ADN to DNP Programs

Completing an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) to a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program can take up to 6 years of study. To get into these programs you generally need to be a licensed nurse and have some experience working in the field.

Common Areas of Study For ADN to DNP programs

Completing an accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing can take between four and six years to complete and there are some online options available. In addition to completing around 1,000 clinical hours of practice, there are a number of courses commonly found in these programs that will help to build on students' foundational knowledge base.

Health Assessment

Being able to properly assess a patient is one of the key components of being a nurse, and these types of courses are designed to teach you about the process; how to recognise certain signs, what questions to ask patients, how to take vitals and to know when they are abnormal, and how to compile cohesive notes so they are easily discernable to other members of the health care team.

Pathophysiology & Pharmacology

Courses on pathophysiology and pharmacology demonstrate to students how the systems of the body are interconnected and how medicines and drugs are used effectively in treatment. These courses may use evidence-based research as a foundation for learning and they aim to give students an advanced understanding of the body systems and key pathophysiological processes.

Health Policy and Advocacy

It is important to understand the policies in place in the healthcare system and be able to advocate these policies for you and your patient's protection and future social justice. Classes on health policy and advocacy are key to helping students understand the effect the policies have on health care, the system and the scope of nursing. Nurses are the voice for advocating social change to health care policies, and in this course, students could learn about the process for designing and implementing new policies, and how they can help to drive positive forward-thinking.

Health Promotion

Health promotion classes should give students the tools they need to educate patients on best practices to improve upon, or maintain, their health. Students may learn about patient-centered care and the idea of holistic treatments and also develop skills for helping to educate the wider community. Students may also take certain courses in this area that can equip them to work in international communities and work specifically with women's health.


Earning a DNP is the highest level of nursing available and as such, students who complete this level of study will be looked upon to provide leadership in certain scenarios, as a result of their expert knowledge. Leadership courses aim to give students the confidence and skills to demonstrate leadership in a healthcare setting. These courses may provide scenario-based learning to allow students to learn how to deal with certain situations that may arise and they also tend to look at teamwork and how to recognize and utilize people's strengths and weaknesses.

Statistics & Biostatistics

A foundation level course could introduce students to statistics and biostatistics. These courses aim to provide an understanding of how to analyze and interpret statistics and how to use evidence-based research to evaluate data. Students could learn about probability theories, hypothesis testing, and sampling techniques during this course. Biostatistics classes will focus more on the public and population health, exploring concepts for prevention and risk reduction of the spread of potentially harmful diseases.

Admissions Criteria

In addition to holding a current RN license, students are expected to have completed an ADN from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA. Most schools require students to have already completed professional hours of work, with around a minimum of a year of work experience. Students may need to submit two to three letters reference from either academic or professional sources, in addition to completing the application form, and in some cases a letter of intent. If students have not achieved a certain grade in previous courses or if they have not completed a bachelor degree in the nursing field, they may be required to complete some prerequisite courses.

Completing an ADN to DNP program can be highly intensive and can take a number of years, during which time students should be prepared to study topics such as pharmacology, health policy, and health assessment. Applicants are required to hold an Associate in Nursing degree and hold a current registered nurse license.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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