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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Meet the challenges of the heath-care system in the 21st century prepared as a leader in health care with your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

Announcing More Options to Earn Your DNP Degree

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The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Learn more about the Commission on Collegiate Nursing

Elevate your career and improve the health care system by earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from UMass Lowell with preparation as:

  • A nurse leader with expertise in evidence-based health care and advanced leadership skills.
  • A clinical expert with the skill to improve health care quality, teach others and formulate policies.

New for Fall 2020

UMass Lowell is excited to announce two more DNP degree options:

1) Direct BS-to-DNP full time and part time pathway:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner option
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Option
2) In the Master's to DNP degree (MS-DNP) pathway, all courses are now online with an on-campus orientation and intensives for mentoring students.

UMass Lowell offers four DNP degree pathways:

1) BS to DNP Degree Pathway - This 75-credit direct degree pathway is for applicants with a BS in nursing. Be prepared as an Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or a Family Nurse Practitioner.

2) MS to DNP Degree Pathway - This 33-credit online pathway is for applicants with an MS in nursing. 

3) Fast Track BS to DNP Degree Pathway - This pathway is open to UMass Lowell BS nursing students with an earned GPA of 3.5 who are in the last semester of their program. 

4) Fast Track MS to DNP Degree Online Pathway - This pathway is for applicants from UMass Lowell Solomont School of Nursing master's program or students from universities with which UMass Lowell has an agreement, and have an earned GPA of 3.5 who are in the last semester of their program.

View more details in the UMass Lowell Catalog.

Contact: Susan Parker, DNP Program Coordinator and Lecturer, Phone: 978-934-4525 or Email:

To view the admission requirements for all four DNP options, visit the UMass Lowell Catalog.

To apply, please visit UMass Lowell Graduate Admissions.

Learn more about Tuition and Fees.

The scholarly project is planned and designed through a sequence of four courses which are typically the last four courses a student takes in the program. 

The project is a culmination of work done throughout the DNP program that demonstrates the ability of the students to effect positive change in health care settings through careful synthesis of evidence and evaluation of the effectiveness of the change. 

Types of scholarly projects (but not limited to): 

  • Quality Improvement 
  • Financial Analysis to Compare Models of Care 
  • Implement and Evaluate Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines 
  • Design and Evaluate New Models of Care 
  • Analyze a Policy and Revise and Implement the amended policy
  • Develop and Implement a New Policy

UMass Lowell provides a lot of support and tools to boost student success. 

Education Modules

Education Modules PATH is an acronym for Preparation, Academics, Transitions and Helpful Resources. Within the PATH module, students will find resources to assist with the back-to-school transition, including information on navigating the university, writing, research and time and stress management. 

The Cultural Competency module includes information and resources, not only on cultural competency, but also on the health care needs of underserved populations. 

Links to Helpful Tools 

Professional Organizations 

Meet Our Students & Alumni

  • Nelly Padua
    Doctor of Nursing Practice

    Nelly Padua sees first hand the issues families in underserved areas face. With more than 10 years experience as a nurse practitioner, she has ideas for how to solve these problems and decided to pursue a DNP degree to turn these ideas into action.

  • Susan Mullaney

    Susan Mullaney, who earned a doctorate in nursing practice in 2015, is a vice president at UnitedHealth Group, where she focuses on keeping seniors healthy. She joined the board of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which sets curriculum standards for nursing degrees.

  • Catherine Elie
    Doctor of Nursing Practice

    Catherine Elie enrolled in the DNP program to help her realize her vision of leading more nurses into the challenging, yet satisfying world of community health.

  • Diane Grimaldi
    Doctor of Nursing Practice

    After many years of counseling clients in her private psychotherapy and psychopharmacology practice, Diane Grimaldi decided to enrich her knowledge by enrolling in UMass Lowell’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

  • Susan Gordon
    Doctor of Nursing Practice

    With a dual nurse practitioner certification in adult acute care and gerontology, Gordon enrolled in UMass Lowell’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program to learn leadership skills to help her improve care, especially for older adults.

  • Maribel Ortiz
    Doctor of Nursing Practice

    Maribel Ortiz is learning leadership skills in the DNP program that are helping her evaluate the quality of treatments, analyze processes and find ways to provide equal care for all populations.