Kentucky Doctorate DNP Nursing Degrees

You’ve put in years of study before treating patients, and now that you’re on the front lines of the healthcare field, you understand how important it is to stay on top of the latest developments in healthcare. As a nurse, you do everything you can to improve patient outcomes, and that includes making sure you’re … Continue reading “Kentucky Doctorate DNP Nursing Degrees”

You’ve put in years of study before treating patients, and now that you’re on the front lines of the healthcare field, you understand how important it is to stay on top of the latest developments in healthcare. As a nurse, you do everything you can to improve patient outcomes, and that includes making sure you’re at the top of your game when it comes to trends and new research. You’re already constantly learning more about nursing – it may be time to consider taking your career to the next level by furthering your education.

Earning a doctorate of nursing practice, or DNP, degree is a great way to open your career options. Many nurses who earn their DNP continue to practice direct patient care, becoming an exemplary model for newer nurses. Others go on to assume leadership roles within their organization, while others go on to nursing administration. Getting a DNP degree is different from a Ph.D. in nursing. A DNP degree keeps the focus on patient care, while a Ph.D. is research-based. Most nurses who earn a doctorate go with the DNP option.

SEE ALSO: Kentucky DNP Salary

If you’re thinking about moving forward in your career, earning your DNP is a valuable next step. Many nursing schools in Kentucky understand how taxing a nursing schedule can be, and offer online and hybrid learning options to make it easier for you to earn your doctorate. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular DNP programs in Kentucky.


1. Eastern Kentucky University

Easter Kentucky University’s DNP program is one of the few that can be completed 100% online – absolutely no campus visits required. This program is ideal for distance learners and nurses who have a jam-packed schedule. This program is available to students who have already completed their MSN degree.

  • Campus: Richmond, Kentucky
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $675 per credit hour. The total number of credit hours required will depend on the student’s prior experience and education.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have an MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0, an RN license, and three references.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in organizational leadership.
  • School Site: Eastern Kentucky University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

2. Frontier Nursing University

Frontier Nursing University offers a highly specialized program, perfect for nurses who are ready to focus their education on a specific field of interest. This program is available both to students who only have their BSN and to those who have already completed their MSN.

  • Campus: Hyden, Kentucky
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: Approximately $14,000 per year. The total cost will depend on the student’s specialty and prior education/ experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Fifteen months
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0 and have an RN license with a national certification.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in becoming a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife. Students may also specialize in serving rural and underserved areas in the areas of adult nursing, nurse midwifery, family nursing, geriatric-adult nursing, geriatric nursing, pediatric nursing, psychiatric nursing, and women’s health nursing.
  • School Site: Frontier Nursing University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

3. Murray State University

Murray State’s online program allows you to work at your own pace, earning your DNP in as little as twenty months. This program is available to students who have already completed their MSN. This program is highly competitive and requires a higher master’s level GPA than most DNP programs.

  • Campus: Murray, Kentucky
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $544 per credit hour, plus an additional $1,250 per semester. The total cost will depend on the student’s specialty and prior education/ experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Twenty months
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have an MSN with a GPA of at least 3.5, certification as an APRN, three references, and an in-person interview.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in family nursing or nurse anesthesia.
  • School Site: Murray State University – Accredited Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

4. Northern Kentucky University

Students who graduate from Northern Kentucky University’s DNP program emerge ready to become leaders in their healthcare organizations. This 100% online program is available to students who have already completed their MSN degree.

  • Campus: Highland Heights, Kentucky
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $23,000 for full program. The total cost will depend on the student’s specialty and prior education/ experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Twenty months
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have an MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0, a scholarly writing sample, and an RN license.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in executive leadership or advanced practice nursing.
  • School Site: Northern Kentucky University – Post-Masters Doctor of Nursing Practice Online

5. University of Kentucky, Lexington

The University of Kentucky’s DNP program is mostly available online but requires some visits to campus for intensive classes throughout your course of study. This program focuses heavily on utilizing the latest nursing research to improve patient outcomes. This program is available both to students who only have their BSN and to those who have already completed their MSN.

  • Campus: Lexington, Kentucky
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $914 per credit. The total cost will depend on the student’s specialty and prior education/ experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have their BSN or MSN and an RN license.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in adult-gerontology acute care, adult-gerontology primary care, primary care, pediatric nursing, population and organized systems, or psychiatric/ mental health nursing.
  • School Site: University of Kentucky Online – Doctor of Nursing Practice