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Areas of Study

Nurse with pediatric patient

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

There are two pathways to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP):

Pathway 1: Bachelor's to DNP

For Registered Nurses with a  Bachelor's degree in nursing

  • Annual Fall admission
  • 78 total course credits for the Family Nurse Practitioner (Total course credits vary based on specialization)
  • Face-to-face method accompanied by online and hybrid delivery
  • Three course schedule options available:
    • Completion in 3, 4 or 5 years (includes summer semesters)

Specialty Options

In Collaboration with the University of Missouri-Kansas City

In Collaboration with the University of Missouri-Columbia


Pathway 2: Master's to DNP

Master's to DNP Option 1*

For Registered Nurses with a Master's Degree in nursing with CNP, CRNA, CNS, or CNM focus from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited program

  • Annual fall admission
  • 31-36 course credits
  • Executive delivery model in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, includes online components
  • Designed for part-time study (including summers)

3 Year Curriculum Plan

Master's to DNP Option 2**

For registered Nurses with a Master's Degree in Nursing (non-clinical focus) from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited program

  • Annual fall admission
  • 69 course credits
  • Executive delivery model in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, includes online components
  • Designed for part-time study (including summers)

3 Year Curriculum Plan

4 Year Curriculum Plan


Certification Eligibility

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Announcement  

The South Dakota State University DNP Family Nurse Practitioner, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (across the lifespan), and the Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner programs have met ANCC's certification eligibility educational requirements.

Students who complete these programs have the educational preparation to sit for the ANCC certification in the respective role and population.

Applicants must also meet any additional eligibility criteria in effect when they apply for certification" (ANCC, December 14, 2016).