UF DNP Program Named #6 Best Value Nationally
Since the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the leading national nursing education organization, officially recommended adopting the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as the industry standard and terminal degree, nursing schools all over the nation have been working to design their own DNP programs. More than a decade later, the DNP is the preferred highest-order degree, over the nursing Ph.D., and the number of programs and graduates is steadily growing.
When it comes to nursing, the DNP differs from the Ph.D. in a few essential ways, the main difference being that the Ph.D. is oriented toward theory and research, while the DNP is directed toward putting theory and research into practice in advanced clinical situations.
The AACN has promoted the DNP degree for one essential reason – to combat the well-known nursing shortage, a shortage which has not been alleviated by years of advocacy and even threatens to become a crisis in the next decade. Strong, well-educated leaders are needed in clinical settings, and current, knowledgable educators are needed in clinical education; the DNP prepares nurses for both.
Working nursing professionals are drawn to the advanced degree for other reasons; besides credentials for promotion and major leadership positions, DNP-holders make an average salary of $116,000 according to Payscale, while advanced Nurse Practitioners make $87,000 in annual salary. Those are significant improvements over most nurses’ incomes. But with more nurses looking to the DNP, and schools hastily throwing together their own DNP programs, nurses have to be careful that they are getting the best value for their tuition.
That’s why Value Colleges has compiled a ranking of the top 50 Best Values in DNP programs. The list begins with the AACN’s authoritative program directory; of the 265 schools AACN lists as having a DNP program, we ranked according to three data points:
- Reputability (U.S. News & World Report 2017 Best Grad Schools – Nursing)
- Cost (Actual per credit Tuition) (we use lowest in-state)
- Projected Salary Outcome (Payscale data for mid-career/alumni’s of institution)
Value Colleges’ methodology determined that the top 50 colleges and universities offer the strongest education with the most affordable tuition, combining to provide the best return on their educational investment. All of the programs featured are regionally accredited, reputable, and well-established.