Pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is a significant investment in your career and education. However, it’s no secret that the cost of advanced education can often deter potential students from reaching their academic goals.

Thankfully, there’s good news for aspiring nurse practitioners pursuing a DNP without emptying their wallets. We’ll be delving into six of the most budget-friendly DNP programs for 2023, each offering a blend of affordability and educational excellence. It’s essential to remember that the tuition costs we’re discussing pertain exclusively to the DNP program itself and do not encompass any prerequisites or preceding degrees that may be required for admission.

1. Wichita State University

Total Online Tuition Cost: $9,458.35 (29 Credits)

Wichita State University’s DNP program is a testament that quality education need not come at an exorbitant cost. With a total online tuition cost of $9,458.35 for 29 credits, this program offers an affordable gateway for aspiring nurse practitioners to achieve their career goals. However, it’s important to note that you must first complete your MSN before applying to take advantage of this specific tuition estimate.

Apart from its amazing low cost, WSU’s DNP program is quick, but also comprehensive. You can expect to cover all the necessary information you’ll need to enter the field as a DNP in as little as two years.

2. Missouri State University

Total Online Tuition Cost: $10,150 (29 Credits)

Missouri State University’s DNP program strikes an impressive balance between affordability and educational excellence. With a total online tuition cost of $10,150 for 29 credits, this program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of advanced nursing practice. The curriculum blends clinical proficiency with leadership development, ensuring graduates are well-prepared to excel in careers such as:

  • Family nurse practitioner
  • Advanced practice nurse
  • Nurse educator
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Health care systems leader

Regardless of what path you choose, you can practically be guaranteed an exceptional advancement in your career while saving money on your tuition.

3. Delta State University

Total Online Tuition Cost: $12,652.50 (31 Credits)

Delta State University’s DNP program demonstrates that excellence and value can go hand in hand. With a total online tuition cost of $12,652.50 for 31 credits, this unique program prioritizes affordability while delivering a curriculum that readies students for advanced practice roles. What makes DSU’s DNP program stand out is the FNP track. While many FNPs need to take the designated BSN to DNP route, students enrolled in DSU’s DNP program may be able to become FNP if they have certain credentials already. This incredibly efficient accelerated track also allows students to graduate in as little as a year and a half.

4. Fort Hays University

Total Online Tuition Cost: $12,840 (30 Credits)

Fort Hays State University recognizes the financial constraints that many prospective nurse practitioners face. With a total online tuition cost of $12,840 for 30 credits, this program is a beacon of accessibility, enabling individuals to pursue a DNP without being overwhelmed by tuition expenses.

Despite its affordability, the program is committed to offering a robust education that equips students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the dynamic healthcare landscape. However, it’s important to review your specific career goals carefully when choosing this program. While you can save a substantial amount of money on tuition, the MSN to DNP program may not be the right choice for DNPs who want to practice as an FNP. They do however offer an FNP track for students in their BSN to DNP.

5. University of South Alabama

Total Online Tuition Cost: $15,228 (36 Credits)

One of the distinct aspects of the University of South Alabama’s DNP program is the number of exciting specializations they offer, including:

  • Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care NP) Specialty
  • Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult Health
  • Executive Nurse Administrator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Informatics

This is not a complete list. To qualify for admission, you’ll need to have an MSN already and an advanced practice RN license in the area in which you want to specialize. This is the perfect opportunity for nurses who want to go back to school to get their DNP but want to stay in the specialized field they’re already working in.

6. University of Central Arkansas

Total Online Tuition Cost: $15,321.96 (36 Credits)

The University of Central Arkansas’s DNP program is a testament to affordable excellence in education. With a total online tuition cost of $15,321.96 for 36 credits, this program empowers nurse practitioners with a curriculum that balances clinical acumen and leadership proficiency without costing an arm and a leg to graduate. It should be noted, however, that this particular program is designed for part-time students to take up to 6 credits per semester, so while it is affordable, it likely won’t be timely. That being said, the 15 hour per week schedule is perfect for students with a busy work or home life.

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