DNP Student Handbook

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares nurses for the highest level of professional nursing practice. Graduates are prepared for advanced nursing roles in direct clinical practice and leadership roles in areas that support clinical practice such as administration, informatics, and health policy.

Graduates of the DNP program receive preparation in such key areas as: evidence-based practice, organization and systems leadership, finance, health policy, information technology, population health, patient safety, and translational research with the goal of improving health outcomes.


The Board of Commissioners for the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) granted accreditation to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing (UNC-Chapel Hill SON) for 5 years, extending to June 30, 2020. The accreditation action was effective as of October 6, 2014.

Timeline to Degree

Students complete the BSN to DNP program in 3 years and the MSN to DNP program in 2 academic years. Students should consult the required coursework and practice hour expectations for their advanced practice area with the coordinator of their population or specialty area. Students should also arrange to meet with their faculty academic advisors each semester.

Students should refer to the DNP Project timeline on a regular basis to review their program progression with their academic advisor, Advanced Practice Area Coordinator, and/or DNP Project Chair each semester.


DNP Handbook

Last update: June 2017