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The doctor of nursing practice program at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing — a distance mediated program that combines online and in-person learning — prepares nurses to become leaders in their respective advanced nursing practice roles, with a strong clinical focus and a deepened knowledge and skill set. The DNP program enables nurses with a baccalaureate or graduate preparation to expand their knowledge and scope of practice. The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to a research-focused doctoral program.

Unique aspects of our program are a focus on rural and underserved populations and the opportunity for students to select electives in family dynamics, financial management, nursing education, or symptom management. Choose an area of study for your DNP work:

  • Adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist
  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Family psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric clinical nurse specialist
  • Nursing leadership and innovations in health care

Graduates of the DNP programs in one of the nurse practitioner or clinical specialist areas of study will be eligible for advanced practice nurse certification from American Nurses Credentialing Center (AACN) certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP).

New Event Sign up today and save the date for an online information session about our DNP options. Join Dr. Robin Harris, director of the Doctor of Nursing Program, for a presentation and live chat.

Degree Details

Ranked number one in the country

The length of the program varies, depending on equivalent prerequisite courses completed, area of specialization, and choice of part-time or full-time enrollment. The typical completion time for participants in the program ranges from 2 years post-master's to 6 years post-baccalaureate (part-time). Refer to the Areas of Study to view sample curricular plans.

On-campus requirements

The Sinclair School of Nursing offers these distance-mediated programs so that students enjoy in-class experiences along with online learning through Blackboard. The faculty believe that face-to-face interaction between students and faculty is essential to ensure quality educational experiences for the students. To that end, students are required to come for a mandatory on campus three-day orientation the first summer of enrollment, typically in early June. In addition, short, intensive campus experiences (no more than three days) are required in select specialty courses to augment learning opportunities and allow for individualized faculty evaluation of educational competencies.

Refer to the On-Campus Date Schedule for detailed information.

Admission criteria and application process

  • A degree from a nationally accredited bachelor's or master's nursing program.
  • An average GPA of 3.3 (4.0 grading scale) based on the last 60 hours of undergraduate nursing coursework for applicants with less than a master's degree.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.5 (4.0 grading scale) for applicants with a master's degree in nursing.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements must submit acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the exam must have been taken within the last five years.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements also may provide additional evidence documenting examples of outstanding professional leadership, practice, and/or scholarship for special consideration.
  • Two reference forms from qualified people able to predict the applicant's ability to succeed in graduate study.
  • Current unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse.
  • A personal interview, upon request.
Application steps

Application deadline

Please visit the MU Sinclair School of nursing website for complete information, course descriptions and instructions for applying to the DNP program. Also, see the Sinclair School of Nursing graduate nursing handbook.

Note The University of Missouri cannot accept applications or enrollments in nursing programs or courses from students with residency in the following states:

  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Washington

Learn more about the University of Missouri's authorization to provide distance education in other states.

Shelby Thomas
Doctor of Nursing Practice in Family Nurse Practitioner '15 | New Bloomfield, MO

When nurse, Shelby Thomas, needed flexibility and support to pursue her doctorate while working full-time and supporting her family, she turned to Mizzou Online. Now she plans to join the nursing faculty and share her clinical experience and love of the profession with future nurses.

Diana Kay Fauss
Doctor of Nursing Practice in Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist '13 | Joplin, MO

Kay, a clinical nurse practitioner, wife and mother, describes how Mizzou's online program was the perfect fit for her busy lifestyle.


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Commission on Higher Learning of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Sinclair School of Nursing in accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).