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For nurses with a non-nursing master’s degree, Capella University’s DNP Preparatory Program offers a three-course pathway that provides the essential skills and knowledge needed to embark on the Capella Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Upon successful completion of the DNP Preparatory Program, you will pursue the program requirements for Capella’s online DNP program where you will learn how to expand your leadership responsibilities, shape systems of care, and educate future generations of nurses. Capella University’s CCNE-accredited* program is designed for nurses who are looking to enhance their administrative, organizational, and systems leadership skills while striving toward transforming patient care**. With our interprofessional approach, you learn about, from, and with other health care professions, gaining leadership skills to partner across professions to achieve common goals.

Already have an MSN? See our DNP program.

Degree Highlights

  • Professionally Aligned: Our competency-based curriculum allows you to gain the relevant competencies that employers are looking for. Discover specifically what you'll learn, and how you can apply the knowledge and skills to make a direct impact on the lives of your patients and staff.
  • Credible: Capella’s DNP program is accredited* by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and incorporates the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's (AACN) Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.
  • Expert faculty: You’ll gain real-world perspectives and insights through a scholar-practitioner and competency-based model led by top faculty, renowned for both academic and industry expertise.
  • Real-World Experience: Our integrated doctoral capstone and practice immersion allow you to work with an organization to solve real-world challenges–giving you the professional experience you need to lead at the top of your field.
  • Expand Your Leadership Skills: Our virtual nursing environment gives you the chance to practice leadership scenarios in a fail-safe setting.
  • Save Time and Money: You could maximize your investment and help fund your degree through a number of money saving options including scholarships, employer discounts and military benefits. Estimate your costs and graduation date.
  • Online Learning: Enjoy an online curriculum with 24-hour access to courses that Capella’s virtual course room provides. 

*The DNP degree program at Capella University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791

** The DNP is not a clinical degree program and is not designed to prepare advanced practice registered nurses for roles as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, or certified nurse anesthetists.

To learn more about this program, request more information and we will match you with an enrollment counselor who specializes in your area of study.

Degree Outcomes

With your Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Capella you'll have the ability to employ a science-based theoretical foundation to develop and evaluate new practices and approaches to health care delivery, lead planning and implementation of health care technologies, as well as develop, implement, and advocate for health care policy that meets the needs of specific populations.

View full learning and career outcomes report for this program at

Career Outcomes*

Common careers with a DNP include nursing administrator, education consultant, chief nursing officer, health care director, lobbyist or legislative consultant, or nursing professor. Potential workplaces include: hospital, clinic, medical center, community health agency, community or technical college, land-based or online university, hospital-based school of nursing, government agency or self-employment.

*These examples are intended to serve as a general guide. Many factors determine what position an individual may attain and Capella can't guarantee a graduate will secure any specific job title