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), Primary and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (AC/PNP),  Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), or the (MSN-DNP) or (BSN-DNP). 



The core curriculum provides a solid foundation in the basic sciences, the use of evidence-based practice guidelines and theory as a basis for the practice of anesthesia. Find out more here.


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. The available specialty tracks are as follows:

BSN-DNP Tracks
- Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Acute or Primary Care track) 

We also offer a specialty track to become a CRNA that is only offered as a BSN-DNP track:
Post-BSN to DNP Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) Specialty Track


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 or Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia.  UMKC SoNHS offers three entry pathways in the Post-Master’s DNP program.


Intended for master’s prepared nurses certified in Advanced Practice (APRN) roles seeking to complete the DNP degree, including certified Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Anesthetists, and Nurse Midwives.

Post-MSN, Non-APRN to DNP*

For those with a nursing master’s degree in one of the following areas: Nursing Leadership (Administration), Nursing Informatics, or Nursing Clinical Research Management. National certification in the area is preferred but not required.

*Individualized plans of study are developed for students depending upon prior coursework. Applicants will need to provide course syllabi for evaluation of potential transfer credits from previous programs.

Post-MSN to Advanced Practice DNP (returning for a New or Second NP role and DNP)

Appropriate for master’s prepared nurses returning for coursework to obtain a new or second NP role along with the DNP, via adding a certificate.

*Individualized plans of study are developed for students  depending upon prior coursework.  Applicants will need to provide course syllabi  for evaluation of potential transfer credits from previous programs.

Online/Hybrid Distance Education Tracks available to complete in addition to the DNP:

MSN-DNP Tracks
- Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner - Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Acute or Primary Care track) - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner





Advisors & Faculty
Corrina Beck
Senior Student Services Coordinator (A-K)
Georgia Freidhof
Senior Student Services Coordinator (L-Z)
Dr. Cheri Barber
Director DNP Program
816-235-6355 x1

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.

All graduate SoNHS courses with the 'NURSE' prefix subject that are online and required for degree will be charged a special in-state tuition rate equal to what is listed for MO residents on the Cashier's website.

The MSN-DNP program offers an optional two day institute upon entry into the program, in January or May. Institute attendance is highly recommended and  offered in a variety of ways to accommodate the student: on campus or online, synchronous or asynchronous. The content allows the student to develop the tools for success, peer support, role acquisition, and the DNP project topic. The second Institute occurs upon entering the last full year of the program, in May, with attendance required for two days on campus.

We are now a part of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) which allows us to offer online programs to students in other SARA states. We are able to accept and enroll students into most of our online programs in 48 states, including Washington, DC. We highly recommend that you review this information prior to submitting your application. Please review the state regulatory map to verify the status of your state’s regulations.

We designed the graduate programs to give professionals flexibility. Our courses are conducted online, with some may require class/chat times. Class/chat times are scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays and are communicated well in advance.

Students use the Web-based software, Canvas, for their online courses. Courses are conducted in synchronous and asynchronous modes depending on the professor and class. You can log on to find homework, class assignments, a class list, a syllabus and more at any time. The program allows students to engage in interactive learning with faculty and other students in an online platform.