DNP Dual Degree Programs

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the top level of education for nurses. Ambitious students can combine a DNP program with a second graduate degree to further establish themselves as leaders in the field of nursing.

Comparing Dual DNP Degree Program Options

Dual DNP and Master of Nursing (MSN)

In general, a Masters of Nursing (MSN) is a prerequisite degree students must earn before starting a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program. Some universities allow students to save time and money by studying for both degrees at once. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) with a high GPA, be a registered nurse, and have considerable experience in nursing practice. Students start by taking core courses in medical research, healthcare ethics, healthcare leadership, and evidence-based practice before choosing one specific APNP (advanced practice nurse practitioner) concentration. Depending on their chosen concentration, graduates go can go on to be nurse midwives, family nurse practitioners, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, or another variety of advanced practice nurses.

Dual DNP and Master of Public Administration/Policy

Applicants who already hold their APNP qualifications can still benefit from a DNP program. Post-masters degree applicants may qualify for dual degree programs where they earn a DNP alongside a master's degree in a related topic. A dual DNP and Master of Public Administration program balances nursing clinical with classes on the foundations of public service, budgeting and financial management and organizational behavior. To apply to this three-year program, students must be practicing nurses and submit applications to both the nursing school and the graduate department of public administration. Graduates often go on to careers as nursing administrators in hospitals or clinics.

Dual DNP and Master of Public Health

Practicing nurses who seek to enhance their understanding of health delivery can complement their DNP with a public health master's degree. DNP nurses are leaders in their clinic and thus benefit from an understanding of the larger structures at play in delivering quality public health to the populations that they serve. Public health equips DNPs to utilize population data and statistical research in their area of practice. Students complete nursing clinicals, a nursing research project, and the core courses of a public health master's degree (like foundations of public health, fundamentals of epidemiology, and issues in environmental & occupational Health). By sharing credit between their DNP and MPA courses, students finish both degrees in less time.

Dual DNP and Master of Business Administration

Students interested in becoming administrators or executives in a hospital should consider a dual DNP and Master of Business Administration. Rather than choosing their own electives, students take the core courses for an advanced nursing practice degree alongside the core courses for a business administration degree. Because students are enrolled simultaneously in business and nursing schools, applicants must be registered nurses (with a master's degree) and pass the minimum requirements for business graduate school (common requirements include letters of recommendation, college transcripts, GRE/GMAT test scores and a GPA over 3.0). In some cases, the GRE/GMAT test score requirement for business school may be waived. At the end of the course, students are awarded two separate degrees, a DNP with a concentration in executive leadership and an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management.

Dual DNP and PhD

A dual DNP and Ph.D. program, available to the most competitive DNP applicants, combines the advanced clinical practice of a DNP degree with the independent research project of a Ph.D. Students apply simultaneously to both programs, thus they must have a nursing license, a master's degree in nursing and demonstrated success in medical research. Candidates can choose one DNP specialization track (like adult-gerontology, family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist or nurse-midwifery) to guide the course of their studies and research. After five years of study and research, students defend their independent research project before a panel of academic experts. Graduates can choose to use their DNP to work as advanced practice nurses (APNPs) or use their Ph.D. to pursue post-secondary teaching and further medical research.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
DNP/MSN Degree 3 years Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Nursing License
Advanced Practice Nurse
Nurse administrator
DNP/MPA Degree 3 years Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Nursing License
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Nursing Administrator
DNP/MPH Degree 2-3 yearsMaster of Nursing (MSN)
Nursing License
Nonprofit Manager in Public Health Field
Public Health Policy Advisor
DNP/MBA Degree3 yearsBachelor degree
Nursing license
Hospital Executive
Nursing Administrator
DNP/Ph.D. Degree 5 years Master of Nursing
Nursing License
Professor of Nursing
Medical Researcher

A dual DNP degree allows you to earn the highest accolade in the nursing profession alongside a complimentary advanced degree. These programs prepare nurses to rise to the top of their field.

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.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »