Doctor of Nursing Practice Degrees

Become a clinical leader in healthcare 

The Gardner-Webb Doctor of Nursing Practice helps experienced nurses grow into patient care leadership and expert specialty roles. You’ll have a direct impact on improving healthcare outcomes through evidence-based practice. 

Our program helps you continue working and caring for your personal responsibilities while advancing your education. Your coursework is fully online with once per semester on-campus intensives. You’ll develop strong relationships with your faculty and peers, and they’ll support you during your program and as you transition into practice. Within our faith-based community, you’ll see the world of healthcare through a Christian lens. 

Besides completing your online coursework, you’ll be able to fulfill your practicum experience in your desired specialty in local healthcare and education settings. As part of your program, you’ll also execute an evidence-based project over four semesters, gaining academic knowledge to use throughout your career. 

Accreditation for the Hunt School of Nursing is maintained through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc. (ACEN) located at ACEN, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA, 30326, phone: (404) 975-5000 and information can be found on the ACEN website.


What You’ll Learn

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program at Gardner-Webb University offers three options designed to meet the needs of nurses seeking expanded roles in their profession: Post-MSN (36 credit hours), Family Nurse Practitioner (79 credit hours), and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (81 credit hours). In addition to the three areas of concentrated study, the DNP program offers a post-doctoral certificate option for doctoral-prepared nurses who desire to pursue Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification.

For more information about program and admissions requirements, including specific courses, please view our Academic Catalog.

Available Programs

Post-Baccalaureate Family Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice – Post-Baccalaureate Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) option is a 79-credit-hour course of study designed to prepare nurses to provide primary care for diverse populations across the lifespan within a community setting. A 40-credit-hour post-doctoral certificate for Family Nurse Practitioner is offered for students who have completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree but not the coursework required for certification and practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Post-Baccalaureate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

The Doctor of Nursing Practice – Post-Baccalaureate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) option is an 81-credit-hour course of study designed to prepare psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to provide expert knowledge and skills for promoting and facilitating optimal mental health across the lifespan. A 42-credit-hour post-doctoral certificate for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is offered for students who have completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree but not the coursework required for certification and practice as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Post-Master’s Track

The Doctor of Nursing Practice – Post-MSN Track at Gardner-Webb University is a 36-credit-hour, post-master’s program designed to prepare you for a wide variety of career options and advancements, such as teaching, leadership roles, or directing clinical and academic programs. The post-MSN track deepens your knowledge of the field while preparing you to improve healthcare outcomes through evidence-based practice.

Coursework is presented in an executive format including 20-23 clock hours per course on campus in Boiling Springs, N.C. each semester for student/faculty collaboration and presentations, clarification of theoretical content, and course requirements. The remainder of the semester includes online lectures, presentations, writing assignments, and interactive class discussions using GWU’s distance learning system. Students enrolled in the DNP Post-MSN Track acquire knowledge in nursing leadership theory, research, statistics, epidemiology, informatics, healthcare policy, economics, teaching and learning.


What You’ll Do

Students graduating with a DNP-FNP or PMHMP degree will have expanded opportunities within a variety of work environments. Specifically, the post-baccalaureate programs serve to:

  • Synthesize scientific and theoretical knowledge from nursing and other disciplines to implement best practice approaches reflective of the highest level of nursing.
  • Collaborate with institutional, local, state, federal, and/or international leaders to make data-driven decisions to improve health care outcomes.
  • Lead intra- and inter-professional teams to advocate for and implement policies, which improve individual and population health.
  • Engage in leadership to integrate evidence-based clinical prevention and health services for individuals and populations.
  • Develop and sustain therapeutic and programmatic interventions and partnerships with patients, populations, and professionals, appropriate to advance nursing specialization.

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