What Is a DNP Nurse Educator Degree?

A DNP nurse educator degree is a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree that concentrates on nursing education. This degree prepares nurses explicitly to teach nursing to other nurses or nursing students. Nurse educators must have a solid clinical background and good communication skills. They need to be flexible to adapt to changing technologies and methodologies. A DNP in Nursing Education is an excellent choice for those who wish to go beyond the MSN Nurse Educator degree level.

A DNP may consist of 39-48 credits and take as little as 18 months or seven years, primarily due to your prior education. Before you commit, you should check with the school you are considering to find out how long its students usually take to complete the program. It’s also of great importance to choose a properly accredited nurse educator DNP program. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits DNP-level programs.

2024 - Best DNP in Nursing Education Programs

Welcome to NurseEducator.com's rankings, where we have used a comprehensive methodology to assess and rank the best nursing schools in the United States. Our rankings are based on a variety of factors, including completion rates, program competitiveness, cost of living, diversity of program offerings, and faculty experience. We believe that these criteria provide an accurate and comprehensive overview of the top nursing schools in the country. To learn more about our methodology, please visit our methodology page.


Post University

Waterbury, CT

Post University is a private, non-profit institution located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a medium-sized university with a diverse population of over 5,000 students. Post offers a wide range of programs, including an online DNP in Nursing Education. The program is designed to prepare nurses for advanced roles in leadership, education, and research.


Arkansas State University

Jonesboro, AR

Arkansas State University, located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, is a public university. With an enrollment of over 14,000 students, Arkansas State is one of the largest universities in the state. The university offers a wide range of degree programs, including an Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a specialization in Nursing Education. With its convenient online format, Arkansas State provides students with an accessible way to pursue a higher degree.


Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Grand Canyon University is a private, Christian university located in Phoenix, Arizona. With over 20,000 students enrolled, it is one of the largest private, non-profit universities in the United States. GCU offers a wide range of programs, including a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a specialization in Nursing Education. This program is offered both online and on-campus, allowing students to pursue their degree without interruption to their work, family, and other commitments.

Tuition can vary greatly depending on the college or university you choose. For example, tuition at Grand Canyon University is $725 per credit or $617.50 per credit for students in the military or their spouses. At Regis College, tuition for either the BSN to DNP or MSN to DNP is $925 per credit. Online Nursing Education DNP programs are usually more affordable than traditional campus-based options, but this can also vary based on the school and program chosen.

The required courses vary from school to school, but most have similar requirements. At Grand Canyon University, the following courses are required:

  • Introduction to DNP Studies: An introductory DNP course.
  • Health Care Informatics: Introduces the information systems that support population health and medicine.
  • Emerging Areas of Human Health: Focuses on new areas of biomedical and biobehavioral health.
  • Scientific Underpinnings: Focuses on the scientific underpinnings of nursing practice.
  • Translational Research and Evidence-Based Practice: Application of nursing principles.
  • Population Management: Tackling health disparities in the community.
  • Patient Outcomes and Sustainable Change: Ensure quality healthcare and safety for patients.
  • Facilitation of Learning in Nursing Education: How to help nursing students learn better and faster.
  • Curriculum Design and Assessment: How to evaluate students and design curriculums.
  • Nursing Program Development and Educational Leadership: Creating effective nursing programs.
  • Leadership for Advanced Nursing Practice: Students learn what it takes to be a leader in advanced nursing practice.
  • Data Analysis: Analyzing healthcare data.
  • DPI Project: The project is divided into three parts, each worth four credits.

Are Online DNP Nurse Educator Degree Programs Available?

Yes, there are online DNP nurse educator degree programs. Pittsburgh State University offers an online MSN to DPN with an education emphasis, Grand Canyon University offers an online DNP in Educational Leadership, and Chamberlain University offers an online DNP in Educational Leadership. These are just a few examples.

When choosing an online program, ask whether there are any in-person requirements. Some schools require that you attend orientations or practicums in person. Also, when enrolling in any nursing program, check to see what clinical requirements or internships are required. These are often completed in person as well. However, many schools allow you to try to make arrangements to find local healthcare organizations that will enable you to fulfill your clinical or internship requirements.

DNP Nursing Education Bridge Programs

DNP nurse educator bridge programs are designed to transfer students from one degree to another. Two types of DNP nurse educator bridge programs are BSN to DNP Nurse Educator and MSN to DNP Nurse Educator.

BSN to DNP Nursing Education Programs

A BSN to DNP program takes a student with a BSN and gets them to their DNP. Usually, they do not earn an MSN as part of the program. The program may take four years or more to complete and requires more credits than an MSN to DNP program. Tuition varies from school to school, often reaching $700-900 per credit range.

MSN to DNP Nursing Education Programs

Most DNP programs are MSN to DNP programs. Depending on the program, they can take anywhere from 18 months to several years to complete. Tuition is often in the $600-900 per credit range, and the programs typically require 39-48 credits.

Nurse Education DNP vs. Other Doctorate Degree Types

There are three types of doctoral degrees you can get in nurse education: a nurse educator Ph.D. degree, a Nurse Educator DNP, or a Nurse Educator Ed.D. degree. Here is what you should know about each one:

  • Nurse Educator DNP: A DNP degree prepares nurses for nursing practice. It is more focused on clinical nursing skills.
  • Nurse Educator Ph.D.: A Ph.D. is a research degree. This degree is for nurses who want to research to find the best methods for teaching nursing.
  • Nurse Educator Ed.D.: An Ed.D. degree is an education degree. It focuses more on teaching strategies and methodologies.

Nurse Educator Degree Type Comparison

Degree TypeDescription LengthTypical Career Outcomes
MSN Nurse EducatorA Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Nurse Education.2-3 yearsNurse educator positions in academic institutions, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. May also pursue leadership positions in nursing education.
Post-Master’s Certificate Nurse EducatorA post-master’s certificate program focused on nurse education.1 year or lessDesigned for nurses with an MSN or DNP who want to specialize in nurse education. Can also be taken as a standalone certificate for those who already have a graduate degree in nursing.
DNP Nurse EducatorA Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a specialization in Nurse Education.3-4 yearsAdvanced nurse educator positions in academic institutions and healthcare organizations. May also pursue leadership roles in nursing education or clinical practice.
Ph.D. Nurse EducatorA Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing with a focus on nursing education research.4-5 yearsTenure-track academic positions, research roles in healthcare organizations, and leadership positions in nursing education.
Ed.D. Nurse EducatorA Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with a specialization in Nursing Education.3-4 yearsDesigned for nurse educators who want to pursue leadership roles in academic institutions or healthcare organizations. May also be useful for those who want to focus on nursing education policy and advocacy.
Note: Program lengths may vary depending on the specific institution and program. These are just general estimates.

List of DNP Nursing Education Degree Programs

Are you in search of an online or campus-based DNP Nurse Educator program near you? Explore our state-by-state listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


3300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(855) 428-5673


DNP Programs
2105 East Aggie Rd
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(866) 621-8096


800 Country Club Road
Waterbury, CT 06723
(800) 660-6615


401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 253-3333


DNP Programs
82 College Circle
Dahlonega, GA 30597
(706) 864-1543


DNP Programs
1221 North Swift Road
Addison, IL 60101
(877) 751-5783


MSN to DNP Programs
235 Wellesley St
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000


DNP Programs
4001 W. McNichols Road
Detroit, MI 48221
(313) 993-1245

New Jersey

400 Cedar Avenue
West Long Branch, NJ 07764
(732) 571-3400

North Carolina

DNP Programs
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 962-3000

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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