Three DNP students in white coats.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Preparing nurse leaders who are experts in evidence-based practice to provide the highest quality health care for patients, families, communities, and populations.

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DNP Program Track Options

What is a DNP?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a  practice doctorate, versus the PhD, which is a research doctorate. The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice, such as nurses who desire to become advanced practice nurses or those who are seeking leadership positions in a health care setting or organization. DNP-prepared nurses are well-equipped to fully implement the science developed by nursing and other health science researchers to improve health care delivery to maximize the health of patient populations. 

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommends the DNP degree for nurses who want to work as Nurse Practitioners. In many states, including Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, Nurse Practitioners are licensed to operate a full, independent practice, with the ability to diagnose and treat illness, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications.


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Application Deadlines

Admission to the DNP program is once per year, starting in August for the Fall semester. For example, applying by the November 15 deadline means applying to start that following August.

Family Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master’s DNP General
Applications Open: August 8
Priority Deadline: November 15
Final Deadline: January 15
Applications Open: August 8
Priority Deadline: January 15
Final Deadline: March 15
Applying by the priority deadline ensures that a decision will be awarded to applicants within 2 months.
Additional spots and decisions are possible after the final deadline.

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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Degree Tracks

DNP student in white coat examining patient's eye.

Family Nurse Practitioner Track

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program prepares you for a career in primary care. In many states, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho, a Family Nurse Practitioner can operate an independent practice, diagnosing and treating illness, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and initiating treatments. 

DNP professor demonstrating examination technique with patient.

Post-Master’s General Track

The Post-Master’s General (PMG) degree is focused on evidence-based practice, leadership, and research. This degree is for nurses who’ve already earned their master’s degree and want to advance their area of specialty.

DNP student in white coat discussing patient needs with nursing professor..

Psychiatric Mental Health Track

The PMHNP prepares you to provide psychiatric and mental health services using a full scope of therapies. A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner assesses, diagnoses, and treats people with psychiatric disorders or the potential for such disorders.

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Graduate Program Advisors

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CCNE Accredited Logo

The Washington State University College of Nursing BSN, MN and DNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K. Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.