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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Quick facts about DNP program

The Expert Clinician Heading link

Students learning in lab

The DNP program is offered in a hybrid format consisting of online, on-site and blended courses, and culminating with a DNP project. All didactic coursework is online, and faculty arrange high-value clinicals for students in the vicinity of the student’s campus. Students graduate with an exceptional blend of clinical, organizational, financial and leadership skills—prepared not only to improve outcomes for their own patients, but also to contribute to the transformation of health care.

All 12 focus areas of the DNP program are offered at all six campuses: Chicago, Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield and Urbana. Students admitted to regional campuses may have to travel to Chicago or another region for NURS 532 Comprehensive Health Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice lab.

Application deadline is January 15 each year.

Learn about applying →

*Please note some deadline exceptions may apply for our active military applicants. Please reach out to if you have any questions.

International Applicants

The DNP program does not meet F-1/J-1 student visa requirements. Applicants in other visa categories should check regulations for their specific visa type before applying.

  • # 14 UIC Nursing's DNP program is ranked No. 14 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report

  • 12 The number of focus areas in which we offer the DNP ... and there's also a post-master's option

  • 92 % The percentage of UIC DNP grads who pass their certification exams

Learn about all 12 of our focus areas

As a UIC DNP student, clinical rotations are arranged for you. Heading link

All DNP students at UIC are assigned highly qualified preceptors at desirable clinical sites, selected by knowledgeable program directors. By partnering with skilled preceptors in a variety of healthcare settings, we ensure that each of our students is provided with the best mentorship experiences while learning the necessary clinical practice skills. These rotations, paired with high-quality simulation scenarios also included in our curriculum, combine to give students a broad range of advanced, hands-on patient-management experiences.

Learn more at an info session near you

DNP vs. PhD: Which program is right for you

Program length Heading link

Happy student

Most students complete the DNP program in 2 to 6 years. Once enrolled, a faculty advisor works with each student to create an individualized program plan. Program length depends on several factors, including the chosen focus area, full- or part-time enrollment, and route of entry:

  • Students entering with an MS typically complete the program in 2 to 4 years, depending on focus area.
  • Students entering with a BSN typically complete the program in 3 to 5 years.
  • Students entering as licensed RNs with a bachelor’s in a non-nursing field typically complete the program in 4 to 6 years.

For APRNs who want to expand or deepen their expertise Heading link

For APRNs with MS degrees who want a DNP

APRNs who have a master’s degree in any of the 12 focus areas offered by the UIC College of Nursing may apply for a post-master’s DNP. The program will include didactic coursework as well as a DNP project and practicum experience. In the end, each student has the 1,000 clinical hours required to earn a DNP.

For DNP-prepared APRNs who want another focus area

The post-DNP certificate programs are designed for DNP-prepared advanced practice nurses to qualify for national credentialing in a focus area in which they are not currently credentialed. Post-DNP certificates are offered in all 10 UIC Nursing programs that lead to advanced practice roles as nurse practitioners or nurse midwives. As with the full DNP program, the post-DNP programs admit students in the fall, and the application deadline is January 15.

Are you an RN with a non-nursing bachelor's degree? Heading link

Generic DNP student

The DNP Transition Program is the route of entry to the DNP for students with an RN license and a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.

  • Transition students are required to take up to four additional courses, determined upon admission. Courses are NURS 212, 232, 312 and 352.
  • All transition courses are delivered online in eight-week modules taught by UIC Nursing faculty.
  • Students are assessed professional student tuition/fees, and course credits are applied the same as graduate degree courses.
  • All required transition courses are to be completed during the first fall/spring semesters following admission to the College of Nursing and before beginning any coursework in the DNP degree.

Certificate Programs: Be a Lifelong Learner

What people are saying Heading link

Ebonie Zielinski

“At UIC Nursing, it doesn’t matter which campus you attend; you are a part of a large community. Knowledgeable faculty, mentors and friends have helped me through the rigorous program. And being a UIC grad carries a lot of weight in the nursing community because of how well the college prepares you to take on the advanced practice nurse role as both a clinician and a leader.”

Ebonie Zielinski  |  DNP '22
Tosha Donnals

“My clinical experiences and the reputation of the UIC College of Nursing helped me to stand out in a sea of candidates. Now I’ll be one of two nurse practitioners to start a whole new program for stroke patients, and I definitely feel my education at UIC has prepared me for the journey ahead.”

Tosha Donnals  |  DNP ’21
logo of Greater Elgin Family Care Center

“Greater Elgin Family Care Center has employed a number of nurse practitioners educated at UIC. They are universally well-prepared via their classroom instruction and clinical rotations. They all possess a command of both the hard and soft skills necessary to effectively provide primary healthcare to our patients, significantly contributing to our award-winning clinical outcomes. To be honest, [an application from] an NP from UIC goes to the top of the pile.”

Robert M. Tanner  |  President/CEO, Greater Elgin (IL) Family Care Center

Meet DNP students

All campuses offer this program Heading link

Need to reach the DNP program director? Contact Melissa Carlucci, DNP, ACNP-BC.

Need More Information? Heading link

Submit this form and an Enrollment Advisor will contact you to answer your questions.