How Fast Can I Finish an Online DNP Program?

The demand for skilled nursing professionals is continuing to grow as people are living longer than before, thus making nurses the healthcare industry's backbone. Because nursing professionals are in such high demand, earning your Master of Science Degree so you can move on to your Doctor of Nursing Practice is of critical importance.

With that in mind, students are wondering how fast they can earn their DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degrees. We're going to look at 12 months DNP programs so you can no only take the fastest degree program online, but also get to work quicker.

Be Realistic: How Long, Really Depends On You

Under most circumstances, it takes at least two years to complete a DNP program, and that's usually from already having an MSN. These circumstances are dependent upon the structure of the program, how many practicum hours are required, and the nurse's specialization.

If nurses are enrolling part-time, it could take up to four years to complete their DNP program depending on their course load per semester. Many specializations, such as a DNAP degree program, may take longer, because of the increased clinical requirements or higher number of specialized courses or electives.

So be honest with yourself when pursuing an advanced nursing degree online. Take into account your current responsibilities and obligations before sending out applications.

Ready, Set, Go: How to Obtain a DNP in One Year

Students who are looking for 12 month online DNP programs, the only possible choice is full-time enrollment. A program like this is the shortest DNP program online available, but also the most demanding. even with the best of intentions, a 1-year DNP may take longer, due to unforeseen life circumstances or course availability.

Nurses who already have an MSN and are already working in the field and are willing to enroll into full-time courses are the primary applicants for a 1-year DNP. These programs require between 33 and 43 credits with at least 500 clinical practice hours that apply to the 500 hours they already completed during their MSN. For those who are looking for the shortest DNP program online, but only have a bachelor's in nursing, you'll need to earn your MSN first or look for a BSN to DNP bridge program.

Convenience and Flexibility: The One-Year Online DNP Plan

Under most circumstances, those who are pursuing their DNP programs online in one year can combine their online classes with clinical rotations with area hospitals or clinics. In doing so, it's possible for nurses to maintain their current work schedules while simultaneously managing their family lives and coursework conveniently.

The kind of flexibility this offers students, along with a broad range of degree options, allows them to complete their degree programs without the hassle of commuting to campus every week. For those with interest in participating in the fastest online DNP program, you'll appreciate the flexibility and convenience they offer.

When you're considering an online DNP:

  • Earn your MSN first
  • Understand that a specific nursing specialization could take longer
  • Decide whether you're a good online leaner

The right balance of speed, affordability, convenience, and quality that will work for you is yours to decide. It may seem overwhelming to earn a DNP alongside your current nursing career while juggling family and other obligations, but under the right conditions, it's not only possible, but ideal.