The United States and many other countries are experiencing critical shortages of well-trained nurses. Nurses who hold doctoral degrees are in a powerful position: they can work virtually anywhere they wish and are generously compensated. By 2015, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing will have phased out advanced practice clinical nursing masters programs, and the new standard degree will be the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Online DNP programs typically involve three to five years of study, depending on whether the student enrolls part-time or full-time. The following accredited universities offer DNP degrees through online study.
- Duquesne University offers an online Doctor of Nursing program that's accessible any time of day or night. One-week annual visits to the Pittsburgh campus are required.
- The Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing's doctoral program emphasizes caring for rural and other underserved populations. Nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives are trained to evaluate and improve primary care practice. The program requires two visits to the Kentucky campus.
- The University of Arizona's top-ranked doctoral program in nursing accepts both BSNs and MSNs. The Ph.D. can be earned through three or four years of full-time study, depending on the student's credentials. Periodic visits to Tucson are required.
- The University of Massachusetts Online offers DNP programs through its Boston and Amherst campuses. The program may be taken entirely online, but students can take advantage of an optional face-to-face orientation.