Program Overview

The online DNP degree program from Samuel Merritt University provides students with new areas of knowledge such as genetics, environmental health, care of diverse populations, and global health, combined with experience in the delivery of safe, effective, and patient-centered care, to develop nurse leaders who will transform health care on a local and national scale. Graduates are able to:

  • ​Design programs of care delivery that are effective, acceptable to patients and care providers, and economically feasible
  • Significantly impact health care outcomes
  • Critique and apply scientific clinical findings
  • ​Transform health care delivery by applying best practices to the clinical care of individuals, families, and communities
  • ​Develop advanced competencies for increasingly complex care and leadership in global health, genetics, and biomedical sciences

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Doctorate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree: No

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

    Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


    • Must be a licensed, currently practicing Registered Nurse with a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    • Demonstrate an interest in working with underserved populations;
    • Have successfully completed at least one course in statistics;
    • Can provide two letters of reference. Must have a MSN degree.


    The post-MSN DNP program is offered entirely online and is available in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas & Virginia.

    School Overview

    Samuel Merritt University is a private, non-profit institution located in Oakland, California. Founded in 1909, the school was named after a physician named Dr. Samuel Merritt. Originally from Maine, Merritt served as an architect, civic planner, city mayor, physician, and ship builder in Oakland. He had drawn up plans for the construction of a hospital to be built upon his death, and Samuel Merritt Hospital fulfilled this purpose when it opened in conjunction with Samuel Merritt University. Over the years the school progressed from a hospital diploma school of nursing into a thriving university. Throughout much of its earlier history, the school was affiliated with other colleges and universities and offered students general education and liberal arts courses. The graduates of 1985 were members of the last diploma class who completed baccalaureate requirements. The 1990s brought about mergers with hospitals and the school grew. In 1990, the first graduate degree program was established, leading to a master’s degree in physical therapy. In 1999, after decades of graduating highly qualified healthcare providers, the university was awarded the California Governor's Quality Award.

    Samuel Merritt University offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels in health disciplines, including nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and podiatric medicine, among others. Some graduate degrees in nursing are available in online formats.


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