Post-Master's DNP Programs

  • Hybrid
  • On-Campus
  • Online

Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Join the next generation of Nursing Leaders

Fairfield University’s Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree represents the highest academic preparation for nursing practice, focusing on expanded scientific knowledge related to providing comprehensive direct care across all settings. Grounded in clinical practice, the DNP moves the focus of advanced practice nursing from the level of the individual patient to the population level by using a cross-population perspective to assess, manage, and evaluate common problems.

The DNP program prepares students for advanced nursing practice by developing their ability to independently provide culturally sensitive, evidence-based care and demonstrate critical thinking in healthcare management. Students will learn to translate research into practice, integrate science and theory for reflective practice, and evaluate outcomes through healthcare information systems and fiscal analysis.

The program is designed for Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioners as well as aspiring nursing leaders with a non-practitioner Master’s degree. Students have the option to enroll in the online or hybrid Post-Master’s DNP. Students enrolled in the online option will attend synchronous class sessions for optimal student engagement with faculty and peers.

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialization for those with a Family Nurse Practitioner degree will require onsite training.

The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Completion Time: 18 – 24 months

Schedule: Full-time | Part-time

Start Dates: Fall (September) | Spring (January)

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Female nursing students tending to a training doll during a lab simulation.

Acquire advanced nursing skills to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.


Lead Healthcare Improvements

Fairfield University’s Post-Master’s DNP curriculum provides an in-depth exploration of topics essential to advanced nursing practice. Students develop skills in evidence-based care, quality improvement, healthcare policy, leadership, research methods, informatics, and more. The rigorous coursework empowers students with the knowledge and capabilities to guide improvements in healthcare delivery and patient outcomes as advanced practice nurses and leaders in healthcare.

Students can seamlessly transfer their earned immersion hours and fulfill additional hours at their current organization or at a location that suits their professional needs. 

DNP graduates will be prepared to be clinical practice leaders in a variety of roles, including:

  • Quality management executives in healthcare organizations
  • Advance practice nurses in acute, community, and long-term care settings
  • Directors of clinical programs
  • Faculty responsible for clinical program delivery and teaching
  • Hospital Administration roles

Courses (30-32 credits)

View Course Catalog

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialization

This specialization is for active non-psychiatric practitioners only and was created in response to the overwhelming demand for mental health care in all settings. The Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies offers an expanded Post-Master’s DNP program that includes the didactic and clinical courses required to sit for ANCC certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Individuals who currently hold certification as a non-psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (e.g. FNP, ANP, PNP, CNM, etc.) and are interested in achieving additional certification as a PMHNP may apply to the on-campus Post-Master’s DNP program with a specialization focus in advanced practice psychiatric nursing.

Prepare to address gaps within communities and complex healthcare systems.


Develop Advanced Clinical Skills

Acquire the knowledge and skills to independently provide culturally competent, evidence-based care in advanced nursing practice. Take your expertise to the next level through advanced coursework tailored to today’s complex healthcare landscape.

Extensive Network

Join our robust healthcare industry network, offering opportunities to support you, your education, and community projects. Forge lasting connections to a lifelong professional network and hone your leadership skills through collaboration and networking with experienced professionals.

Explore more of Fairfield’s career resources.


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Faculty & Academic Approach

One-on-One Support

Our dedicated faculty advisors and program director offer personalized attention throughout the program, ensuring continuous guidance and mentorship to support your growth. Benefit from professional and personal development to help you thrive throughout your DNP journey.

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Sally Gerard

Sally Gerard

Dr. Sally Gerard, Professor, Associate Dean, and Program Director for The Nurse Leadership and MSN/MBA programs, boasts a 25-year nursing career with a focus on critical care and hospital education. She is renowned for her expertise in diabetes, including research and publications dedicated to its understanding. She actively advocates for health and quality care.

Dorothy Vittner

Dorothy Vittner

Dr. Dorothy Vittner has a 30-year background in Neonatal/Perinatal nursing including two decades of research on high-risk infants, brain development, and neurobehavioral functioning. As a Senior NIDCAP Trainer, she serves on the Board of Directors of the NIDCAP Federation International (NFI), leads in the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP), and consults globally evaluating systems.

Explore the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

Ranked among the Top 5% Best Health Professions Schools the Nation by College Factual, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies inspires students to become leaders across social and healthcare environments. These students are actively engaged with faculty in practice, policy, scholarship, and service. As a modern Jesuit institution, a central focus of our care is to improve health outcomes with particular attention to the needs of underserved or vulnerable populations.

Discover the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

Learn how Fairfield is committed to diversity and inclusion

Develop life-long professional relationships with faculty and peers.

Admissions & Aid

Assistance navigating your journey to a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

From your first admissions conversation to graduation and beyond, you’ll find support at every turn. The Fairfield University student support network is dedicated to meeting your needs. You’ll receive personal, academic, and financial guidance as you complete your DNP.

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Admission requirements

Applicants to the Doctor of Nursing program at Fairfield University must have a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. A GPA of 3.2 or better is preferred. No GMAT/GRE required.

  • A completed online application.
  • A non-refundable $65 application fee paid by credit card. Application fee is waived for current Fairfield students and for those who attend an information session.
  • A professional resume. Applicants are required to submit a current resume that includes employment and education history (submit online).
  • A personal statement. Students should discuss a practice problem in their field that has a broad impact on patient care outcomes, state professional goals for the next 5-10 years, and explain how a DNP degree will aid in reaching their goals. (submit online).
  • Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree (BSN entry) and Master's degree (MSN entry). All foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an approved evaluating service.
  • Two recommendation forms and letters, one of which must be from a current supervisor or professor who can assess one's clinical expertise and academic potential, accompanied by the University recommendation forms. Recommendations are completed online. At the time of application, candidates must provide the email addresses and names of their two recommenders.
  • Copy of current active, unencumbered RN license.
  • Copy of current active APRN license and certificate of national certification in the advanced specialty.
  • Documentation of the number of clinical hours completed in previous MSN program.
  • All candidates will be interviewed after all application materials have been submitted.

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