Develop the Skills to be a Leader

Why is a DNP degree important?

There are over three million nurses in the U.S. health care workforce. Yet, fewer than one percent hold a doctoral degree in nursing, or in a nursing-related field.

The highest clinical degree in the field – a DNP – can broaden your career options and increase your value to employers. A doctorate can give you a seat at the table among physicians, administrators, and other health team members as you make decisions about patient care.

Is a DNP degree for me?

If you want to lead others and influence change in your field, a DNP may be the path for you.

Consider some of the main benefits of a DNP degree: A DNP degree will increase your level of clinical education and help strengthen your leadership abilities. By becoming a leader in our nursing community, you’ll go on to help improve the practice of nursing and patient outcomes, while strengthening health care delivery overall.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your career – such as a leadership role in clinical practice, administration or nursing education – a DNP degree from Regis may be right for you.

Choose from two specializations:

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
    The DNP with the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specialization is for those with a background as an advanced practice nurse.
  • Advanced Leadership in Health Care (ALHC)
    The DNP with the Advanced Leadership in Health Care (ALHC) specialization is for those with a background in nursing leadership

This post-master’s DNP curriculum prepares nurses at advanced levels of leadership and clinical practice, covering topics like:

  • Informatics
  • Epidemiology and health promotion for populations
  • Advanced leadership for collaborative models of care
  • Dynamics of organizations, systems design, and evaluation
  • Health policy analysis and development
  • Clinical research for evidence-based practice

What are the benefits of a DNP degree from Regis? Our unique program is tightly aligned with our Jesuit values and focuses on service to vulnerable, underserved and diverse populations. Community-based doctoral projects create educational experiences and teach students to apply classroom knowledge.

Is Regis’ DNP program accredited?

Regis University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

The Loretto Heights School of Nursing (LHSON) at Regis University in Denver, Colorado is fully accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (AACN-CCNE). 

What class formats are available?

The online DNP program format allows you to log in any time, day or night, as you complete assignments. You can continue to work while you pursue your DNP degree. The majority of classes are in an 8-week format, with a few taking a full semester. This structure allows you to progress quickly. Degree plans include a 6-semester (24 month) and 9-semester (36 month) options. No campus visits are required for online students.

When do DNP classes start at Regis University?

  • APRN and ALHC courses begin in May every year. We offer two plans of study for the doctor of Nursing Practice program: a two-year (six-semester) option, or a three-year (nine-semester) option.

Admission Deadlines

Program Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline  Class Starts
Advanced Practice
Registered Nurse
December 1 April 1 Summer (May)
Advanced Leadership
in Health Care
December 1 April 1 Summer (May)

What careers can I get with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree?

After graduating, you’ll be prepared to positively impact your local community and the medical field by taking on a leading role in:

  • Direct patient care
  • Management of care for individuals and communities
  • Health care policy decision making
  • Senior level management within health care organizations
  • Clinical research and evidence-based practice projects
  • Nursing education

With the current shortage of primary care providers, faculty and nurse leaders, nurses with a DNP are in great demand.

Career support from Regis

The Center for Career and Professional Development at Regis provides you with the resources, training and advice to help you establish and meet your career goals. That means we’ll help you choose an academic major, explore and find a new career path or create the tools for a successful job search that will promote your career. To learn more, visit our Center for Career and Professional Development page.

What salary can I expect with a DNP?

According to, nurses with a DNP degree can earn salaries as high as $108,000 per year, depending on your experience level, specialty focus and where you work in the country.

Listed below are the required courses for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree at Regis University. Students choose a specialization in either Advanced Leadership in Health Care (ALHC) or Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN). Total credits required for degree are based on the number of clinical hours completed during a students Master's program. 

Degree Requirements (21 credit hours)
NR 701 Theoretical Application for Doctoral Nursing Practice
NR 702 Applied Statistics
NR 703 Informatics
NR 704 Epidemiology and Health Promotion for Populations
NR 706A Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone Project A
NR 706B Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone Project B
NR 706C Doctor of Nursing Practice Capstone Project C
NR 707 Clinical Research for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
NR 708 Health Policy Analysis and Development
NR 799 Capstone Defense
Application to Practice (3-21 credit hours)
NR 715A/NR 725A Application to Practice Clinical Hours
NR 715B/NR 725B Application to Practice Clinical Hours
NR 715C/NR 725C Application to Practice Clinical Hours
Specialization Requirements (4-10 credit hours)
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
NR 711 Advanced Leadership for Collaborative Models of Care
NR 712 Dynamics of Organizations, Systems Design and Evaluation
Advanced Leadership in Health Care (ALHC)
NR 721 Strategic Planning in an Evolving Health Care Environment
NR 722 Health Care Systems Finance and Marketing
NR 725D Application to Practice Clinical Hours

Download a printable fact sheet with program details.

Please note recent course requirement updates may not be reflected in the list above. For further information contact the Office of Admissions at 303.458.4344.

Take the next step in your Regis experience and start your application today. Complete the Regis Application or the NursingCAS Application. NursingCAS is the centralized application service for Nursing programs. Regis University accepts either application and gives equal consideration to both.

You can email your admission counselor with questions at

Application Process

Applications can be submitted through Regis University or NursingCAS.

The application requirements are the same regardless of which application you utilize to apply.  If utilizing the Regis Application all documents are submitted directly to Regis University.  If utilizing the NursingCAS application, all documents are submitted directly to NursingCAS.    

  • Submit a completed online application.
  • Request official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended. Transcripts must be official. Official transcripts can be mailed or sent electronically. Regis accepts electronic transcripts from the following services: Scrip-Safe, Docufide, Avow Systems.
    • Submit mailed transcripts to:
      Regis University
      Office of Admissions
      3333 Regis Boulevard 
      Mail Code: A-12 
      Denver, CO 80221-1099
    • Submit electronic transcripts to
  • Submit a two-page typewritten personal statement (double-spaced) that addresses the essay question in the application. Instructions are given when you reach the essay portion of the online application.
  • Submit three recommendation forms. Select professional and/or academic references who can address your academic, professional and leadership potential. One recommendation must come from your current employer or supervisor.
  • Submit a current resume including all professional and volunteer experience with emphasis on leadership roles, experience in primary and acute clinical care, and service to underserved and underrepresented populations.
  • A personal interview may be required.
  • Direct all written materials and inquiries to:
    Regis University
    Office of Admissions
    3333 Regis Blvd.
    Mail Code A-12
    Denver, CO 80221-1099
    Phone: 303.458.4344 or 800.944.7667
    Fax: 303.964.5534

Materials in support of an application for admission become the property of Regis University and will not be provided or returned to an applicant.

Admission Deadlines and Start Dates

Program Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline  Class Starts
Advanced Practice
Registered Nurse
December 1 April 1 Summer (May)
Advanced Leadership
in Health Care
December 1 April 1 Summer (May)


  • A nursing graduate degree from a NLN or AACN-CCNE accredited program, offered at a regionally accredited school.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale in all graduate level coursework.
  • A grade of "B" or better in all graduate nursing courses. 
  • An active, unrestricted or unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license in the state in which your clinical/practicum experience will be completed.
  • Eligibility for this program is pending the successful completion of a drug screening and a criminal background check. For a complete list of Disqualifying Offenses, click here.
  • A complete health assessment and physical examination record indicating that the student is physically able to meet the objectives of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and is appropriately immunized is required after admission to the program.
  • If English is not your native/first language, you must meet either of the following language proficiency requirements:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet-based: Minimum score of 82 (24 Writing, 20 Speaking, 22 Reading, 16 Listening), Computer-based: Minimum score of 213. Regis University's TOEFL code is 4656.
    • Applicants that have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited US institution do not need to provide a TOEFL score.


The DNP program has a competitive admissions process where students are selected based on a number of factors, including cumulative GPA, current resume, three recommendation forms, and the personal statement. A personal interview may be required.

Program Exceptions

Due to regulatory requirements in the states listed below, Regis University’s Loretto Heights School of Nursing is unable to accept or enroll students who intend to reside and/or do clinical in any of these states while pursuing RN-BSN, MS Nursing, Post-Graduate Certificate, or DNP education through any of our distance learning formats. For more information click here.

Louisiana | New York | North Dakota | Oregon (APRN only)

Visit our Cost of Tuition page to see the tuition and fee schedule for the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP).

What is the application deadline?

APRN & ALHC DNP: Priority application deadline is December 1. All applications should be submitted by April 1.

What are the admissions criteria for the program?
You must meet the admissions requirements which include a current unencumbered RN license, a BSN and a MSN from a regionally accredited institution, and a cumulative GPA above 3.0. You must also submit all application materials before the deadline.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The program can be completed in 6 semester (2 year) or 9 semester (3 year) tracks for the APRN and ALHC.

What are the application to practice hours?
You need to earn a total of 1,000 hours post-BSN. The specific amount needed is dependent on the number accrued in your MS in Nursing. Generally those with a MS in Nursing: Nurse Practitioner enter with ~ 600 hours, and those with a MS in Nursing: Leadership Mgt or Edu enter with ~100-200 hours.

Can I do my capstone project where I work?
Yes most students complete their capstone project in their current place of employment. Students identify the vulnerable, underserved or diverse populations with whom they are working, establish a practice problem and review the relevant literature in preparation for establishing their practice change initiative.

Is the program 100% online?
No campus visits are required. You are welcome to come for graduation.

How much does the program cost?
Visit our Cost of Attendance page to see the tuition and fee schedule for the Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP).

What are the prerequisites for the program?
There are no prerequisites to begin the online nursing curriculum, however, applicants must have completed a statistics course with a grade of C or better prior to enrolling in NR 707 – Clinical Research. 

What if I have not taken a statistics course?
You are eligible to apply, but admitted students must completed statistics prior to NR 707. Regis University offers several statistics courses, and offers one specific to healthcare professionals (MT 274 Statistics for Health Professionals). We allow students to enroll in these courses as a non-degree seeking student. Additionally the course can be taken at any regionally accredited college or University including community colleges. For those in the Colorado area looking at the community college offerings, MAT 135 Introduction to Statistics will fulfill this requirement.

Do you require an academic reference from a college instructor?
No. We require three recommendations on the forms provided in the application. One reference must be from your current employer or supervisor and the other two can be either professional or academic.