Alabama’s DNP landscape is dominated by public universities, including top nursing names like UAB. To get a handle on your choices, check out our advice section. Here you’ll find rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in Alabama, details on online & hybrid AL doctorates, and notes on BSN to DNP options. Want the skinny on a particular AL school? Skip ahead to our detailed program listings.
Top Alabama DNP Programs
To come up with this list of the best DNP programs in AL, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, prioritizing any Alabama school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. In the final reckoning, we also considered factors such as accreditation, deliverables, and reputation.
1. University of Alabama-Birmingham
UAB’s DNP program has everything to recommend it. It’s offered by a School of Nursing with superb national rankings, solid certification exam pass rates, and excellent graduate reviews. BSN to DNP and Post-MSN tracks are delivered in a hybrid format that blend online coursework with face-to-face clinical practicums & intensives in top-notch facilities. The School is a long-standing NLN Center of Excellence. And almost every employer has heard of it.
Applied learning is UAB’s mantra. One of the university’s core strengths is its affiliation with UAB Hospital, a Magnet facility. The School of Nursing also has clinical partnership ties to nurse-managed clinics and Children’s of Alabama. Better yet, nursing graduates can take part in global projects, PMHNP residencies, veterans initiatives, rural primary care programs, and nurse-family partnerships. If you’re still in the planning stages for your capstone project, be sure to visit the School’s Office of Research & Scholarships to learn more about nursing faculty interests.
2. University of Alabama-Huntsville
UAH’s College of Nursing is a sizeable & established school with a flexible DNP program. Like UAB, it’s an NLN Center of Excellence and a hub of research; 65% of faculty are doctorally prepared, and many of the remaining instructors are currently enrolled in a doctoral program. Reviews of UAH’s nursing graduate degrees are strong, with students praising the convenience of the online classes, the top-rate faculty, and the hands-on learning. Plus tuition rates for the post-master’s track are eminently affordable.
Huntsville Hospital is not officially affiliated with UAH, but it’s in close proximity. If you’re interested in the BSN to DNP pathway (e.g. NP tracks), you’ll also have access to the College’s well-equipped Learning and Technology Resource Center (LTRC) and the opportunity to participate in the college’s outreach programs. Feel free to ask the program coordinator for NP certification pass rates.
3. Troy University
Troy University’s School of Nursing is housed in the College of Health and Human Services. The DNP program has superb FNP certification pass rates and employment placement statistics, and the School gets good independent reviews from alumni. Reviewers especially like the convenience of the graduate nursing programs, the helpful faculty, and the university’s affordable online tuition rates. With Troy Online, in-state and out-of-state students pay the same price.
You can get a better sense of the DNP by viewing the CVs of DNP faculty. We also want to point out that Troy tends to do very well in U.S. News & World Report rankings for Online Graduate Nursing Programs (e.g. top 20) and Online Master’s in Nursing Programs for Veterans (e.g. top 10).
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Alabama
We ranked all of our Alabama schools by the lowest per credit tuition rate. The majority of DNP programs in Alabama are classified as online or hybrid, with the same in-state and out-of-state price. But keep an eye out for fees. In addition, some schools have different pricing structures for the BSN to MSN and post-master’s MSN (e.g. University of Mobile) and Nurse Anesthesia (e.g. Samford).
1. University of Alabama
UA’s DNP programs are considered Bama by Distance degrees, so you can calculate tuition using the graduate distance learning tuition rate. However, you’ll need to factor in some commuting costs. The hybrid BSN to DNP is a blend of online courses and on-campus skill days. Online post-master’s DNP students are required to attend one campus intensive in the spring.
2. University of Alabama-Huntsville
DNP students pay the distance learner rate for graduate courses in the College of Nursing; online rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state residents. Having said that, UAH students who are enrolled in blended courses or taking on-campus courses are charged a campus rate + any applicable fees. This rate may apply to credits in the hybrid BSN to DNP tracks (and could bump the price up).
3. Troy University
The DNP program is run by Troy Online; per credit tuition rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state students. According to the Troy Online website, no additional fees are assessed.
Online DNP Programs in Alabama
You’ll have plenty of options for online DNPs in Alabama, especially if you already hold an MSN. Most of the post-master’s DNP programs in the listings are delivered through distance learning, with minimal time on campus. But we recommend you ask the DNP program coordinator for details. For example:
- Post-master’s students in UA’s DNP and UAH’s DNP must attend one campus intensive in the spring.
- The University of Mobile’s DNP includes three on-campus intensives.
- Troy’s DNP has an on-campus orientation.
- Students in Auburn’s DNP may be required to visit campus 1-2 times each semester.
BSN to DNP pathways—especially ones in NP specialties and Nurse Anesthesia—are much more likely to be hybrid. Alabama universities often want you on the campus for clinical training. For instance, students in UAH’s post-baccalaureate to DNP (FNP and AGACNP tracks) attend class on campus every other week during the MSN portion of the program. Meanwhile, Samford’s BSN to DNP in Nurse Anesthesia includes full-time, on-campus didactic courses and campus intensives.
Note: Want to expand your search beyond Alabama? Check out the listings of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Alabama
Almost all of the Alabama schools in our listings have developed BSN to DNP pathways. The winner in terms of choice is USA, with scores of NP specialties, dual specialties, and a CNS track. But that’s just the start!
- Nurse Practitioners: Like USA, UAB and the University of Mobile are able to offer multiple NP specialties. UA has an FNP, PMHNP, and a dual FNP/PMHNP program. Aspiring FNPs and AGACNPs can also compare JSU and UAH side-by-side.
- Nurse Anesthetists: Future CRNAs have a choice between UAB and Samford.
- Nurse Leaders: Budding executives may want to glance at Troy’s Nurse Leader program and UAH’s Nurse Administration track.
Read the fine print. Some Alabama BSN to DNP programs have limitations on who they can accept. For example, at JSU, only residents of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee are eligible for nurse practitioner (BSN-DNP) tracks. And UA will only accept Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi residents into its NP specialties.
Alabama Nursing Organizations
- Alabama Board of Nursing (AL BON)
- Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association (CANPA)
- Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama (NPAA)
- Alabama Organization for Nursing Leadership (AlaONL)
- Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives (AlaONE)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Alabama.