As the demand for highly qualified nursing professionals continues to grow, pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in nursing education is an attractive pathway for those aspiring to shape the next generation of healthcare practitioners. However, the cost of advanced education can be a significant concern for many prospective students. Below, we dig deeper into the realm of affordability, exploring some of the most cost-effective DNP nurse educator programs available so that you can achieve your dream of becoming a nurse educator.

1. Arkansas State University

Located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Arkansas State University’s DNP Nurse Educator program offers a flexible and affordable online pathway for nurses seeking to advance their careers in nurse education. The program, accredited by ACEN, focuses on relevant nursing and educator expertise, including healthcare informatics, policy, leadership, finance, and translational research. Students can personalize their experience by selecting their area of interest for study and completing clinicals in their workplace. The program prepares graduates for educator roles in healthcare, such as university nursing faculty, nursing school academic administrator, clinical education director, and director of nursing education.

Total Tuition Cost: $16,416

Online Option: Yes

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2. Pittsburg State University (MSN to DNP)

Kansas’ Pittsburg State University offers a DNP in Nursing Education which prepares nurses for leadership roles in nursing education through a focus on instructional design, leadership, curriculum development, and effective teaching strategies. The program aims to develop Nurse Educators who can positively impact healthcare education and contribute to the advancement of the field. Course topics include testing and evaluation, curriculum development, and teaching strategies, with a practicum offering hands-on experience in an educational setting under the guidance of experienced educators.

Total Tuition Cost: $21,489

Online Option: Yes

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3. Regis College (MSN to DNP)

Regis College’s MSN to DNP in Nurse Education is an online program with a competency-based curriculum that prepares nurses for various teaching modalities. The program focuses on developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to support learning outcomes, provide critical feedback, and educate future nurses effectively. Regis College, known for its holistic approach to healthcare education, offers industry-active faculty, cutting-edge coursework, and a range of majors and graduate programs, impacting the educational community and healthcare landscape.

Total Tuition Cost: $27,486

Online Option: Yes

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4. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University’s DNP in Educational Leadership offers courses focusing on teaching strategies, curriculum development, and student assessments. This program aims to prepare nurse leaders to inspire and educate the next generation of nurses, ultimately improving healthcare delivery. With a focus on evidence-based practice, collaboration, and leadership, graduates are empowered to enhance healthcare and patient outcomes. The program, emphasizing a Christian worldview, encourages values-based leadership and cultural sensitivity in patient care.

Total Tuition Cost: $27,600

Online Option: Yes

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5. Vanderbilt University

Located in Nashville, Vanderbilt University’s DNP program with a nursing education emphasis prepares nurses to be leaders and scholars in academic, administrative, and practice roles. The program offers multiple options for engagement based on student goals, allowing DNP students to enroll in individual courses or pursue a full post-master’s certificate in nursing education. This emphasis is ideal for those seeking to enhance their career in nursing education or prepare for leadership roles in academic settings.

Total Tuition Cost: $29,085

Online Option: No

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6. Post University

Post University, located in Connecticut, offers an online DNP in Educational Leadership which prepares nurse educators and leaders with key competencies in leadership, finance, curriculum development, education policy, research, and strategic planning. This program is designed to enhance teaching and leadership skills for nursing education departments, schools, and systems. As one of the few DNP programs with a specialization in educational leadership, it offers a valuable investment in personal and professional growth.

Total Tuition Cost: $32,340

Online Option: Yes

Visit program website

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Jillian Lohman, DNP, MSN, RN
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