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BSN to DNP Programs in Chicago

There are Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs available in Chicago for students who are eager to advance their nursing career without having to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) beforehand.

Admittance Requirements for a BSN to DNP Program

Prospective applicants hoping to be accepted into a BSN to DNP program should have earned a baccalaureate degree in nursing and be currently licensed as a registered nurse (RN). Applicants must also provide transcripts that show proof of a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Most programs also require the submission of three letters of recommendation in addition to a personal statement. GRE scores and related work experience could also be required.

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a BSN to DNP program with twelve areas of specialization that include family nurse practitioner (FNP) and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (ADACNP). Students typically require between three and five years to complete this program, which culminates in a DNP project.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago offers a BSN to DNP program with four distinct specialization areas that include a family nurse practitioner (FNP) track with an emphasis in ER care and an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) track with an emphasis in oncology. Depending on the area of specialization, programs require between 65 and 79 semester hours to complete.

Rush University

The BSN to DNP programs at Rush University are offered in 13 areas of specialization, including adult-gerontology primary care (AGPCNP) and family nurse practitioner (FNP). Students typically spend five years or less completing a BSN to DNP program at Rush University, which requires the presentation of a well-researched DNP project.

DePaul University

DePaul University currently offers three different degree tracks for students searching for a BSN to DNP program. Once admitted, students have the option of choosing the family nurse practitioner (FNP) track or the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP) track. Students are expected to earn the required 38 doctoral core credit hours and accomplish a DNP project to complete the program.

School NamePrograms OfferedGraduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of Illinois at ChicagoBSN to DNP$13,612 in-state, $23,299 out-of-state
Loyola University ChicagoBSN to DNP$18,594
Rush UniversityBSN to DNP$36,788
DePaul UniversityBSN to DNP$19,032

Source: *NCES

BSN to DNP Program Requirements and Courses

The transition from BSN to DNP can take up to six years to complete and requires an extensive knowledge of many medical topics in addition to thousands of hours of clinical experience. This curriculum allows nurses to enter a terminal degree program before earning their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, which can expedite career opportunities and growth.

Clinical Practicum

The most common course that BSN to DNP students are required to take is the clinical practicum, and it is often offered multiple times throughout the program. This course can be offered on campus or off-campus at a nearby medical facility. Students are supervised as they undergo hands-on training in their specialty area, thereby gaining valuable clinical experience that can be gauged by professionals.

Leadership in Healthcare

This course can help students identify their unique leadership style as well as prepare students for interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Topics often covered during this course include managerial styles, leadership ethics, and the responsibilities of a leader in a healthcare environment. Students might also examine change management strategies.

Advanced Pharmacology

Students in a BSN to DNP program are often required to take an advanced pharmacology course, which builds on previous knowledge relating to pharmacology. An advanced course often covers such topics as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in addition to drug classification. Completion of this course can result in a greater understanding of pharmacological interactions and mechanics.

Healthcare Economics and Policy

Healthcare economics and policy courses inform students of how a supply-and-demand economic system affects the internal workings of a healthcare practice. In addition, students are taught modern healthcare policies as they relate to finances, practice incentives, and malpractice economics. Students in this course can also learn how to use informatics to analyze healthcare delivery costs.

DNP Project

Nearly all BSN to DNP programs require the successful completion of course credits toward a DNP project. Though guidelines and specific rules vary from institution to institution, all DNP projects are based on both research and evidence. Students are assigned a faculty member who will assist them in choosing a topic, completing research on that topic, and performing an evaluation of the research in order to reach a valid evidence-based conclusion.

There are a few Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs in Chicago from which to choose, and each offers multiple areas of focus or specialization. The right school for you depends on many factors, including your desired specialization track and your tuition budget.