DNP degree pathway within seven years of starting Gonzaga. 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: Gonzaga nursing faculty walks the talk. All nurse practitioner faculty still 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 new ways to do the kind of work you want and are called to do.

At a Glance


FNP - 75

PMH NP - 75

A/G NP - 76

Average completion time

10-15 semesters

Cost per credit

$900-905 (depends on course level)


The baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 877-6791. The DNP accreditation site visit occurred in the fall of 2014 and is now pending CCNE approval.



Note: We are not admitting nursing students into the Post-Baccalaureate DNP from the following states: AR, AL, DE, MN and NC. We are only accepting students from the following states for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: WA, ID, OR, MT, CA, NV, UT, AK, WY and AZ.

Admission cycles

Fall, Spring, & Summer


Seven, three-day immersions in Spokane, WA are required over the course of the program (average 2/year).


Top 3 Regional University in the West by U.S. News & World Report