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Illinois DNP Doctorate Nursing Degrees

As a nurse, your time is valuable. Long hours, commuting, and continuing education requirements can make it hard to decide to further your education. Luckily, many colleges and universities in the state of Illinois offer programs to help busy nurses take their education to the next level.

A doctorate of nursing practice degree is an advanced practice education option that helps you achieve the highest level of education available in nursing while still providing direct patient care. Most nurses who choose to earn their doctorate choose a DNP. While both a DNP degree and a Ph.D. are doctoral programs, they are quite different from one another. A Ph.D. focuses on research and many nurses who earn their Ph.D. go on to become nurse educators or nurse researchers. While both of these career options are available to nurses who earn their DNP, most DNP nurses continue to provide direct patient care, even if on a part-time basis.

Nursing schools understand that your schedule is difficult to manage, and many institutions offer partial or fully online program options for nurses pursuing their DNP. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular DNP programs in Illinois.

1. Illinois State University

If you’re thinking about taking your nursing skills to the next level, Illinois State University offers a comprehensive, completely online DNP program that can help you reach the top of your field. Graduates of the Illinois State University emerge ready to take on leadership roles both in nursing and in healthcare administration. The DNP degree is focused on teaching nurses how to provide evidence-based care to patients and use their knowledge of care to inform healthcare administrative decisions.

  • Campus: Normal, Illinois
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $400 per credit for in-state students, $850 per credit for out-of-state students. The total number of credits required for the DNP program will depend on prior education and how many classes the student chooses to take per semester.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two and a half years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have their MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0, an APRN license, satisfactory completion of a graduate-level course in epidemiology and a graduate-level course in statistics.
  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • School Site: Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing – Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

2. University of St. Francis

At the University of St. Francis, nursing is recognized as a highly valued medical profession. The private, religiously affiliated University is dedicated to helping nurses become experts in providing evidence-based, advanced practice nursing care.

  • Campus: Joliet, Illinois
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $780 per credit. The total number of credits required for the DNP program will depend on prior education and how many classes the student chooses to take per semester.
  • Minimum time commitment: Three years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have their MSN, and must reside in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico or Wisconsin.
  • Programs: Students have the option of completing a concentration in nursing education.
  • School Site: University of St. Francis – Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

3. University of Illinois at Chicago

At the University of Illinois at Chicago, nursing students who are in the process of earning their DNP have many different specialties from which they can choose, making this program perfect for nurses who want to become experts in a certain field of nursing. This program also offers admission to both registered nurses who have their BSN and registered nurses who have already completed their MSN.

  • Campus: Chicago, Illinois
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $11,500
  • Minimum time commitment: Three years
  • Online availability: Some
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN in nursing. For students with a GPA of less than 3.25, GRE scores must be submitted. Applicants must hold an RN license.
  • Programs: Students may focus in several different specialties, including adult-gerontology acute nursing, adult-gerontology primary care nursing, family nursing, neonatal nursing, nurse-midwifery, nurse-midwifery/ women’s health, pediatric acute care nursing, pediatric primary care nursing, psychiatric/ mental health nursing, advanced population health nursing, health systems leadership and informatics nursing, and women’s health nursing.
  • School Site: University of Illinois College of Nursing – Doctor of Nursing Practice

4. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

The DNP program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is perfect for busy nurses who want to complete most of their classes online, but still value face to face time with their instructors. The program’s format allows DNP students to experience the best of both worlds by blending online and in-person education.

  • Campus: Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $650 per credit, the total number of credits required will depend on the individual student
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Mostly online, except for in-person immersion experiences
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN and an RN license. At least one year of professional nursing experience is required.
  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • School Site: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – Doctor of Nursing Practice

5. Rush University

At Rush University, students get the opportunity to work with leaders in nursing, learning advanced practice techniques, ways to implement evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes. Rush puts a heavy emphasis on individualized research, making this plan perfect for nurses who want to learn more about a specific area.

  • Campus: Chicago, Illinois
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation:
  • Tuition: Approximately $1,100 per credit hour. The total number of credit hours required will depend on student’s prior experience and education.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two and a half years
  • Online availability: Some
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0, an RN license, and an in-person interview.
  • Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • School Site: Rush University – Family Nurse Practitioner