DNP – BSN-to-DNP (CCNE-accredited)
Capella University

Program Details

Earning a BSN to DNP program online can save you time and money. Capella's pathway takes you straight from your BSN to a DNP, allowing you to get to your goal of achieving a doctoral degree faster, without the time and expense of earning an MSN along the way. 

Our CCNE-accredited BSN-to-DNP program focuses on administrative, organizational, and systems leadership competencies to prepare you for a variety of nursing leadership positions. The program incorporates the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's (AACN) Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing as well as the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Additionally, Capella is a proud partner of the American Nurses Association. ANA has chosen Capella as a partner on the ANA Leadership Institute, providing nurse leadership development in a flexible format for nurses at the bedside or in the boardroom.

The DNP program differentiates itself from a PHD in that it is less research-focused and more of a practice doctorate. With a DNP, you'll be prepared to solve complex health care problems, shape systems of care, educate future generations of nurses, and lead organization-level improvements. 

  • No Residency: The online BSN to DNP program at Capella does not require your participation in an in-person residency, therefore allowing you to spend more time with family and focus on any work commitments you may have.
  • Practice Immersion: Knowledge in the classroom is immediately applicable with this flexible practice immersion option. You will be able to use the evidence-based methods you've learned throughout your coursework to solve real healthcare challenges.
  • Save Time and Money: Maximize your investment and fund your degree through a number of money saving options including employer discounts and military benefits.
  • Online Learning:  Earn your BSN to DNP degree 100% online and enjoy the flexibility that Capella’s virtual course room provides. You will have 24-hour access to the course room, leaving you in control of your own schedule.
  • Professionally Aligned: Our competency based education allows you to gain the relevant competencies that the employers of today require.

With your Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Capella you'll have the ability to employ a science-based theoretical foundation to develop and evaluate new practices and approaches to health care delivery, lead planning and implementation of health care technologies, as well as develop, implement, and advocate for health care policy that meets the needs of specific populations.

Common jobs with an online Doctorate in Nursing Practice include nursing administrator, education consultant, chief nursing officer, health care director, lobbyist or legislative consultant, or nursing professor. Potential workplaces include: hospital, clinic, medical center, community health agency, community or technical college, land-based or online university, hospital-based school of nursing, government agency or self employment.

RN license verification required. Capella University nursing programs are not designed to prepare graduates for entry-level or advanced practice licensure as a nurse.


Your program of enrollment determines the admission requirements. 

Basic requirements for all programs:

  • Admission application and non-refundable $50 application fee
  • Acknowledgement agreement
  • All applicants must understand, read, speak, and write fluently in English
  • Official transcript(s) from previous institutions for degree and post-degree coursework, if applicable
  • Minimum GPA as defined by your program

Minimum level of education required:

  • Grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Current, unrestricted RN license to practice in the United States
  • This program is not designed to prepare graduates for entry-level or advanced practice licensure as a nurse.
  • A BSN degree is required.

Special Accreditation

The BSN, MSN, and DNP programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

School Accreditation Statement

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 

  • Higher Learning Commission:, 800.621.7440 
  • Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552),