The 10 Best Accelerated Online BSN to DNP Programs in 2023

The healthcare industry is one of the rapidly expanding sectors that changes by the day. Nurses must improve the standard and security of patient care and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to inspire good change in their communities. Obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice is one of the best ways to progress through the career ladder.

Best Accelerated Online BSN to DNP - fact

However, obtaining a traditional DNP — on-campus with a master’s degree requirement — can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, several accredited schools are now offering Accelerated Online BSN to DNP degree programs that combine a curriculum covering both master’s and doctoral-level education. Pursuing accelerated online BSN to DNP programs allow students to earn a doctorate in less time and at a more affordable cost.

The Lowdown

One of the most sought-after bridging programs in healthcare is the BSN to DNP program. It’s one of the highest degrees a nurse may earn, known as a terminal nursing degree. With a focus on evidence-based practice, this terminal degree will equip you with the ability to work in leadership positions.

BSN to DNP program also offers several concentration courses. A few of the most popular ones include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Geriatric Primary Care, and Pediatric (Primary Care), among others.

Coursework of DNP online programs varies from school to school. However, these bridge programs require students to complete the requirements of an MSN degree. The three most common courses in a BSN to DNP program include Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Pathophysiology.


Online BSN to DNP programs are growing in number and popularity. Identifying schools offering high-quality education is vital since your job will entail helping save people’s lives. 

To ensure that you’ll receive the best quality of DNP education, we’ve used the following criteria in listing each online accelerated BSN to DNP program:

  • Accredited by relevant regional or national accrediting agencies and academic organizations that advance the nursing practice, including:
    • Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE)
    • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Delivered fully or partially online for added flexibility and affordable education toward professional practice,
  • Offers fast-paced and accelerated courses for faster graduation time,
  • Features specialties and subspecialties within the nursing profession,
  • Offers financial aid, scholarship programs, internship, and networking opportunities,
  • Takes pride in seasoned teaching personnel with considerable professional experience in, or contribution to, the field.

Please read our Methodology to determine how we ranked the accelerated programs offered by top-rated colleges and universities.

10 Accelerated Online BSN to DNP Programs

Maryville University

Maryville University

Accelerated online BSN to DNP

Maryville University offers a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited Accelerated Online BSN to DNP. Students can take advantage of the 24/7 online learning model.

  • Online DNP students can earn their degrees in 3 years or even less if they enroll in more courses per semester.
  • The online program has five concentrations:
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric (Primary Care)
  • Online students are required to complete clinical in any of the local healthcare settings. 
  • No standardized test is required to gain admission to the program.

What Makes This Program Unique:

There’s a year-round enrollment. Admitted students do not have to wait weeks to months to start their DNP program.

Did You Know?

Maryville University is one of the most affordable online universities in the United States. MU is one of the best schools for military-affiliated students.

Concordia University Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin

Accelerated Online BSN to DNP

Concordia University Wisconsin offers an Accelerated Online BSN to DNP designed for busy working adults. This program has full CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation.

  • To earn the DNP degree, students must complete 70 credit hours and 1,008 practicum hours.
  • Full-time students can complete the degree in 3 years, while part-time students complete it in 4. 
  • Classes are taught 100% online with a minimal required on-campus requirement. 
  • Students will have individual academic advisors to help them have a smooth credit transfer. 
  • The program allows students to customize their coursework by choosing one of two concentration courses: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner, 
  • The intensive practicum can be completed at a student’s local healthcare facility. 
  • Students must also complete evidence-based practicum courses. 

What Makes This Program Unique:

Students can enroll in courses for the bachelor’s degree in public health to help students gain more knowledge and skills that contribute to promoting and protecting the general public. 

Did You Know?

Concordia University offers a $1000 scholarship exclusively for adult and non-traditional students.

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University

Online BSN to DNP Accelerated Track

Abilene Christian University offers a comprehensive Online BSN to DNP Accelerated Track accredited by the CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This program, however, only provides one track. 

  • This accelerated degree has an 18-credit route sequence, the DNP core, and a specialized focus in Executive Nursing Leadership.
  • Students complete the program in a minimum of 20 months. 
  • Coursework can be done 100% online, while the required 500 clinical hours and two capstone projects can be completed at the student’s local healthcare facility. 
  • The DNP core allows students to know what to expect in becoming advanced nursing professionals.
  • The program’s courses explore topics related to epidemiology and decision-making and technology and data integration.
  • Students develop three essential competency skills: leadership, organization, and management skills. 

What Makes This Program Unique:

Students are rigorously trained to understand the influence of chronic health issues on service delivery and care expectations, how finances affect practice, and how to prepare and manage teams of healthcare workers.

Did You Know?

ACU is well-known nationwide for its undergraduate academic programs, research, and teaching.

University of Michigan Flint

The University of Michigan- Flint

Accelerated Online BSN To DNP with MSN Program

The Accelerated Online BSN To DNP with MSN Program at the University of Michigan Flint is a fast-track, accelerated Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited degree program. 

  • The Accelerated Online BSN To DNP with MSN Program at the University of Michigan Flint is a fast-track, accelerated Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited degree program. 
  • Four distinct concentrations are available to assist students in achieving their own professional objectives. The four concentrations are:
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • The total required clinical hours depend on the student’s chosen concentration.
  • The program accepts applications to the accelerated program every January and August only.
  • The curriculum prepares nurse practitioners to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs with specialized knowledge to enhance patient quality of care and system results.)

What Makes This Program Unique:

The program allows students to complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree while earning a Master of Science in Nursing degree as an advanced practice nurse. However, students who want to earn their MSN degree while pursuing a DNP should have at least one year of experience working as registered nurses.

Did You Know?

UM-Flint has a strict admissions process for the BSN To DNP with MSN program. Interested students should apply early and ensure they have competitive GPAs, resumes, and recommendation letters. 

University of Florida

University of Florida

Accelerated Online BSN to DNP Program

The University of Florida offers an Accelerated Online BSN to DNP Program perfect for working RNs. This accelerated degree program has full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

  • Students complete 75-78 credits, depending on the specialized track.
  • The curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of the national DNP and offers a precise roadmap for creating the DNP project. 
  • Due to pre- and co-curriculum requirements, changes in the curriculum plans could cause a delay in graduation. However, the average competition time of the program is 3.5 years.
  • Students can complete all coursework online but must attend some on-campus intensives. 
  • On-campus requirements include one-day new student orientation, health assessment, and clinical courses for simulation and skills. 
  • The program offers six concentration areas:
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Dual Pediatric Acute and Primary Care NP

What Makes This Program Unique:

The program allows students to receive a Nurse Educator Credential and a Doctor of Nursing Practice simultaneously. This will help students receive more training and better intellectual and practical skills that can be used in various academic and clinical settings. The certificate program requires students to complete three courses worth three credits each.

Did You Know?

All students, whether studying online or on-campus, must undergo a background check, fingerprinting, drug test, and mandatory vaccine verification. All students must also show proof of health insurance. 

Georgetown University

Georgetown University

Accelerated Online BSN to DNP

Georgetown University offers an Accelerated Online BSN to DNP accredited by the CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

  • The program allows students to enroll part-time and full-time. 
  • The full-time program comprises eight 15-week terms and can be finished in as little as 33 months.
  • The part-time program consists of eleven 15-week terms.
  • The required credit hours will depend on the student’s concentration area.
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Dual Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner are the program’s concentration areas. 
  • Students must complete 1,000–1,200 clinical hours. 
  • The same on-campus faculty teach online classes.

What Makes This Program Unique:

The majority of the coursework can be done online but will still involve some in-person activities, including the Objective Clinical Intensives and Clinical Placements. 

Did You Know?

Faculty at the School of Nursing has designed every doctor of nursing practice program in detail, including course delivery, curriculum, teaching, research, and methodologies. They also supervise clinical rotations, on-campus activities, and DNP scholarly projects.

Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University

Accelerated Online BSN to DNP

The Accelerated Online BSN to DNP at Texas Christian University is accredited by the CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

  • The program allows students to customize their specialty and choose one of four concentrations:
    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Clinical Nurse Specialist (Pediatric Track)
  • The required credit hours depend on the student’s concentration, but the average completion time is 3.75 years. 
  • All concentrations, except the Clinical Nurse Specialist, require students to complete 70 and 1,000 minimum clinical hours.
  • While coursework is done primarily online, the program will require students to complete a two-day orientation and participate in clinical training and skills assessments during On-Campus Intensives (OCIs). 
  • The program, however, only accepts applicants residing in Texas and New Mexico.

What Makes This Program Unique:

Each concentration will have its own specific in-person activities, allowing students to develop more and better skills that align with their chosen nursing career. 

Did You Know?

TCU is the largest religious institution affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans

Accelerated Online BSN to DNP

Loyola University New Orleans offers an Accelerated Online BSN to DNP accredited by the CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  

  • The program offers four concentration areas; three are hybrid, and one is online.
  • The Family Nurse Practitioner program is available online, while the Nurse Anesthesia, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Anesthesia And Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner are hybrid. 
  • Students are trained to develop the knowledge and advanced leadership skills necessary for an effective healthcare system and help them provide better health outcomes.
  • Online students will gain knowledge and guidance from the esteemed on-campus faculty with years of experience in their fields. 
  • In addition, students should expect to receive support from the school in completing their studies. 
  • Completion time and required credit hours depending on the student’s pacing and concentration. However, the average completion time is 36 months. 

What Makes This Program Unique:

This is one of the few accelerated BSN to DNP programs offering a combined concentration. The nurse anesthesia + adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner concentrations require students to complete all the nurse anesthesia program prerequisites and the required AGACNP didactic and clinical practicum courses. 

Did You Know?

Loyola University New Orleans, a Jesuit college in one of the nation’s most energetic cities, offers students endless opportunities to advance spiritually, academically, and professionally.

Nebraska Methodist College

Nebraska Methodist College

Online Accelerated BSN to DNP Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Nebraska Methodist College offers an Online Accelerated BSN to DNP program designed for students who want to concentrate on becoming Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialists. This is a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited program. 

  • While the completion time varies, full-time students who follow the regular course sequencing can complete the program in 36 months. 
  • Part-time students usually complete the degree in 5 years. 
  • Students must complete 75 credit hours, 18 for contact hours, and 57 for synchronous and asynchronous coursework.
  • Students will learn from a faculty with various advanced clinical practice, management, and instruction backgrounds. 
  • The curriculum aims to help students plan and implement advanced healthcare techniques that address systemic deficits in particular communities.
  • Graduates will be able to organize pilot projects that satisfy population-level patient needs.

What Makes This Program Unique:

Students are not only evaluated by their GPAs but must also demonstrate their skills in meeting the professional demands of nursing careers. Applicants must demonstrate general, observational, communication, motor, intellectual-conceptual, behavioral and social, and coping abilities. Students who cannot achieve these technical requirements won’t be able to finish the course.

Did You Know?

Before allowing any students to participate in clinical experiences, Nebraska Methodist College must do background checks and drug tests on all of them. 

University of Miami

University of Miami

Accelerated Online BSN to DNP

The Online BSN to DNP is an accelerated degree program accredited by the CCNE – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 

  • The curriculum of this accelerated degree is presented in a lock-step manner, meaning students must pass the courses in each one to advance. 
  • The program offers four tracks: Acute Care, Adult Geriatric Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Anesthesia. 
  • The Acute Care track requires students to complete 70 credit hours.
  • Adult Geriatric Primary Care requires students to complete 68 credit hours.
  • The Family Nurse Practitioner track requires students to complete 71 credit hours. 
  • Nurse Anesthesia has the most intensive required coursework, which is 129. 
  • Regardless of the chosen concentration, students will have several shared courses, including healthcare administration, advanced pharmacology, population-based health, global health, and many more. 

What Makes This Program Unique:

This DNP program comprehensively trains students to become efficient scholars and researchers with abilities to use established academic inquiry and dissemination techniques. Graduates will have what it takes to contribute to expanding nursing practice and health care delivery.

Did You Know?

The University of Miami is widely known for having one of the most demanding and intensive research components in its advanced nursing practice curriculum.

Overview of BSN to DNP Programs

A lot of factors go into how long BSN to DNP programs last. But it usually takes three years to finish a post-baccalaureate DNP program for students who enroll full-time and attend year-round programs. On the other hand, part-time students typically complete all coursework in 4-6 years. Some BSN-to-DNP programs graduate students with both a DNP and an MSN, whereas others only grant the DNP.

The required credits, on the other hand, will depend on a student’s chosen specialty, but DNP degrees usually require 65–130 credits. In addition to lectures, BSN to DNP program will require students to complete clinical practicum hours, which, according to the AACN, should be a minimum of 1,000 hours. Depending on their area of expertise, students may need to undergo a number of rotations while they complete their clinical hours under the supervision of preceptors.

The most common areas of expertise in BSN to DNP programs include:

  • Acute Care
  • Adult-Geriatric Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse 
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric (Primary Care)

The clinical hours will likely be completed close to where the campus is for students. Many educational institutions work with neighborhood hospitals to pair students with regional preceptors. Others demand that applicants find their own jobs, which might make meeting the need for clinical experience difficult. 

Furthermore, students might be allowed to complete these practicum hours at their current job. However, limits might apply depending on the program. 

BSN-to-DNP Curriculum

All nursing principles, practices, and standards of care taught at the MSN and DNP levels are covered in BSN-to-DNP courses, albeit each curriculum differs by school and specialty. In BSN-to-DNP programs, students often take the following course topics.

Common MSN Courses: 

  • Fundamentals of Health Informatics
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Nursing Ethics
  • Public Health Promotion
  • Health Systems Innovation and Improvement
  • Advanced Health Assessment

Common DNP Courses:

  • Evidence-based practice for nursing
  • Clinical leadership in complex systems
  • Epidemiology and population health
  • Management and analyses of health data
  • Health informatics

Since advanced specialization is the main emphasis of MSN courses in most BSN-to-DNP programs, students can anticipate taking courses that will prepare them for the highest degree of practice or leadership in their particular specialty.

DNP graduates have various job opportunities. While some develop into skilled clinicians who work with particular patient populations, others find work as senior nursing administrators who concentrate on policy, education, and decision-making in fields like clinical training, executive leadership, and nursing informatics.

DNP graduates, however, are often restricted from teaching at higher education institutions. Those who want to be accepted into colleges and universities should opt for a Ph.D. instead. 

According to a recent poll by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the following career paths are the most popular ones:

Family Nurse Practitioner

FPNs generally collaborate with doctors, visiting patients of all ages for yearly checks and treating illnesses or accidents. Family nurses can offer guidance on health-related topics, including nutrition and exercise. FPNs earn a median annual salary of $157,575

Adult Nurse Practitioner

Adult nurse practitioners provide acute and chronic primary care for adults in partnership with or in consultation with physicians. They provide examinations and assessments, place test orders, develop treatment and health maintenance plans, and more. ANPs earn a median annual salary of $123,780.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Patients with problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, behavioral and mood disorders, and substance abuse receive assistance from PNPs. PNPs earn a median annual salary of $145,592.

University Nursing Professor

University nursing professors usually hold a Ph.D. Post-secondary teachers earn a median annual salary of $78,580. They train aspiring nurses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, create advances in nursing science, and publish their findings.

Nursing professors frequently have a clinical practice area of expertise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a BSN to DNP?

A BSN to DNP degree is an accelerated learning program designed for registered nurses who want to expand their careers by learning about nursing theory, practice, and research methods and obtaining a specialty. Adult gerontology, family nurse practitioner, nursing leadership, and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner are just a few specialized tracks available within each degree.

How long are Accelerated BSN to DNP programs?

The exact length of an accelerated BSN to DNP program depends on several factors, including the specialization, coursework, and whether the student enrolled full- or part-time. But on average, full-time students in an accelerated BSN to DNP program can graduate in three years. 

Are Accelerated BSN to DNP degrees less or more competitive than DNP degrees?

A BSN to DNP degree is the same as a DNP degree, but it is created for nurses who already have a BSN degree and want to skip the necessary intermediate step of an MSN. Several of these schools do, however, grant a BSN to DNP degree in addition to an MSN. These programs incorporate various specialty tracks that expand on a nurse’s prior training and experience.

What Is the Difference Between a DNP and a Nursing Ph.D.?

A DNP is a practice doctorate, whereas a Ph.D. in nursing is a research doctorate. Nurse executives can pursue professions in scientific research thanks to the Ph.D. program.

Do you need a BSN for a BSN to DNP program?

Yes. Students planning to pursue a BSN to DNP program must graduate from an accredited institution and, depending on the school’s requirements, must have a minimum of 2.5 GPA.

Are DNP graduates called Doctors or Nurses?

Someone with a DNP degree is a nurse, not a medical doctor. 

Nurses with a DNP can hold leadership positions and more complex responsibilities than their ADN, BSN, and MSN counterparts. However, their area of expertise is different from a doctor of medicine. Nevertheless, DNP nurses are nurse leaders essential to any healthcare facility to enhance patient outcomes significantly. 

Summary Points

  • All Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are bridge programs designed to help registered nurses (RNs) prepare to work as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
  • Nurses who successfully finish a DNP program are qualified to work as nurse practitioners (NP) in hospitals, clinics, long-term care institutions, and other types of healthcare settings.

Additional Information: