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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

To complete
One class at a time
5- and 10-week blocks
Per credit hour
10% partner discount

Lead and advance the field of nursing

Mount Mercy University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) inspires, challenges, and advances the next generation of nursing leaders.

Our nursing doctoral program uses applied learning to give you skills you can immediately put to work, at work.

Earn your doctorate degree in nursing from Mount Mercy, and become a transformational leader in the field.

What can you do with a doctoral degree in nursing?

Earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice is your next step toward advancing in leadership roles, inspiring the next generation of nursing professionals, and achieving your personal goals.

Graduate ready to change the course of health care, and lead hospitals and organizations toward a more just, equitable, and compassionate future.

Kimberly Glasgow '19 DNP

Mount Mercy’s program was unique because it was all in-person. With the amount of work I knew I’d need to put into this degree, it was important for me to connect personally with my professors.

Why a Doctorate in Nursing from Mount Mercy?

For 90+ years, Mount Mercy has been the standard for nursing excellence in Eastern Iowa.

Our doctoral graduates are prepared to lead courageously, offer compassionate service, and continue the legacy of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy.

  • Experience a doctoral program curriculum that keeps pace with the evolving nature of health care
  • Explore entry options to earn your doctoral degree in nursing
  • Expand your professional expertise in our Clinical Simulation Laboratory (CSL)

As you work toward your nursing doctoral degree, you’ll increase your professional network and grow as a leader in the field.

Earn your nursing doctorate degree on your schedule

Enjoy the flexibility to earn your doctoral degree in nursing with a format that helps you balance work, school, and all your other responsibilities.

  • Take one course at a time
  • Enjoy manageable 5- and 10-week blocks
  • Complete your nursing doctoral degree in just 12-24 months

What can you do in our Doctor of Nursing Practice program?

Our personalized nursing doctorate degree combines classroom learning with hands-on clinical experience. Work alongside professors who are practicing professionals. Gain beyond-the-classroom expertise in our Clinical Simulation Laboratory (CSL). Grow as a leader by learning from fellow leaders.

What will you learn in our Doctor of Nursing Practice program?

Analyze technology in health care. Explore the role of innovation and change. Graduate from our nursing doctoral program prepared to lead, teach, advocate, and practice at an advanced level with individual patients, families, and communities.

Entry options for your doctoral degree in nursing

Entry Options

  • MSN (with NP) » DNP | 27 credits (12 months)
  • MSN (no NP) » FNP-DNP | 45 credits (24 months)

MSN requirement may be waived after an interview with the program director

Who We Admit

  • FNP-DNP: Registered nurses with master's degree in nursing. Graduates are awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice and are eligible to sit for national NP certification exam.
  • DNP: Certified nurse practitioners (any specialty) and do not seek an additional national FNP certification. Graduates are awarded a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

How can I afford a doctorate in nursing?

You may be eligible for scholarships and loan programs. The first step is to complete your FAFSA, which helps determine state and federal aid available to you. Our federal school code is 001880. Contact our Financial Aid Office with any questions.

Get started in our nursing doctoral program

Apply by June 1 (or March 1 for priority consideration) to start in August. Our graduate admissions team is here to help you reach your educational goals and answer your questions.
  1. Complete your application
  2. Request official transcripts from all institutions previously attended. Email to or mail to:

    Graduate Programs
    Mount Mercy University
    1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797
  • Hold an MSN degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Current and valid Iowa registered nurse (RN) license
    • Cannot be denied, suspended, surrendered or revoked in any U.S. or international jurisdiction

  • Current resume/CV

  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25 in all graduate and undergraduate coursework 

  • Three letters of recommendation addressing professionalism, clinical skills, critical thinking, and communication skills   
  • An undergraduate statistics course with a minimum grade of C (C- not acceptable) with the last 5 years is a prerequisite for admission
    • If not completed prior to admission, course can be completed in DNP curriculum 

  • Personal interview with DNP program Director

  • All non-native English speakers are required to take TOEFL or equivalent English language proficiency assessment and complete an interview with the program director

  • All DNP students must meet administrative requirements including criminal background check, health insurance coverage, immunization status compliance, CPR, and malpractice liability insurance prior to the first day of class

  • Additional Admission Requirements (for NP applicants):
    • Letter from NP program documenting clinical hours completed in NP education (course work & clinical hours are subject to adjustment based on gap analysis—must have minimum of 1,000 hours for DNP)
    • Current and valid Iowa registered nurse (RN) and advanced practice registered nurse (ARNP/APRN) licenses. Cannot be denied, suspended, surrendered or revoked in any U.S. or international jurisdiction
    • Current NP certification in any specialty area