Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Best Grad Schools, US News, Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice 2018The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program prepares graduates for the highest level of advanced nursing practice based on a distinct model of doctoral nursing education that culminates in the terminal degree. The USD School of Nursing and Health Science offers both the MSN-DNP and the BSN-DNP programs.

The MSN- DNP program is offered for master’s prepared advanced practice registered nurses and master’s prepared nurses who are informaticists. Students gain additional knowledge and clinical expertise in a defined area of advanced nursing practice. Business aspects of clinical practice will provide a foundation for DNP Scholarly Practice and the final project. The program is 34 units in length.

The BSN -DNP program is offered for RNs who desire preparation in primary care as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Family Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care (FNP/ENP), dual Pediatric/Family Nurse Practitioner (PNP/FNP),  dual Adult-Gerontology/Family Nurse Practitioner (AGNP/FNP), or Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Graduates of a master's entry program in nursing are also eligible to apply. The BSN-DNP program requires 3 years of full-time study; part-time study is also available. The curriculum ranges from 78-83 units depending on the focus of study and prior preparation. Graduates are eligible to write national certification examinations appropriate to their educational preparation.

BSN to DNP Program

MSN to DNP Program


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Tanya D. Stevenson-Gaines, DNP, PMHNP

"I enrolled in the University of San Diego Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the end of completing a 26-year active duty Navy Nursing Career. The scientific, technological, and leadership education that I received in classroom, simulation, and clinical settings prepared me to graduate with a solid foundation. I was continuously provided with academic challenge, support, and encouragement. I am grateful for the noteworthy instruction that I received from faculty with expertise in patient care across the life span. That mentorship helped to make my professional destiny a reality!" - Tanya Stevenson-Gaines, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC