5 Best California DNP Degree Programs

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 31% increase in job growth for nurse practitioners by the year 2022, which is a much faster rate of growth than other fields within the nursing industry. It also surpasses many other industries across the United States. The growth within this area of medical expertise might be due to the nursing shortage being faced across the country, and the rising number of elderly patients. See also 60+ top California nursing schools.

In order to become certified as a nurse practitioner a master’s degree or doctor of nursing practice must be obtained from an accredited university. This must follow the graduation from a prior undergraduate course, and the passing of the NCLEX national nursing examination for licensure, which all nurses across the country must pass in order to work in the United States.

With so many largely populated areas, as well as rural developments, and warm coastal communities, California is a hot spot for nursing employment. California is also home to some of the better online nursing programs for DNP within the country.

1. California State University – Long Beach

California State University – Long Beach opened in 1948 with one hundred and sixty students and only thirteen staff faculty members. Today, the university has grown into a well-known and unique educational facility providing the state of California with many important programs including one of the best DNP degree programs in the state.

• Campus: Long Beach, CA
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
• Tuition: $2,443.00 to $3,859.00 per semester
• Minimum Time Commitment: 3 years
• Online Available: Yes
• Degree Requirements: 1,000 clinical hours, and the completion of a DNP project are required in order to graduate from this degree.
• Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing,
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Assistance

2. Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University (LLU) recognizes the need for religion as well as academics within their educational facility. They provide fifty-five programs to more than four thousand students including subjects in medicine, dentistry, public health, religion, nursing, and behavioral health. LLU has one of the most well recognized religion based doctor of nursing practice degree programs in the state, and attracts students from over 80 countries worldwide.

• Campus: Loma Linda, California
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: The California Board of Registered Nursing, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Tuition: $900 per unit (explore.llu.edu)
• Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
• Online Available: Hybrid
• Degree Requirements: 68 units and a GPA of 3.2 is required to complete this degree.
• Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice, PhD in nursing.
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Assistance

3. Fresno State University – School of Nursing

Fresno State University – School of Nursing works with San Jose State University to provide California, and students from across the country and world, with a doctor of nursing practice degree program that is unlike many others. The program is offered through an online format for professionals with limited time and a need for constant flexibility.

• Campus: Fresno, California
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: Council on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Tuition: $7,583.50 per semester
• Minimum Time Commitment: 21 months and 5 semesters
• Online Available: Yes
• Degree Requirements: 37 units must be completed, including a DNP project in order to graduate this program.
• Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program, Master of Science in Nursing
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Assistance

4. University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is a private institution with one of the best standing nursing programs in the country. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranked it within the top 10% of nursing and health science programs in the United States.
with a public conscience.

• Campus: San Diego, CA
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Tuition: $42,330 per year or $21,165 per semester
• Minimum Time Commitment: 3 years
• Online Available: Yes
• Degree Requirements: 74 to 81 semester credits with a GPA of 3.0 are required to graduate this degree.
• Programs: Doctor of Nursing Practice, BSN to DNP, Ph.D. in nursing
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Assistance

5. Brandman University

Brandman University was established by Chapman University, which is a private institution that is located in Orange, Ca. Brandman originally served as a high quality learning facility to Marine Corps at the El Toro Air Station, but has since become a public school which serves many students as a top accredited institution in California.

• Campus: Irvine, CA
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• Tuition: $1040 per credit hour
• Minimum Time Commitment: 3 years
• Online Available: Yes
• Degree Requirements: 73 credits, 30 of which must be at the doctorate level, with a letter grade of “B”, are required for completion of this degree program.
• Programs: Post Masters to Doctor of Practical Nursing, BSN to Doctor of Practical Nursing,
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Assistance