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Cheapest DNP Online Programs

Key Takeaways

  • Affordability: These DNP programs offer affordable tuition options, making advanced nursing education accessible to a wide range of students.
  • Financial Aid Support: High percentages of financial aid recipients indicate a commitment to helping students access financial assistance and reduce educational costs.
  • Diverse Specializations: Prospective DNP students can choose from a variety of program specializations, aligning their studies with their specific career goals in nursing.

For those aspiring to achieve the highest level of nursing education, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is a significant milestone. However, the cost of pursuing such advanced degrees can often be a barrier to many talented individuals.

In this article, we delve into a solution for cost-conscious students by presenting a carefully researched list of the “Cheapest DNP Online Programs.” Join us as we explore these budget-friendly options that offer the opportunity to advance your nursing career without the burden of exorbitant tuition fees, ensuring that quality education remains accessible to all.

Cheapest DNP Online Programs

The most affordable online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs:

Fort Hays State University

  • Annual Tuition: $4,478
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,138
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,462
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) offers two online DNP programs:

  1. Doctor of Nursing Practice – BSN to DNP (75 credit hours)
  2. Doctor of Nursing Practice – MSN to DNP (30-33 credit hours)

Both 2-3 year programs use the Blackboard LMS for asynchronous and synchronous learning. Coursework covers advanced clinical nursing practices and healthcare systems. Students complete over 600 supervised clinical and project hours. Potential careers include program directors, clinical nurse specialists, and midwives.


Wichita State University

  • Annual Tuition: $4,620
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Average SATs: 983 – 1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,529
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 895
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Wichita State’s 29-credit MSN-to-DNP program uses Blackboard for asynchronous and synchronous instruction. The curriculum focuses on advanced nursing practices and research. Students complete an evidence-based project, residency, and over 500 supervised hours, developing leadership skills for roles like nurse practitioners and nursing managers.


University of North Georgia

  • Annual Tuition: $4,750
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Average SATs: 1040 – 1223
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,344
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 472
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of North Georgia’s 38-44 credit online DNP program offers Nursing Education and Nurse Executive Leadership tracks using the Brightspace LMS. The 2-3 year program incorporates over 500 supervised hours to prepare graduates for managerial and academic nursing careers.


Missouri State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,415
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 1010 – 1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,965
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,935
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Missouri State offers 26-29 credit online DNP programs in nursing practice and nurse anesthesia using the Blackboard LMS. The 2-3 year programs incorporate leadership coursework and clinical hours to prepare chief executives, family nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.


Georgia College & State University

  • Annual Tuition: $5,520
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 1070 – 1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 12
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 848
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Georgia College’s 37-credit online DNP program uses Brightspace LMS for asynchronous and synchronous instruction. In 5 semesters, students develop clinical expertise and leadership skills through coursework and 540 supervised hours to become specialists, midwives, and instructors.

A few other affordable options mentioned are University of North Carolina, East Carolina University, University of Central Arkansas, and University of South Alabama.

The Aspen University DNP program is called out on Reddit for having a very low monthly cost of $349, but quality and reputation are questioned.

In summary, Missouri State appears to offer the cheapest accredited online DNP program at under $9,000 total, while several other public universities also offer affordable options below the national average cost. Aspen University is the cheapest monthly at $349 but lacks accreditation.

Insights and Analysis: Affordable Online DNP Programs

Choosing the right online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is a critical decision for aspiring nursing professionals seeking advanced education and career growth. The rankings presented here showcase five reputable institutions offering online DNP programs. Here are some key insights and analysis of these programs:

  1. Affordable Tuition: All five institutions featured in the rankings offer relatively affordable annual tuitions, making advanced nursing education accessible to a wide range of students. The tuition costs range from $4,478 to $5,520 annually. This affordability factor can be a significant advantage for students looking to minimize their educational debt.
  2. Strong Financial Aid Support: It’s encouraging to see that these programs have a high percentage of financial aid recipients, ranging from 89% to 96%. This demonstrates a commitment to helping students access financial assistance and make their education more affordable.
  3. Online Enrollment Opportunities: The number of undergrad and graduate online enrollment opportunities varies among the institutions. Prospective students should consider their preferred class size and interaction levels when selecting a program, as the numbers range from a few dozen to several thousand online students.
  4. LMS and Accreditation: Most of the featured programs use reputable Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Blackboard and Brightspace for online instruction. Additionally, the schools hold regional accreditation, with some being accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and others by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC). Accreditation is crucial for ensuring the quality and recognition of your degree.
  5. Program Specializations: The programs offer various DNP tracks, including Nurse Education, Nurse Executive Leadership, Nursing Practice, and Nurse Anesthesia. Prospective students should carefully review these specializations to align them with their career goals and interests.
  6. Duration: DNP programs typically span 2-3 years, which allows flexibility for students with varying time commitments. The duration can influence your choice depending on your availability and desired pace of study.
  7. Clinical Experience: All featured programs incorporate supervised clinical hours, which are vital for developing practical skills and competencies required for advanced nursing roles. The number of hours may vary, so it’s essential to evaluate the depth and breadth of clinical experience offered by each program.
  8. Career Opportunities: These DNP programs prepare graduates for diverse roles, such as program directors, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse managers, midwives, and educators. Prospective students should consider their career aspirations when selecting a program.

In conclusion, the rankings provided offer a valuable starting point for individuals interested in pursuing an online Doctor of Nursing Practice program. However, it’s essential to conduct in-depth research, compare program offerings, and assess personal goals and needs to make an informed decision. Each program has its unique strengths and characteristics, and choosing the right fit can significantly impact your academic and professional success in the field of nursing.