Earn a Doctorate in Nursing Online


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has voted to raise the educational standard for advanced nursing practice. By 2015, all advanced practice clinical nursing masters programs will be eliminated, and the new standard will be the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The Ph.D. in nursing will continue to be the recommended degree for aspiring nurse researchers and faculty. Fortunately, it’s now possible to earn an accredited doctorate in nursing online. Programs generally require three to five years of study, depending on whether they are completed part-time or full-time. Most online doctorate nursing programs have brief on-campus requirements.

The following accredited universities offer the DNP and Ph.D. in nursing online.

  • Duquesne University offers an online Doctor of Nursing program. Duquesne’s online courses are asynchronous, so students can access lectures at any time. One-week campus visits are required each spring. Mandatory fieldwork can be completed in students’ hometowns.
  • The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing‘s doctoral program prepares nurse practitioners and nurse-midwife leaders to evaluate and improve primary care practice. Special emphasis is placed on rural and other underserved populations. The Frontier School requires two three-day campus visits.
  • Rutgers University offers a Doctor of Nursing degree program that can be completed mostly online in synchronous and asynchronous formats. Certain courses must be taken at Rutgers or another school.
  • The University of Arizona‘s doctoral program in nursing is ranked in the top 10% nationally. Both BSNs and MSNs are accepted into the program. Depending upon the track, the Ph.D. can be completed in three or four years of full-time study. Students must periodically visit the Tucson campus.

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