Doctor of Nursing Practice

Saint Mary's College has a rich history of educating nurses with a patient-centered focus. Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program takes it a step further - men and women will be equipped to create better systems of care not only for individual patients, but broader populations. With a unique curriculum that includes courses on data analytics and social entrepreneurship, you'll emerge ready to devise solutions to unmet healthcare needs - and lead meaningful change in a complex system. You will develop the entrepreneurial skills to invent and disseminate new cost-effective approaches to care, and advance sustainable solutions to create social value for small- and large-scale populations.

In 2022, Nursing Schools Almanac named the Saint Mary’s nursing program in the top four nursing schools in Indiana and top 20 in the Midwest region.

According to DNP student Catherine Shah, the entrepreneurial skills provided at Saint Mary's are invaluable. "If I ever wanted to start my own practice, I have the tools. And you don't find that in other programs."

Learn more from Shah, her classmates, and DNP faculty:


Advance Your Nursing Practice

With just 2-3 classes per term, the primarily online program is designed to allow you to work and complete your course assignments just about anywhere, all with the support of the Saint Mary's community.  The DNP is available in two tracks: 

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

At the program’s conclusion, you will be eligible for licensure as a nurse practitioner. Additionally, with the completion of your track, you will be prepared to take a national exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to be certified as a Board Certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP-BC) or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC). You will not only learn the skills and knowledge needed to become a nurse practitioner but you will also take courses that challenge you at another level. With a cutting-edge course in social entrepreneurship that carries over into your capstone innovation project, you'll identify an unmet need in healthcare and create a population-focused business plan designed to persuade a donor or lending institution. You'll take an innovative course in patient-focused communication and leadership that will inform your approach to the program - and your career. Most important, you'll emerge ready to direct the future of your profession.  

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Saint Mary’s College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( The Saint Mary’s College Doctor of Nursing Practice Program will undergo an Accreditation site visit by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) on November 1-3, 2021. The Department of Nursing Science invites written comments regarding the program’s qualifications for accreditation to be submitted no later than October 11, 2021 to The CCNE requires all comments to be written in English.