Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice has emerged to fill a vital role during the last decade to develop leaders in health care. The DNP terminal degree is a non-research clinical doctorate focused on developing experts in nursing “practice” (AACN, 2006). Deciding to enroll in a DNP program is a critical and life-changing decision. Holy Family University is committed to supporting and guiding you on your journey as you reach new heights.

Holy Family University is proud to offer our DNP Program designed to prepare nurses for advanced practice roles as clinical scholars skilled in the application of theory and research, evidence-based practice, advanced clinical practice, measurement of patient outcomes, and transformation of health care systems to ensure quality and safety. Graduates build on their education and experience to influence change.

Our program is unique. The blended class format offers students flexibility while maintaining a close relationship to faculty members. The small class size, progression as a cohort, and faculty members who live the mission of the university are just a few of the unique features. Our nursing faculty bring clinical expertise, academic rigor, and a passion for nursing into the curriculum so each of our graduates are prepared to inspire and lead the future of nursing.

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Entry Points

The Online MSN–DNP Leadership track (35 credits; 1000 clinical hours) prepares nurses to assume leadership roles from the boardroom to point-of-care delivery positions. The track is designed to be completed in as few as 5 semesters with classes beginning each Spring and Fall semester.

The Online MSN to DNP Leadership for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) track (26 credits; 500 clinical hours plus 500 transfer clinical hours) takes your career to a new level of transformative leadership. The track is designed to be completed in 4 semesters part time or 3 semesters full time and is available each Spring and Fall semester.

The MSN–DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track is designed for any MSN nurse who wants to become an FNP at the doctoral level. You will be eligible to sit for national certification as an FNP. The program is designed to be completed in as few as 2.5 calendar years (14, 8-week sessions) with cohorts starting each semester. The courses are delivered in an 8-week blended format (meeting once a week or less).

The BSN–DNP Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track starts each Fall semester This program is designed for the BSN nurse who wants to become an FNP at the doctoral level. At program completion, approximately 4 years, you will be prepared and eligible to sit for national certification as an FNP.

Cohort opportunities may be available at your work location for the above DNP tracks providing discounted tuition. A cohort is a tight-knit learning community of students, usually 10-12, enrolled throughout their entire academic nursing program. If you are unable to stay within the cohort, you are able to complete the program at full tuition.

DNP Program Objectives

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program will:

  • Provide a doctoral nursing curriculum that is designed to address current and future global healthcare needs and issues in a variety of healthcare settings.
  • Prepare graduates for positions of leadership in advanced nursing practice.
  • Provide a foundation for certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

DNP Program Outcomes

At the completion of the program, the Holy Family University DNP graduate will be able to:

  1. Synthesize nursing and multidisciplinary theories of practice to develop new practice approaches.
  2. Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership skills and behaviors that emphasize practice, ongoing improvement of health outcomes, and ensure patient safety.
  3. Disseminate new knowledge to improve healthcare outcomes.
  4. Implement programs using information technology for quality improvement and evaluation of healthcare outcomes.
  5. Design, influence and implement health care policies that frame healthcare financing, practice regulation, access, safety, quality, and efficacy.
  6. Provide effective team leadership, play a central role in establishing interprofessional teams, participate in the work of the team, and assume leadership of the team when appropriate.
  7. Engage in leadership to integrate and institutionalize evidence-based clinical prevention and population health services for individuals, aggregates, and populations.
  8. Design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions based on nursing science and other sciences, as appropriate to the area of specialization.

DNP Scholarly Project

The DNP Project is designed for students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to the program outcomes. The project will demonstrate synthesis of the students’ work and lay the groundwork for future scholarship. The work may take a number of forms. The use of evidence to improve either practice or patient outcomes is the hallmark of a well-executed DNP project.

The competed DNP project produces a tangible and deliverable academic product that is derived from the practice immersion experience and is reviewed and evaluated by a DNP Project Team. Dissemination of the project outcomes is essential and should be targeted to appropriate audiences to ensure impact.

Clinical Requirements

Clinical experiences will meet the requirements for Family Nurse Practitioner certification and AACN recommendations for scholarly work toward the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The number of clinical hours required is 1,046. Credit
for hours previously dedicated to nurse practitioner preparation will be awarded, as applicable.

To best serve your needs, Holy Family University maintains a clinical placement specialist for the program to assist students with their field placements.



The Baccalaureate Degree program in Nursing / Master's Degree program in Nursing / Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Holy Family University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791.

Admission Requirements

The Holy Family University School of Nursing admission process is based on a holistic review approach. Each applicant is assessed individually, which includes a balanced consideration given to experiences, attributes, academic metrics and how the applicant might contribute value as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Each application is reviewed to assure that all students who complete the process are considered.

The following documentation is required to be considered:

  • Application and application fee. (Fee is waived for alumni.)
  • Current unencumbered license as a registered professional nurse.
  • Applicants should have and are willing to apply and obtain a PA RN license.
  • All official transcripts from your previous nursing schools reflecting completion of the degree. Recognition of degree will only be considered from CCNE, ACEN or CNEA accredited BSN and/or MSN program.
  • BSN-DNP program candidate transcripts must include nursing research, statistics, nursing leadership, and community health nursing coursework.
  • MSN-DNP/FNP candidate transcripts must reflect: Advance Pathophysiology; Advanced Pharmacology; and Advanced Physical and Health Assessment course that includes baseline competency in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed by advanced practice nurses in the primary care setting.
  • An undergraduate program minimum GPA of 3.0 or above required.
  • Current resume or CV.
  • Statement of goals and potential scholarly project essay. The candidate is to write an essay on a topic to include professional goals and a health care issue for improving patient care that could possibly serve as the inspiration for a future DNP scholarly project.
  • English language proficiency: If English is not your first language, or if English is not the primary language spoken in your home, submission of TOEFL results is required. Applicants must achieve the minimum score of 22 in all sections (writing, speaking, reading and listening).
  • Personal interview may be requested.

Note: This program is designed to meet educational requirements for a specific license and is required for employment in an occupation that potentially leads to professional licensure. Applicants seeking to work in a state outside of Pennsylvania should check state requirements to ensure that the program’s curriculum meets the educational requirements for that state.

Our Non-Discrimination Statement can be found at or call 267-341-3479.

Application Fee: $50 (waived for alumni)


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