Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice

Madonna University’s online post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree transforms students into nursing leaders capable of shaping the future of healthcare systems. The changing demands in the nation’s health care environment require nurses to have the highest level of scientific knowledge, practice expertise, and organizational skills. 

Specifically for those with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, this online DNP degree program exposes students to higher level interdisciplinary concepts that elevate their nursing training and professional abilities.

Madonna’s history of excellence in nursing education shines through in the DNP program, which offers the highest level of nursing education to students, ensuring they are prepared and ready to influence healthcare outcomes through policy and patient care.

The MSN to DNP program is 100% online and can be completed in two years (seven semesters).

Interdisciplinary, Advanced Curriculum for Working Professionals

Designed for students with an MSN degree, the DNP curriculum includes 33 semester hours taken entirely online focused on preparing nurse leaders who are able to maximize quality, reduce cost, and increase access to health care. The curriculum covers topics such as economic and financial management, health policy analysis, advanced research methods, scientific inquiry, and interprofessional development. Explore the complete post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum.

The DNP degree is a professional practice degree that prepares graduates for leadership roles at the highest level of nursing practice, influence health care practice, and directly impact health care policy. 

Additionally, this doctoral nursing degree program is offered entirely online, providing much needed flexibility to nursing professionals who often have highly demanding jobs, allowing them to build a schedule tailored to their needs without disrupting their current careers. Most students complete the online DNP degree program within two years through full- or part-time study.

DNP Hands-On Scholarly Project

 DNP students will develop a theory-driven Scholarly Project that reflects on a phenomenon of interest in nursing and includes development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination components. The student works collaboratively with faculty and in partnership with health care organizations to implement and evaluate the results.

Through the Scholarly Project, students exhibit their advanced interpersonal and leadership skill development. This reflects the student’s ability to effectively and efficiently influence health care teams and systems for positive improvement to the delivery of patient care.

Long-Term Professional Impact of a Doctorate in Nursing

With the goal of developing nursing leaders and executives, the DNP degree program fosters rapid career development for students. Madonna students quickly gain confidence in their leadership ability and skill, allowing them to apply learned concepts in the workplace 

Many higher-level positions in nursing and the medical field require an advanced nursing degree. As a result, DNP graduates go on to pursue employment in a wide range of advanced healthcare and educational settings in positions such as nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, consultants, medical writers, and health administrative executives.

Furthermore, graduates of the DNP program see the benefits of long term job security and overall increased earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) is projected to grow at a rate of 26% from 2018-2028.

Experienced, Dedicated Nursing Faculty

The Madonna University nursing faculty is comprised of advanced practitioners, researchers, administrators, and educators in the nursing field. They are dedicated to supporting student success, serving as role models and mentors throughout the degree program. Reflecting the strength of the Madonna community, they combine their diverse experience with their desire to work one-on-one with students to facilitate deeper, actionable learning.

Nursing instruction in a hands-on environment

Nursing Faculty

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Program Accreditation

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Madonna University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program are required to submit the following items in consideration for admission: 

  • Completed online application for graduate admission and admission essays
  • Completion of a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official transcript from all colleges and universities attended
  • Current unencumbered RN license in the United States
  • Two letters of professional recommendation, one of whom must be a nurse with an advanced degree
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Admission interview with program director

Learn more about Madonna University's graduate admission process.

Lead the Future of Nursing with a DNP

Madonna University’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice program develops nurses who already have an MSN degree into leaders through a curriculum that focuses on an interdisciplinary knowledge base and advanced interprofessional skill set. The DNP degree sets the stage for career advancement and a lifelong commitment to serving communities.

Ready to elevate your career as a nursing leader? Request more information about the post master's DNP degree or apply now!

Career Options

Students who have completed their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees are able to gain employment in healthcare settings, in educational settings, in private practice, as consultants, as writers, or as administrative leaders depending on one’s personal interest and previous experiences.

Student Success

Stephanie Brady

Stephanie Brady, DNP, APRN-BC

Dr. Brady was able to advance from being a System Nursing Administrator for Behavioral Health Services to a Vice President of Care Transitions for the Ascension St. John Providence Health System following her graduation from the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program. In her position, Dr. Brady is responsible for ambulatory services, establishing relationships with community partners, and program development. She has been awarded more than $10 million in grant funding related to health care redesign. Dr. Brady continuously provides mentorship experiences for students that are studying health care leadership — nursing students, administrative interns and fellows, and social workers — as a way to support health care of the future.

As a member of the initial Madonna cohort program for Doctorate of Nursing Practice, she found the program to be very beneficial in learning more about population health, health care policy, and health care reform. Madonna University was very adaptable in designing a program that allowed its class members to work while attending school.

Student Success

Michelle Moccia

(Joan) Michelle Moccia, DNP, ANP-BC, CCRN

Michelle is a recent DNP graduate. Her primary role at Saint Mary Mercy Hospital is the Program Director of the Senior ER, the first in Michigan, and voted the Best Nursing Team Regionally and Nationally in 2015 (Advance). She also is a member a number of committees/teams in the hospital (Stroke Team, Primary Percutaneous Interventional Team, Palliative Care, NICHE, Advanced Practice Council, Senior Council, Senior ER Team, and Readmission).

Michelle is using the information from Population Health and Leadership to build a new model of care to reduce older adult hospital admission. Michelle is the initiator of a grass root organization STARForUM (Safe Transition of All Residents For yoU & Me) committed to improving transition of care between aged care facilities and the Emergency Department (www.stmarymercy.org/starforum). The group was recognized as a semi-finalist in the Robert Wood Johnson video contest on improving transition of care, featured in the Emergency Nursing Association (ENA) Connection Magazine and Michigan Peer Review newsletter, and recently recognized as a finalist in the Sepsis Hero contest sponsored by Sepsis Alliance.

Moreover, Michelle is a member of the ENA Geriatric Task Force aimed at improving care for the older adult, Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurse Association Chair of Chapter Leadership (GAPNA), member of multiple GAPNA Special Interest Groups (Research, Palliative, Long Term Care, and Health Affairs) and recently was nominated to the President-Elect position term beginning September 2016.

She contends the essentials of the Doctorate of Nursing Program along with collegial faculty has contributed to her confidence to be an effective team leader and member. The DNP program curriculum both online and in-person class time enabled Michelle to continue working full time dedicated to improve care of the older adult.

Michelle has a passion for learning and sharing her education. She is active in the community speaking on topics such as sepsis, advance care planning, being prepared in case of an emergency, and stroke awareness. She also created “Plan in a Can”: a tennis ball can transformed into a container to hold emergency information for homebound seniors. Dr. Moccia actively participates in mentoring other students from Madonna University and other universities as a way to support the future of nursing.


Nursing Administration / Leadership (MSN)

Prepares professional nurses to enter leadership roles in healthcare delivery organizations

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Nurse Practitioner Programs (MSN)

Become ANCC/AANP certified and obtain Nurse Practitioner specialty certification by the State of Michigan

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