Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Nursing 2016

Top-10-Online-Doctoral-Programs-in-Nursing-2016Our list of the Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Nursing is a broad ranking which takes into account accreditation and general reputation. With the increased presence and acceptance of online Ph.D. programs throughout the U.S., prestigious institutions and many state schools are now offering online degrees with more frequency.


The doctoral degree in Nursing has become one of the most popular online doctoral degrees offered throughout the country. With many emphases being offered at various institutions, it may be difficult to find a degree that suits a students’ purposes. This list provides a list based on reputation that we hope will help guide decisions in picking a top tier school. The schools that made the list were accredited, were non-profit, and most had some level of name recognition, although there are few surprises in the list, particularly our #1.

In constructing the list, a number of sites were used for research including U.S. News and World Report, The National Center for Education Statistics, and The Guide to Online Schools.

1. Medical University of South Carolinamusc_main_logo_0

Medical University of South Carolina is a unique state university that has as its purpose educating health professionals and scientists. While the school itself is not nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report probably due to its narrow focus, it is ranked as #1 nationally for online nursing programs in the United States. MUSC offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice as well as a Ph.D. in Nursing Science. It is $835 for in-state tuition and $985 for out-of-state tuition. There are 21 full-time faculty as well as 3 part-time faculty. There are also various fees attached to clinical courses, for admission, as well as per credit hour fees. The Medical University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Inc. (SACSCOC).

2. University of Colorado – DenverUniverity of Colorado

University of Colorado – Denver offers a Doctor in Nursing Practice degree as well as a Ph.D. in Nursing. UCD is ranked 30th on our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. U.S. News and World Report ranks UCD nationally at #199 and the #5 in online graduate nursing programs. There are six full time faculty and 5 part time faculty dedicated to online teaching in the Nursing program. In-state tuition is $585 per credit hour with out-of-state tuition coming in at $1,020. The University of Colorado – Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

3. Duke UniversityDuke

Duke University provides an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree that has a hybrid component, with four 2-3 day sessions happening on campus per year. Unlike most of the universities on the list, Duke is a private university with name recognition. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke’s online Nursing program at #6 in the nation and ranks the school at #8 nationally. There are 45 faculty in the Nursing Program, 22 of which are tenured or tenure track. Tuition is $1,495 per credit hour. Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

4. University of Nevada – Las VegasUNLV

University of Nevada – Las Vegas offers a Doctor in Nursing Practice degree as well as a Ph.D. in Nursing. The Ph.D. program offers two tracks with different emphases. The first is a specialization in Nursing Education and the second is a Post Doctor of Nursing Practice. UNLV is ranked #33 in our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. The online nursing program is ranked at #6 nationally by U.S. News and World Report. There are 17 full-time professors in the program along with 4 part time professors. For in-state residence, the tuition is $567 per credit hour while for out-of-state students it is $678. UNLV accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

5. George Washington UniversityGWU

George Washington University offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The program offers post-BSN and post-MSN entry options for professions in clinical practice, policy, and leadership. GWU is ranked #7 in our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. Further, GWU is ranked #57 among national universities and #9 among best online nursing programs by U.S. News and World Report. Tuition for the DNP program is $920 per credit hour for all students. The program boasts 22 full time faculty and 39 part time faculty. George Washington University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

6. Duquesne Universitydu-logo

Duquesne University offers an online Ph.D. in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. For the Ph.D., the program has implemented two tracks, a 3 year intensive program or a 4 year program at a slower pace. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duquesne at #115 among national universities and #9 among online nursing programs in the nation. Tuition is $1,218 per credit hour but registered nurses get a 30% discount on tuition in the graduate program. The program has 17 full time faculty and 6 part time faculty. Duquesne University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

7. Loyola University – New OrleansLoyola New Orleans

Loyola University – New Orleans offers an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. There are two different emphases in the program: Integrated Behavioral Health and Executive Nurse Leader. LUNO is ranked #11 regionally and #15 in top online nursing programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Tuition is $818 no matter where you live in the U.S. The online nursing program has 17 full-time and 12 part-time faculty. Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

8. University of Kansaskansas

University of Kansa provides both a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in Nursing. The DNP has both a post-BSN and a post-Master’s degree track. The DNP at Kansas was the first of its kind in the nation and was made available online in 2016. We have ranked UK at #17 in our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. Also, UK is nationally ranked at #115 in the nation and #25 in online nursing programs by U.S. News and World Reports. Tuition is $376.20 per credit hour for in-state residence while out-of-state students pay $880. There are 35 full-time faulty in the program with only 3 part-time faculty. The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

9. West Virginia Universitywestern-virginia-university_1424182449

West Virginia University provides a fully online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and a blended Ph.D. in Nursing. We have ranked WVU at #29 in our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. U.S. News and World Report ranks WVU at #175 in the nation overall and at 36 among online nursing programs. In-state tuition is $406 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition is $1,160 per credit hour. The program has 23 full-time faulty along with 3 part-time faculty. West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

10. University of FloridaFlorida

The University of Florida provides an online Doctor of Nursing Practice. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree has two emphases: Nurse Educator and Advanced Practice Nurse. We have ranked University of Florida at #5 in our Top 50 Schools Offering Online PhD Programs 2015-2016 list. U.S. News and World Report ranks University of Florida at #47 nationally and #48 in the nation among online nursing programs. In-state tuition is $448.73 per credit hour and out-of state tuition is $690.21 per credit hour. The DNP program at the University of Florida College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).