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Online DNP Degree: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Positively Transform Healthcare with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in Systems Leadership

Patient outcomes are better when highly educated and compassionate nurses have a seat at the table. Earning your DNP degree in our low-residency online program with synchronous components, in which you learn alongside others virtually or in-person, offers a unique opportunity to move into leadership roles without disrupting your current nursing career.

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  • Duration 15 months
  • Cost per Credit $950
  • Credit Hours 34

Program Benefits

  • CCNE-Accredited
  • HRSA Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Program
  • Flexible, Low-Residency Online Format
  • Supportive, Cohort Model
  • Tuition Assistance Opportunities Available

Become an Expert in Nursing with an Online DNP Degree in Systems Leadership

Our interactive online classroom includes synchronous components, in which you learn among a cohort of peers in a virtual environment, that allow you to earn your DNP in as few as 15 months and begin to spearhead healthcare change.

The support of our hands-on faculty help you to individualize a project that aligns with an organization to impact practice, even before you graduate. Fulfilling your clinical practice hours immerses you in leadership and completion of a robust scholarly project demonstrates that you are a lifelong scholar practitioner.

Graduate from our CCNE-accredited DNP program empowered to advocate for patients and the nursing profession competently and compassionately.

“During my time in the program, I have learned so much about myself! I have had the opportunity to take courses to help expand upon my leadership abilities, along with the ability to look at issues from an organizational perspective and see the ‘big picture.’”

– Online DNP Student

“I would recommend the program to anyone that wishes to advance their career and education but needs the support of faculty and peers. I am so happy and proud to be a student at Carlow University!”

– Online DNP Student

Examples of DNP Projects that integrate the mercy mission include addressing health literacy with community health workers throughout western Pennsylvania, exploration of nursing student attitudes and knowledge toward LGBTQIA patients, educating nurses about post partum depression, and many others. Students have presented some of their great works at local and national conferences as invited speakers. Advance your passion to change the world as a scholar practitioner at Carlow!


The robust curriculum and experienced faculty in Carlow’s low residency online DNP degree program challenge you to improve nursing practice and be a changemaker in your chosen area of expertise. Founded on the values of the Sisters of Mercy, our program encourages service-oriented scholarly work in collaboration with academic practice partners.

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Program Outcomes

  • Critically appraise current scientific findings and theories to enhance the practice of nursing and healthcare:
    • Evaluate strengths, limitations and disparities in current healthcare systems and care to diverse populations
    • Integrate current theoretical and research literature to impact positively the quality of healthcare
    • Construct and evaluate new approaches to practice, utilizing a collaborative interdisciplinary approach.
  • Translate and utilize evidence-based concepts and information systems to promote optimal health in diverse populations, settings and systems:
    • Use databases, information technology and research methods to participate in data collection that generates and evaluates evidence-based practice
    • Design effective methods for the empowerment of healthcare consumers that encourages active participation in their own healthcare
    • Evaluate, apply and revise evidence-based practice protocols to promote wellness.
  • Create leadership roles and collaborate with other professionals to effect changes within complex systems of care:
    • Propose and implement ongoing changes in delivery approaches and healthcare systems to promote quality, safe care
    • Impact the ethical, economic, social and political issues that affect healthcare outcomes
    • Develop, advocate for, and promote healthcare initiatives at local, regional and national levels
    • Promote fiscally responsible, quality care
  • Pursue clinical scholarship and scientific inquiry to transform healthcare practice and systems:
    • Demonstrate accountability for and utilization of evidence-based practice principles in the practice of advanced nursing
    • Advance the practice of nursing through scholarship, mentorship and leadership efforts
    • Disseminate results of evidence-based practice protocols, systems changes and population healthcare initiatives

Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 28 percent increase in employment of advanced practice nurses between 2021 and 2031.1 When you graduate from the program, you’ll be ready to take on a variety of leadership positions and positively impact the nursing profession.

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HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment Program

Level of study: Masters or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) is a loan cancellation program with a service obligation for recipients of the loan.

To be eligible to receive an NFLP loan, a borrower must:

  • Be a citizen or national of the United States.
  • Be enrolled (full-time or part-time) in an eligible nursing program at the time the NFLP loan is established and must complete the education components to prepare qualified nurse faculty.
  • Maintain enrollment for a minimum of two terms/semesters during an academic year while receiving the NFLP loan.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA and be in good academic standing.
  • Have no judgment liens entered against him/her based on default on Federal debt, 28 U S C 3201.
  • Loan recipients must complete the education program and, following graduation, may cancel up to 85% of the NFLP loan over a consecutive 4-year period while serving as full-time nurse faculty at a school of nursing (i.e., baccalaureate or higher degree, associate degree or diploma schools of nursing) or obtain the equivalent, thereof, in several part time or adjunct positions. NFLP loans are available to eligible students for the cost of tuition, books, fees, and lab expenses.

Additionally, recipients who are non-MSN NCEL majors may be required to complete a minimum of 75 hours of teaching residency supervised by a nurse faculty member of her/his respective program.  

NFLP borrowers are limited to a 12-month time frame to establish employment as full-time nurse faculty at a school of nursing following graduation from the program. If employment verification is not submitted within the 12-month period, the loan will revert to a full term student loan and the borrower will NOT be eligible for the loan cancellation provision.

Grantees agree to serve in the stated faculty role of an accredited health professions school for a minimum of four years. Individuals selected to participate are granted cancellation of 20% of the principal and interest on the amount of the unpaid loan balance upon completion of each of the first, second, and third year of full-time nursing faculty employment, and 25% of the principal of and the interest on the amount of the unpaid loan balance upon the completion of the fourth year of full-time employment. Therefore, a maximum potential of 85% of the outstanding principal and interest can be canceled and paid by the Federal government. If the participant ceases employment after two years, the repayment schedule will be established for the remainder of the unpaid loan. To apply for the HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program, please contact Dr. Renee Ingel

Admissions Requirements

To apply for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Carlow University, you’ll need:

  • A completed online application.
  • An MSN from an accredited nursing program.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all schools attended.
  • A current, unrestricted RN license from the state or commonwealth in which you wish to complete your clinical coursework.
  • An interview with the Doctoral Nursing Admissions Subcommittee.
  • Documentation of verified clinical practice hours from a master’s program or certificate program.
  • Current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from a faculty member who can document your ability to complete master-level work and one from an employment supervisor who can attest to your professionalism.
  • A two-page writing sample stating goals for your doctoral education, including your personal philosophy of nursing practice, an area of study that is related to the AACN DNP essentials and how the completion of the degree will allow you to contribute to the profession.
  • University and clinical agency health requirements as per policy.
  • Applicants applying to Carlow’s online programs leading to licensure must be aware of their home state’s various professional license requirements. Please see the program admissions page for more details.
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Tuition Details

The online DNP program at Carlow University consists of 34 credit hours and costs $950 per credit hour.

Our team is committed to making your education affordable. We’re here to provide any help you need as you pursue your Doctor of Nursing Practice in our leadership-based program.

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Our responsive faculty and work collaboratively with students to help them achieve their goals. With the guidance of a dedicated faculty adviser, you’ll complete a scholarly project that demonstrates the value of a doctorally prepared nurse.

Meet Our Faculty

An Online Learning Experience Like No Other

When you join the Carlow family, you get an experienced and compassionate team dedicated to your personal and professional growth. Online learning at Carlow offers the flexibility you need while connecting you to a vibrant, close-knit and supportive community of instructors and learners.

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Financial Aid

We understand that pursuing higher education is an investment. Carlow’s staff is always available to answer questions and connect you to resources for loans, grants, scholarships and employer benefits.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Explore our frequently asked questions for in-depth answers. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, reach out to us.

Yes. You’ll share your learning with a group of students committed to similar goals.

The program is $950 per credit hour. Find out more about tuition, fees and financial aid.

Most of our faculty are full time. All are supportive and engaging throughout your educational experience. Meet our faculty.

Yes. Our program is CCNE accredited.

You can apply online. Learn more about the application process.

The program consists of 12-16 courses. Find out more about the curriculum.

Visit our FAQ page