The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest degree for clinical nursing practice. In the state of North Carolina, most of the post masters DNP program range between 28 and 38 credit hours, depending on the track selected. BSN to DNP students are required to complete between 65 to 72 unit hours as well as clinical hours devoted to precepted NP practice.

Central competencies that DNP students will have mastered upon completion of programs will include the following:

  • Scientific underpinning for practice
  • Clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice
  • Health care policy for advocacy in health care
  • Advanced health and physical assessment
  • Advanced physiology and pathophysiology
  • Leadership
  • Provide advanced nursing care to individuals and families
  • Appraise and utilize current healthcare technologies
  • Organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement and systems thinking

Choosing a DNP Program

Not all DNP programs are created equal. That's why it's imperative to do some research before making a final selection. Keeping the following factors in mind will make the process much easier.

What to Consider When Choosing a DNP Program

  • Program Cost— Tuition for DNP programs in the state of North Carolina vary depending on what program you choose. If you are a resident of the state and plan on attending a public institution, expect to pay anywhere between $593 to $782 per unit hour. If you're a non-resident planning to attend a public school, expect to pay between $1623 to $2,237 per unit hour. If you're planning to enroll in a private university program expect to pay somewhere in the ball park of $1,700 per unit hour.
  • Online Campus options— Of the 7 universities offering DNP programs in the state of North Carolina, 5 of them deliver them to students in an online format.
    • East Carolina University— The DNP program is offered in a hybrid format. Students are only required to attend on-campus sessions for two to three days at the beginning of each semester.
    • Gardner-Webb University— The program is presented in an executive format, with students required to attend only a few scheduled on-campus sessions per semester. The remainder of the program, including lectures, presentations, and writing assignments, are delivered online.
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill— Most of the courses have an online and campus-based hybrid format.
    • University of North Carolina at CharlotteStudents are only required to attend on-campus immersion sessions of less than one week at the beginning of each semester; the rest is completed online.
    • Winston-Salem State University— Face-to-face meetings are scheduled four times each semester, and the remainder of the coursework and requirements are completed online.
  • Accreditation— DNP programs in the state of North Carolina are accredited by the Commission on Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • Clinical Residencies— Fellowships and other clinical experiences are a big part of the DNP process. Most schools have relationships with area hospitals and healthcare centers to facilitate these residencies; students are encouraged to inquire with their school of choice.

Admission & State Licensing or Certification Requirements


  • BSN or MSN from a nationally accredited program
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Current RN licensure in the U.S. at the time of application with eligibility for NC licensure
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) must provide evidence of current national certification and meet the state requirements for practice in their state of licensure
  • An essay that addresses 1) advanced practice expertise, 2) career goals, 3) how earning the DNP degree will foster achievement of these goals, and 4) plans for a DNP project
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Three professional recommendations (should address the practice capabilities of the candidate)
  • Evidence of 500 supervised clinical hours
  • Submit a completed application


DNP programs in North Carolina allow students to sit for state board certification upon completion of the degree program. DNP tracks offered at universities in North Carolina allow students to become certified in a substantial majority of advanced practice nursing specialties.


For the state of North Carolina, nursing students who've completed the DNP track, they will need to be licensed by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. Requirements for licensure include:

  • Completing an application
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Provide transcripts from all educational institutions
  • Submit verification of specialty certification
  • Complete fingerprinting

North Carolina BSN to DNP Program Options

Of the 7 universities offering DNP programs in the state of North Carolina, 5 offer BSN to DNP pathways:

  • Duke University— offers both BSN to DNP and post-masters DNP pathways
  • East Carolina University– there are two pathways leading to the DNP degree – BSN to DNP and post-master’s DNP
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill— offers both BSN to DNP and post-masters DNP pathways
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro— offers both BSN to DNP and post-masters DNP pathways
  • Winston-Salem State University— the program is open to both post-baccalaureate (BSN to DNP) and post-master’s (BSN to DNP) applicants

Related Education Paths

Helpful DNP Agencies and Organizations in North Carolina

List of Campus and Online DNP Programs in North Carolina

Boiling Springs, NC

DNP Programs
110 S. Main St., P.O. Box 997
Boiling Springs, NC 28017
(704) 406-4000

Chapel Hill, NC

Charlotte, NC

9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223
(704) 687-8622

Cullowhee, NC

1 University Way
Cullowhee, NC 28723
(828) 227-7211

Durham, NC

School of Nursing
307 Trent Drive
Durham, NC 27710
(919) 684-3786

Greenville, NC

DNP Programs
East Fifth Street
Greenville, NC 27858
(252) 328-6131

Wilmington, NC

Winston-Salem, NC

601 S Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Winston-Salem, NC 27110
(336) 750-2000

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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