Searching for the best DNP in Michigan? We’re here to help! Our practical guide & directory contains rankings of the top and most affordable DNP programs in Michigan, advice on choosing online & hybrid MI doctorates, and notes on BSN to DNP pathways. Already have a school in mind? Skip ahead to our detailed program listings.
Top Michigan DNP Programs
To find the best DNP programs in MI, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, prioritizing any Michigan school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. But we also considered quality factors such as student reviews and clinical opportunities. Take it as a starting point. MI schools that didn’t make it into the top 3 are still worth a look. For example, UM-Flint’s affordable graduate programs have excellent NP certification pass rates.
1. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
U-M’s DNP program is our undisputed #1. The School of Nursing is one of the top schools in the country, with outstanding national rankings for the DNP & MSN, nurse midwifery, and a number of NP specialties. It has instant name recognition for many nursing employers. It’s a designated PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center with a massive global presence. It achieves outstanding certification pass rates (e.g. nearly 100% for graduates of the NP tracks; in 2019, the FNP rate was 100%). It attracts professors who continue to hone their skills in faculty practice initiatives. It has a state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Center. And it’s located less than a mile from the University of Michigan Health System.
Graduate students on independent review sites say that U-M is a particularly strong pick for anyone who’s interested in nursing research. The School runs a large number of research centers & initiatives and it has close connections to interprofessional laboratories (e.g. Applied Biostatistics Laboratory). We also like the fact that U-M has made a commitment to arranging clinical placements for BSN to DNP students. The School has a network of clinical mentor-preceptors in 600+ locations across the state & country. Quality comes with a cost—U-M is expensive. Before you make a decision, have a look at the section on nursing graduate scholarships & aid and talk to folks in the MICNP University of Michigan School of Nursing Student Affiliate Chapter (MICNP UMSN). They will have the inside scoop on the program.
2. Wayne State University
WSU’s DNP program comes from a College of Nursing with a well-established reputation in the Motown area. The College has excellent national rankings for the DNP & MSN and experienced faculty. It offers a wide variety of doctoral specialties and distance learning opportunities for regional students. It’s focused on research work into healthcare challenges facing urban populations. And it’s committed to practice. In partnership with the Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation (CDCCDC), the College runs an NP clinic in Detroit’s Virginia Park. It also oversees the nurse-managed WSU Campus Health Center (CHC).
Detroit is WSU’s sweet spot. Graduate students on independent review sites point out that the College has a large concentration of NP alumni in the Metro Detroit area, especially in acute care specialties. This may make it easier for you to network with current NPs and preceptors. It’s also connected to the School of Medicine and a network of inner city & suburban healthcare facilities. If you’re interested in any of the APRN tracks, we’d recommend you ask the DNP program coordinator for recent certification pass rates. We couldn’t find recent statistics on the College website.
3. Michigan State University
MSU’s hybrid DNP program was a close third to WSU. It’s not as high in the national rankings for graduate nursing programs, but it has plenty of other strengths, including superb NP certification pass rates and sturdy CRNA results. The College of Nursing prides itself on its research into chronic conditions and health promotion & risk reduction and it promotes interprofessional collaboration through the Trifecta Initiative for Interdisciplinary Health Research and various international initiatives. It also has access to good training facilities, including the Learning and Assessment Center (LAC) and the Janice Thompson Granger Nursing Learning Center, with an Anesthesia Operating Room, skills labs, and clinical rooms.
Like WSU and U-M, MSU has tight connections to clinical sites & potential preceptors (e.g. 300+ preceptors in nearly 60 counties throughout Michigan). Better yet, a number of nursing professors are fellows in the AAN and AANP, and many of them are clinically active in the community. Some of their work takes place in the MSU Family Health Center. But faculty also practice outside of the university walls (e.g. Cornerstone Medical Group, Ingham County Health Department, etc.). If you’re considering MSU, be sure to check out the section on College of Nursing Scholarships. A number of awards are open to DNP and Nurse Anesthesia students.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Michigan
We ranked all of the schools in our listings by the lowest per credit tuition rate for the DNP. For public universities, this was usually the in-state rate. If you live in a border state or Canada, read the tuition section carefully. You may qualify for a tuition break or discount on the out-of-state rate.
1. University of Michigan-Flint
UM-Flint’s in-state graduate nursing tuition rate is respectable, but not super-cheap. The out-of-state rate is ~$350 more per credit. Keep in mind that mandatory fees & additional course-related fees are not included in tuition costs (e.g. online course fees, DNP fee per term, nursing course fees, etc.). There are also separate—and more expensive—in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for the Nurse Anesthesia DNP.
2. Saginaw Valley State University
SVSU’s per credit, in-state tuition rate for the DNP is almost the same as UM-Flint’s rate. Out-of-state students pay ~$550 more per credit. You will also be responsible for mandatory fees & any relevant program fees (e.g. FNP practicum fee, FNP exam fee, etc.).
3. Ferris State University
For its online DNP, FSU has one doctoral tuition rate for all students, regardless of their state of residency. A small, per credit online learning fee is also assessed on online courses.
Online DNP Programs in Michigan
You can have your pick of online DNP programs in our Michigan listings—every school has an option for distance learners. Some of them are predominantly online; some are hybrid. But almost all DNPs at the BSN level include at least one campus visit. For instance:
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in MI: Schools that fall into this category include SVSU (e.g. 1-2 Saturday seminars each fall & winter); NMU (e.g. 2 campus visits); and UM-Flint (e.g. 3-6 campus visits per year). Some schools, like UDM and MSU, have different formats for different BSN to DNP specialties (e.g. online for leadership, CNS & nursing education tracks, but hybrid for NP tracks). Other schools, like WSU, offer distance learning opportunities for campus programs.
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in MI: These doctorates will usually be a blend of on-campus courses & face-to-face activities, online learning, and hybrid classwork. And they will require a bit more campus time than programs that are billed as online. Examples include GVSU, Madonna, MSU (e.g. 4-5 visits per semester), and nurse anesthesia programs at Oakland, UDM, and MSU.
You’ll have more flexibility at the post-master’s level, where schools don’t usually have to worry about preparing you for certification exams. Most Michigan MSN to DNP programs are going to have minimal attendance requirements. For instance:
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in MI: Oakland’s DNP is 100% online with the exception of one campus doctoral week; FSU’s track in Leadership has one intensive per year (3-4 days each); and NMU’s DNP has one on-campus visit in the final semester of the program. SVSU and UM-Flint may have a few more campus visits (e.g. 1-3 times per semester). And Madonna and CUAA’s doctorates may be 100% online—check with the DNP program coordinator to be sure.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNP Programs in MI: You’ll notice that a few schools (e.g. GVSU, UDM, and U-M) have gone for a hybrid approach, with mandatory on-campus days each semester. But these may be limited to weekends. Talk to former students and ask the program coordinator for a sample calendar.
Be sure you’re eligible to apply before you commit to an online DNP. Because of state authorization & distance learning restrictions, many Michigan Schools of Nursing cannot accept students from a small number of states (see UM-Flint’s State Authorization page for an example of this phenomenon).
Note: Want even more choice? Check out the listings of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Michigan
To make it easy for you to compare specialties, we’ve included a list of all the potential DNP tracks in our school listings. You can see—at a glance—who is offering what. Here are a few rules of thumb for Michigan schools:
- Multiple APRN Specialties: Top-ranked universities for the Michigan DNP tend to have the largest number of tracks (e.g. U-M, WSU, MSU, and UM-Flint). U-M and WSU often battle it out for the honor of having the most APRN specialties, including nurse midwifery and PNP tracks. And MSU has an AGCNS offering. If you’re interested in adult care, you could also consider options at Madonna.
- Nurse Anesthesia: Five Michigan universities have developed nurse anesthesia programs (e.g. DNAP, DNP-NA, etc.). They are UDM, MSU, UM-Flint, WSU, and Oakland. Oakland’s program is a collaborative initiative with the Beaumont Health System, which means clinical experiences can be obtained at Beaumont Hospital.
- Unique Specialties: In addition to the FNP, UDM has rare DNP tracks in nursing education, CNL, AGCNS, and health systems management. GVSU has tracks in child/adolescent (i.e. PNP), adult/older adult (i.e. FNP), and health systems leadership.
- FNP Only: On top of all the choices listed above, aspiring FNPs will be able to consider SVSU and NMU’s BSN to DNP programs.
Michigan Nursing Organizations
- Michigan Board of Nursing
- Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners (MICNP)
- Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA)
- Michigan League for Nursing (MLN)
- Michigan Organization of Nurse Leaders (MONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Michigan.