Within the discipline of nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is a post-master's, terminal degree type. The DNP degree is the highest level of education available in the field. Nurses who have obtained DNPs can work in executive leadership roles like nursing or hospital administration, and as advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners.

In Wisconsin, BSN to DNP programs will generally require the completion of 65 to 95 unit hours. MSN to DNP tracks typically require students to complete between 28 to 38 unit hours.

Core competencies students should master during their time in DNP programs include:

  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Health and physical assessment
  • Public policy in the context of nursing and health
  • Quantitative research methods and evidence-based practice
  • Advanced decision-making in health care settings
  • Clinical research for advanced practice nursing
  • Advanced physiology and pathophysiology
  • Epidemiology for advanced nursing practice

Choosing a DNP Program

There are several factors that contribute to choosing the right DNP program in Wisconsin for you. Keep the following in mind as you research schools and you'll be well on your way to a successful educational experience.

What to Consider When Choosing a DNP Program

  • Program Cost— Tuition for DNP programs in Wisconsin varies from institution to institution. If you are a resident of the state, expect to pay anywhere between $840 to $963 per unit hour. If you're a non-resident, expect to pay somewhere around $1,870 per unit hour.
  • Online Options— Of the 8 universities in Wisconsin offering DNP programs, six offer programs with either a combination of in-person, hybrid and/or online formats, or entirely online formats:
    • Concordia University—Wisconsin: Offers two online post-masters DNP tracks – Direct Care – Provider Track, Indirect Care, and a Leadership track
    • Edgewood College: The program is offered in a blended/online format, with students meeting face-to-face in the evenings only two to three times during the semester. The rest of the coursework is done online
    • University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire: Both BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs deliver hybrid (in-class/online) formats
    • University of Wisconsin—Madison: Both BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs are offered primarily online, with a few scheduled face-to-face classroom sessions
    • University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh: Program courses are offered both online and on campus
    • Viterbo University: Courses are delivered both online and on-campus
  • Accreditation— Prior to enrolling in any program, it's important to consider accreditation. DNP programs in Wisconsin can be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Department of Safety and Professional Nursing Board of Wisconsin.
  • Clinical Residencies— Fellowships and residencies can often be arranged through your school of choice, and are an important part of the clinical, hands-on learning portion of the DNP curriculum.

Admission & State Licensing or Certification Requirements


Standards for admission to DNP programs in Wisconsin will change depending on the institution. Prospective students should have fulfilled the following prerequisite requirements:

  • BSN or MSN degree from an accredited school of nursing
  • Current certification as an advanced practice nurse or as an advanced nurse administrator
  • Transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities
  • Graduate-level statistics course that includes descriptive and inferential statistics taken within the last five years (must have achieved a grade of B or higher)
  •  2-3 page personal essay
  • Curriculum vitae (CV)
  • 2-3 professional letters of recommendation
  • On-campus interview


Accredited DNP programs in the state of Wisconsin allow students to sit for certification upon successful completion. Different universities offer students different DNP tracks. Students who successfully complete DNP programs in Wisconsin may become certified in the specialties areas including, but not limited to the following:

  • Nurse Administrator
  • Maternal/Child Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Leaders
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners


In Wisconsin, students who've completed the DNP track must be licensed by the Department of Safety and Professional Nursing Board of Wisconsin. Requirements for licensure include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Completing an application
  • Background checks
  • Provide transcripts from all educational institutions
  • Submit verification of specialty certification
  • Complete fingerprinting 

Wisconsin BSN to DNP Program Options

Of the eight universities in Wisconsin offering DNP programs, seven of them offer BSN to DNP tracks

  • Viterbo University
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh
  • University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
  • University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire
  • Marquette University
  • Edgewood College

Related Education Paths

Helpful DNP Agencies and Organizations in Wisconsin

List of Campus and Online DNP Programs in Wisconsin

Eau Claire, WI

Madison, WI

DNP Programs
702 West Johnson Street. Suite 1101
Madison, WI 53715
(608) 263-2400

Mequon, WI

12800 N Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097
(262) 243-5700

Milwaukee, WI

Oshkosh, WI

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