Change your career trajectory with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from UMKC's School of Nursing and Health Studies.

UMKC’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is the highest level of nursing practice. This DNP program prepares nurses to improve overall healthcare by anticipating, adapting, and evolving to the dynamic challenges in present and future healthcare environments.  The DNP degree assists the students to become an active partner in improving healthcare outcomes, while participating in complex, dynamic, and demanding healthcare fields.  Skills in teamwork, collaboration, clinical innovation and evaluation, complemented by advanced nursing skills is essential preparation for nurses to become leaders in an ever changing healthcare climate.

Nurses prepared at the doctoral level can expect to receive a blend of clinical, organizational, economic, interprofessional and leadership training.  Students are taught to use advanced theory to impact daily practice. The practice-based doctorate gives graduates the tools necessary to translate evidence-based research into practice. Graduates are expected to function clinically at the highest level by evaluating outcomes based scientific research evidence, modify care to improve patient outcomes, and advance the delivery of healthcare.

Not sure if a DNP is right for you? UMKC has innovative, visionary faculty and well-established history in nursing education.  UMKC developed the first DNP program in the region, graduating the first DNP class in 2008. Not sure which emphasis suits your needs? Let UMKC help. The dedicated faculty at SoNHS can help you align your passion with one of our clinical tracks.

UMKC’s accredited doctorate program offers several diverse emphasis tracks on campus and online. Our online programs consistently rank among the best in the country, and is in the top 10 of the “most affordable” online graduate nursing programs per a recent recognition from U.S. News and World Report.

There are a variety of specialty tracks for BSN and MSN prepared nurses to advance their education with the DNP: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP),  Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) or the (MSN-DNP)


The post-baccalaureate DNP curriculum is designed for registered nurses who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a generalist (non-APRN) or nursing education focus.

Post-Master's DNP

The Post-Master’s DNP curriculum is designed for nurses who have already earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree.  UMKC SoNHS offers three entry pathways in the Post-Master’s DNP program.

MSN to Advanced Practice DNP (APRN or NON-APRN)

Appropriate master’s prepared nurses certified in Advanced Practice (APRN) roles to complete the DNP degree including certified Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anesthetist, and Nurse Midwife.

  • Post-Master’s Certificate for a second NP role can be added

Post-Master’s Advanced Practice DNP (returning for a Second NP role and DNP)

Appropriate for master’s prepared APRN nurses returning for coursework to obtain a second NP role along with the DNP.

On Campus Residency Requirement

On campus residencies are required during the online programs. These dates are scheduled in advance and communicated on the schedule for the semester. Faculty will provide more information prior to each scheduled on-campus residency which occurs during your clinical coursework.


*Individualized plans of study are developed for students in this entry pathway depending upon prior coursework.