UConn or Yale? Public or private? If you need help finding just the right CT university for your DNP program, we’ve got your back! In addition to program listings, we have rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in Connecticut, details on online & hybrid CT doctorates, and notes on BSN to DNP options. Ready to make a decision? Skip ahead to our detailed program listings.
Top Connecticut DNP Programs
To come up with this list of the best DNP programs in CT, we sorted through a number of independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, prioritizing any Connecticut school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. In the final analysis, we also considered factors such as clinical opportunities, student reviews, and research projects.
1. Yale University
Mid-careerists will find plenty to love about the Yale School of Nursing and its post-master’s DNP program in leadership & policy (BSN graduates can consider MSN tracks). It’s considered one of the top 10 DNP programs in the country. It’s offered by a School with experienced DNP faculty and a great reputation for current research. It’s hybrid, with a mix of on-campus classes, online work, and an intense leadership immersion practicum. And it’s tight-knit, with intimate cohorts.
You can really dig into the program by getting in touch with DNP alumni. While you’re on the site, you may also want to check out the School’s Center for Biobehavioral Health Research and the Office of Global Health. There may be opportunities to connect this work with your capstone project idea (e.g. public health leadership). As you would expect, Yale is expensive. However, DNP students are eligible for university scholarships (e.g. Diers Scholarship, Jonas Nursing Scholarship, etc.).
2. Fairfield University
Fairfield’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies and its DNP program made our #2 spot for a host of reasons. To start with, the DNP is versatile, with BSN to DNP and post-master’s pathways in multiple specialties. It’s also well-regarded—it often achieves a top 50 national ranking. Perhaps most importantly, the School gets a “thumbs-up” on independent review sites. BSN alumni praise the professionalism and helpfulness of the nursing faculty; MSN to DNP students love the flexibility of the hybrid format.
Fairfield is a Jesuit university, which means it places a great deal of emphasis on ethical nursing and patient-centered care (e.g. Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education). If you’re interested in the BSN to DNP specialties, be sure to check out the School’s clinical partnerships. Fairfield is connected to a large number of area hospitals (e.g. Bridgeport Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network, etc.). It also runs the Health Promotion Center (HPC), where faculty and students practice within neighboring communities in the Greater Bridgeport area.
3. University of Connecticut
UConn’s School of Nursing and its comprehensive DNP program came a close third to Fairfield. At Connecticut’s flagship university, you’ll find plenty of DNP specialties, solid national rankings (e.g. top 60 for DNP and top 50 for MSN), small DNP class sizes, and excellent NCLEX pass rates (ask the program coordinator for NP certification exam results). Thanks to UConn’s status, the School has a sophisticated Clinical Learning Simulation Center and Dedicated Education Units (DEUs) in local area hospitals. NP students may also find opportunities to practice in the University of Connecticut Health Center in nearby Farmington.
One key UConn strength? Research. The School’s Office of Nursing Research is involved in a host of projects. There are centers focused on pain, including the Center for Advancement in Managing Pain (CAMP) and P20 Center for Accelerating Precision Pain Self-Management (CAPPSM). There are groups & labs interested in topical challenges, including a Biobehavioral Research Lab (BBL) and an Analytics and Information Management Solutions (AIMS) group. And there are even opportunities for funding. DNP students are eligible to apply for graduate fellowships, including the Jorgensen Fellowship and Harriott Fellowship. Reviews of UConn Nursing are typically favorable, but you can get the inside scoop by talking directly to DNP alumni.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Connecticut
We ranked all of the Connecticut schools in our listings by their per credit tuition rate. If a university charged different rates for BSN to DNP and post-master’s programs (e.g. SHU), we went with the lowest number. Unfortunately, none of these rates are particularly cheap! Connecticut is a very expensive state for DNP students.
1. University of Connecticut
UConn is a public university, but all DNP students pay the same tuition rate for the doctorate, regardless of their state of residence. This per credit rate is different from other graduate programs—check with the program coordinator to make sure you have the most up-to-date price.
2. University of Saint Joseph
The University of Saint Joseph charges a fixed per tuition rate plus a comprehensive student fee for the DNP. In addition, some graduate nursing courses may carry extra fees.
3. Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University has separate tuition rates for its post-baccalaureate and post-master’s DNP programs; the hybrid post-master’s program is slightly cheaper than the FNP. You’ll also be responsible for significant clinical & course fees.
Online DNP Programs in Connecticut
For a full picture of online & hybrid DNP programs in CT, start with our listings. Each school contains a description of the DNP format and a list of available specialties. Here are a few extra points to bear in mind when you’re creating a shortlist.
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in CT: No BSN to DNP program in Connecticut is 100% online; they’re all either on-campus or hybrid. Some universities are pretty flexible (e.g. SHU’s FNP program only requires students to visit campus an average of 6 days per semester). Others have a lot of class work (e.g. Fairfield). In particular, Nurse Anesthesia programs are going to be very intense.
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in CT: Again, you may not find a 100% online program in Connecticut, but you will discover much more flexibility in the hybrid format. Most universities go out of their way to accommodate working professionals. For instance, there are schools with short residencies (e.g. Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart), semester-based intensives (e.g. UConn), and leadership training sessions (e.g. USJ and Yale).
If you live outside of CT, talk to the program coordinator about state authorization & distance learning restrictions before you apply. Some DNP programs simply cannot accept candidates from certain states.
Note: Not seeing what you want? Check out the listings of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Connecticut
You’ll find plenty of choice for Connecticut BSN to DNP programs in our listings! As we mentioned, these degrees are on-campus or hybrid in nature. Many of them are also available on a full-time or a part-time schedule.
- FNP: As you might expect, this is the most popular option. Check out Sacred Heart, Fairfield, Quinnipiac, UConn, and USJ.
- PMHNP: Try comparing USJ and Fairfield.
- AGNP Specialties: UConn has options for the AGACNP and AGPCNP; Quinnipiac’s curriculum focuses on primary care.
- Nurse Anesthesia: Aspiring CRNAs can consider Fairfield, Quinnipiac, the Nurse Anesthesia Program of Hartford, and the joint CCSU/Yale New Haven Hospital DNAP. These are all COA-accredited programs.
- Nurse Midwifery: Fairfield was the sole CT university we found that offers a DNP program in nurse midwifery.
Connecticut Nursing Organizations
- Board of Examiners for Nursing
- Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Society (CTAPRNS)
- Connecticut League for Nursing (CLN)
- Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Connecticut.