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Online Post-Bacc Doctor of Nursing Practice (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 two pathways for obtaining nurse practitioner certification and licensure:

 The Demand for Doctorate-Prepared Nurses

“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)

Who is the program for?

The Post-Bacc DNP at Gonzaga is ideal for bachelor’s prepared registered nurses in current practice 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 4.5-5 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

Post-Bacc DNP Quick Facts

  • Eligible students: This online program is available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree and an unencumbered RN license.  If an individual has a non-BSN degree and an unencumbered RN license, there are four additional bridge courses included in the program curriculum.
  • Schedule: DNP courses are offered online in the fall and spring (16-week courses) and summer (8 or 12-week courses).  Please note: NURS 561 & 563 are 8 weeks in length. Students take both 8 and 16 week courses.
  • 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: 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 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: We are only accepting into the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner Tracks students from the following states WA, ID, OR, MT, CA, NV, UT, AK, WY and AZ.

Program information subject to change. Contact an Admissions Counselor for information.

Gonzaga University’s School of Nursing & Human Physiology is no longer accepting applications for admission into the Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) track within both the Master of Science in Nursing and Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Gonzaga University is committed to serving our current AGNP students with a curriculum and faculty dedicated to the Jesuit mission of educating students for the lives of leadership and service for the common good. The School of Nursing & Human Physiology will continue to accept applications for the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Options.

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


FNP - 75

PMH NP - 75

Average completion time

13-15 semesters (including summers)

Cost per credit



Online Course Delivery

Admission cycles

Fall, Spring, & Summer

PLEASE NOTE: We are only accepting into the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner Options students from the following states WA, ID, OR, MT, CA, NV, UT, AK, WY and AZ.


Minimum six, three-day immersions in Spokane, WA (average 2/year). Seven for Family Nurse Practitioner Option.


“#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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