Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

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A flexible, affordable and rewarding DNP degree

The Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum prepare you for complex skill sets in data acquisition, analysis and practice application.

Take your nursing career to the next level. Advance your leadership skills, expand your policy expertise and understanding of population health and clinical practice through PennWest’s part-time, online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. This 27-credit program is designed to be flexible, affordable and professionally rewarding.

Our DNP curriculum builds on the foundational competencies of the MSN-prepared advance practice or professional nurse. Courses are sequenced to prepare you for increasingly complex skill sets in data acquisition, analysis and practice application that align with the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing DNP essentials.

As a student, you will be mentored by faculty who are committed to providing developmentally sound academic and clinical experiences.

Many students graduate in just six semesters, with summer courses and opportunities for internships.

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Priority date for completed apps March 30th.  Any applications completed after this date may be considered based on space availability.

The RN-BSN, MSN-Administration and Leadership, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at PennWest are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

PennWest University, including Clarion, California, and Edinboro campuses, will submit a self-study and host a site visit for our accrediting body, CCNE. The site visit will be on March 29-31, 2023.  This serves as formal notification of the upcoming visit and provides an opportunity for third-party comments concerning the program’s qualifications for accreditation.  

CCNE must receive written third-party comments regarding programs by no later than 21 days prior (March 1, 2023) to the first day of the scheduled on-site evaluation. CCNE accepts only signed comments. CCNE shares third-party comments with members of the evaluation team before the visit, but these comments are not shared with the program at any time during the review process. During its program review, the evaluation team considers third-party comments related to the accreditation standards. All third-party comments submitted to CCNE must be written in English, consistent with CCNE's policy on the Conduct of Business.

If you would like to submit a third-party comment for a program under review, please submit to

Or, if you prefer, mail comments to:
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
ATTN: Third-Party Comments
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001

Fully Accredited

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice is accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

Legacy of Excellence

Built on the foundation of excellence established by PennWest Clarion’s Nursing education programs.

Our Vision

To develop advanced practice nurses as leaders in nursing and practice experts whose actions and innovations will improve and transform the health of individuals, populations and systems in the region, state and global community.

Fast Facts

Top-ranked ranks our program among America's Best Nursing Programs in the East.




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Graduate Admissions

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What Can You Do With a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree?

PennWest’s Global Online DNP degree prepares you to lead in a variety of health care settings. With this terminal degree in Nursing, you will have the chance to continue to expand your career in clinical settings such as hospitals and other health care institutions, in non-clinical settings including administration and roles that set policies, and in Nursing education.

Graduate Outcomes

The terminal learning outcomes for PennWest’s DNP programare to prepare advanced practice nurses to be able to:

  1. Apply clinical scholarship through advanced nursing practice within complex health systems.
  2. Design, implement, analyze, and disseminate research that translates evidence to practice.
  3. Demonstrate advanced leadership skills for empowering and influencing others to bring about change.
  4. Utilize information and management systems to support evidence-based practice.
  5. Establish interprofessional relationships to provide comprehensive delivery of advanced practice nursing.

Admissions Requirements

  • Transcript for MSN Degree from Nationally Accredited Program. MSN, MBA, MHSc.  GPA 3.25 minimum or higher
  • GPA 3.25 minimum or higher


  • Applicants with Master’s degrees in other disciplines will be considered must have a BSN from an ACEN or CCNE accredited program and may require additional coursework prior to enrollment
  • Eligible applicants may be educated in direct care roles such as nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, clinical specialist, and nurse midwife; or may practice in roles such as nurse administration (leadership), nursing informatics, or nurse education
  • Transcripts from ALL undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
  • Graduate course in research with a grade of "B" or higher or successful completion of graduate thesis (Completion of a graduate level capstone project will be considered upon review of the project)
  • RN License current and unencumbered  
  • Resume describing your professional experience. Minimum One year of recent full-time clinical practice or two years of part-time clinical practice
  • Essay Personal Statement 1-2 page personal statement describing understanding of DNP role and your personal goals
  • Two Professional Recommendations excluding peer references

Program Requirements

Clinical Hours: Written documentation of completed clinical hours in a master’s program (DNP degree requires a total of 1000 hours of clinical time between the master’s and doctoral programs)

The Power of PennWest

PennWest’s three campuses, California, Clarion and Edinboro universities, have been delivering award-winning online programs for more than 20 years. You’ll graduate with a degree from Pennsylvania Western University, completely supported by the expertise and community of learners on our brick-and-mortar campuses.

Flexible. Affordable.
Designed to Meet Your needs.
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