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Capella University | DNP - Preparatory Program

Capella University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Preparatory program is designed to allow RNs who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing and a master's degree in another field of study the opportunity to earn a doctorate. More information about this online DNP is found here.

Official Program Name:

Doctor of Nursing Practice Preparatory Program

School Offering Program:

Capella University

Degree Level:


Program Prerequisites:

Students seeking to enter this DNP program must hold a bachelor's degree in nursing and a current RN license. Applicants to Capella University should have a high school diploma or equivalent; some programs may have additional requirements.

Program Description:

Students of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Preparatory Program at Capella University first complete three master's-level courses addressing nursing practice principles, nursing leadership, and clinical evidence-based nursing practices before going on to take required courses. Other topics in the preparatory courses include health care technology, regulations and legal issues in nursing, decision-making practices, and leadership in areas of quality, resource management, team building, and strategic planning. Required courses explore change management in health care environments and health delivery systems, health care technologies, health promotion and disease prevention strategies, and health care policy development and implementation. Other topics addressed might include leadership theories, health care data interpretation, collaborative practices, and research methodologies. A doctoral capstone requires the completion of an extensive research project addressing a concern in a community, institution, or organization.

Learning Format:


Program Length:

64 credits.

Financial Aid Available:

Eligible students could be able to receive financial aid in the forms of grants, loans, and scholarships. Contact Capella University's financial aid office for more information.

Tuition, Financial Aid & Start Dates

Since every student is different, there isn't a "one size fits all" for school information. Start dates and tuition often vary between selected programs, and financial aid opportunities are unique to each student's circumstances. Complete the form to the right to get the most up-to-date and accurate information based on your selected program and circumstances.

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Required Courses for a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Preparatory Program:

Students of this doctoral program must complete 12 credits in preparatory courses in addition to 52 credits in required coursework including a doctoral capstone project. Degree program and course requirements are subject to change. Contact Capella University to confirm the most accurate information before enrolling in a program.

DNP Preparatory Courses (12 credits)

  • Principles of Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Advanced Leadership for Contemporary Nursing
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Technology for Nursing

Required Courses (52 credits)

  • Collaboration, Communication, and Case Analysis for Doctoral Learners
  • Management in Advanced Contemporary Nursing
  • Nursing Technology and Health Care Information Systems
  • Global Population Health
  • 21st-Century Health Care Leadership
  • Preparing for the Professional Doctorate in Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Scholarly Methods in Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Evaluation and Interpretation of Data in Health Care
  • Keystone: Determining Readiness for the Professional Doctorate Project
  • Doctoral Capstone (minimum of four times)

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Career Paths:

Graduates of the DNP - Preparatory Program might have developed the administrative and leadership skills to pursue executive or directorial positions in various health care settings. They might manage nursing staff, manage health care information systems, or implement policies in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, community health centers, home health care companies, or social service agencies. They might also seek employment in nonclinical environments, such as government health agencies, insurance companies, managed care companies, or in academic institutions.

Some career choices for these graduates include:

  • Nursing professor
  • Nursing administrator
  • Nursing operations director
  • Chief nursing officer

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