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California Doctorate DNP Nursing Degrees

As a busy nurse, you know the importance of staying on top of patient care. If you’re ready to make a change from your current career, or you simply want to provide your patients with better outcomes, earning your doctor of nursing practice degree is a great way to open up your options. A DNP is a patient care focused degree that will help you increase your practical knowledge, helping your patients thrive.

SEE ALSO: California DNP Salary

A DNP is different from a Ph.D. in nursing. While both are advanced degrees and afford the recognition of the title of doctor, a Ph.D. is research-focused. Most nurses who earn their Ph.D. are interested in moving forward with nurse education or nurse research. A DNP is different. Nurses who earn their DNP are experts in patient care, and typically want to continue working either in direct patient care or in healthcare administration. Most nurses who choose to pursue doctorate-level education get their DNP degree.

If you’re a nurse in California, you have many options for schools to attend for your DNP degree. Let’s take a look at five of the most popular options for DNP degrees in California.

1. California State University, Long Beach

The California State University Long Beach DNP program is a flexible program that runs for five semesters. Students may choose to specialize in nurse anesthesia, furthering their career options after graduation.

  • Campus: Long Beach, California
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $2,500 to $4,000 per year. Total tuition will depend on a student’s prior experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two and a half years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Students must have their BSN, MSN, or master’s degree in a related field, have an RN license, and either be certified or be eligible to be certified as an advanced practice nurse.
  • Programs: Students have the option to specialize in nurse anesthesia.
  • School Site: The California State University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

2. Loma Linda University

The DNP program at Loma Linda University is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of nurses who work full time. The program aims to help nurses become independent advanced care providers who work to better serve their organization and patient population.

  • Campus: Loma Linda, California
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: The California Board of Registered Nursing
  • Tuition: Approximately $900 per credit, the total number of credits will depend on the student’s prior education.
  • Minimum time commitment: Four years
  • Online availability: Some
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have their BSN or MSN with a GPA of 3.0, an RN license, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, an in-person interview, and must take a health science reasoning test on-site.
  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • School Site: Loma Linda University – DNP program

3. Fresno State University

At Fresno State, the DNP program aims to help nurses advance their practice and leadership in nursing. The program works to educate nurses on the ever-increasing complexity of the American health care system while also keeping patient outcomes the top priority. While earning their degree, students will also complete coursework in teaching strategies and curriculum development, preparing them to take on the role of nurse educator in the future if they so choose.

  • Campus: Fresno, California
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition: Approximately $8,100 per semester
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have their MSN or master’s degree in a related field with a GPA of at least 3.0, an RN license, three letters of recommendation, practice experience as an APN, or other nursing experience, an in-person interview, an on-site writing assessment, and a written statement of purpose.
  • Programs: Students have the option of completing a nursing education practicum.
  • School Site: Fresno State – Doctor of Nursing Practice

4. University of San Diego

At the University of San Diego, the DNP program offers many specialties. This program offers both full and part-time study, making it an ideal choice for nurses who want to work at their own pace. Faculty membership and collaboration with classmates creates an enjoyable, productive program.

  • Campus: San Diego, California
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $22,000 per semester
  • Minimum time commitment: Three years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Students must have their BSN or MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0, an RN license, at least one year of acute care experience as an RN, three letters of recommendation, a goal statement, and successful completion of a basic statistics course. Applicants to emergency medicine specialties must also have at least one year of professional emergency care experience.
  • Programs: Students may choose from several specialties, including dual pediatric/ family nurse practitioner, dual adult-gerontology/ family nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner in emergency care, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner.
  • School Site: University of San Diego Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

5. Brandman University

The DNP program at Brandman University is designed for RNs and APRNs who are ready to take their nursing practice to the next level. The program emphasizes scientific underpinnings for practice, interprofessional collaboration, organizational and systems leadership, clinical scholarship, health care policy, population health and clinical prevention, and advanced practice registered nursing. Graduates of the DNP program at Brandman University are ready to take on advanced nursing and healthcare administration.

  • Campus: Irvine, California
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $1,000 per credit, the total number of credits required will depend on student’s prior education
  • Minimum time commitment: Three years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have their BSN or MSN, an RN license, and an in-person interview.
  • Programs: Students may choose from two specialties: psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and/or family/across the Lifespan nurse practitioner.
  • School Site: Brandman University – Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree in Nursing