Online DNP Programs in Virginia
Registered nurses who aspire to become advanced practice nurses or work in healthcare administration can complete an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as part of that career shift. Students may be required to come to campus once per semester, but these programs are mostly online.
The DNP at Hampton is designed for individuals who have a Master of Science in Nursing and requires students to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours and 500 clinical hours. Students are required to complete three campus residency sessions during their time in the degree program, otherwise, the program is entirely online.
James Madison University
This practice-focused online Doctor of Nursing Practice has full- or part-time options, and two focus areas to choose from: Leadership in Healthcare Systems, or Advanced Practice Nursing. This degree program is great for individuals who aspire to have an influence on healthcare policy while still treating patients.
There are two options for students who want to purse a DNP at Marymount: the BSN to DNP, or the Post-MSN to DNP. No matter which path a student chooses, they must complete a residency program that puts them at 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience post-baccalaureate.
Shenandoah University offers a BSN to DNP program, as well as an MSN-DNP program, which are fully online and can be completed in eight semesters. Students can choose from two concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner, or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Virginia Commonwealth University
The DNP at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) requires that students come to campus at the beginning of each semester. This program is eight semesters long, although some students may be interested in and qualify for the accelerated option.
|School Name||Programs Offered||Tuition (2019-2020)|
|Hampton University||Doctor of Nursing Practice (online)||$695 per credit hour*|
|James Madison University||Doctor of Nursing Practice (online)||$542 per credit hour in-state, $1,274 per credit hour, out-of-state*|
|Marymount University||Doctor of Nursing Practice (online)||$1,050 per credit hour*|
|Shenandoah University|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice |
Master of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice (online)
|$890 per credit hour*|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Doctor of Nursing Practice (online)||$700 per credit hour*|
Sources: *.edu School websites
Admission Requirements for a Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
Some programs allow students with a bachelor's degree in nursing to enter the DNP programs, but others require that students have a Master of Science in Nursing. All students, regardless of degree level, must have a license to practice nursing in their state, and submit three letters of recommendation. A requirement of a grade point average from 3.0-3.5 minimum on prior academic work is typical. Applicants must submit proof of clinical hours that they have already completed, and in preparation for future clinical work, must submit proof of vaccinations, health insurance coverage, and malpractice insurance coverage as well.
How to Earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice in an online program
Students who enroll in a Doctor of Nursing Practice online program learn about how they can influence policy as they work in healthcare administration or as a nurse practitioner to a specific population. These programs may take up to three years to complete, and some have part-time or full-time options for students to choose from.
Organizational Behavior and Leadership
Courses in these topics give students an opportunity to explore how leadership and change happen in a healthcare system. Students often learn about organizational processes that work, skills used in system assessment. They also learn how to create a system intervention that could make a difference. These classes introduce research and theories that advanced practice nurses can use to better understand how leadership, management, and behavior come together in healthcare teams.
In this type of course, students learn about how research and evidence-based practice comes together. Some schools split these into two or more courses, focusing on specific health populations, although some may take a more general approach. These courses help students to learn how to design and conduct research. Some focus on best practices to care for individuals with chronic conditions, and how to interact with those individuals. Other courses focus on how to create public health programs that can reach a wider audience.
Most DNP programs require students to complete an advanced nursing practicum to put the knowledge and skills they learned in the program to work in the real world. Students are expected to demonstrate how well they understand and implement the theoretical learning and skills they've gained, in order to make decisions for patients. Knowledge of organizational systems, principles of business, healthcare policy and how to work with other team members are all topics that students are expected to put into action during this course. Some schools allow students to repeat their residency for credit, and usually require that students already have a set number of clinical practice hours.
The DNP project is another common requirement in these programs. Students work with a faculty mentor to develop and complete a scholarly project in their area of interest. This clinical project may be repeated in some schools. Often, this project is designed to benefit a certain population or to improve processes.
In this course, students familiarize themselves with current issues in the healthcare system. They will learn how to analyze the issues to look for and develop solutions that could improve those problems. Students will also learn about the political aspect of healthcare policy, and how politics plays a role in shaping and implementing these policies. They also explore the role of things like social justice, access to care and being able to afford healthcare play a role in how easily people obtain healthcare when needed.
An online Doctor of Nursing Practice is meant to help to aspire advanced practice nurses or administrators better understand the business side of healthcare, and how improvements and changes in the healthcare system could affect different populations. These programs have required clinical practice aspects, and projects meant to give individuals real-world experience in advanced care nursing.