Illinois Nursing Doctorate Degree Programs

Governors State University: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Review
Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484.
Governors State University is a public, research university based south of Chicago in University Park. Governors State University was founded in 1969 and enrolls over 7,000 students annually. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is one of three doctoral programs offered at Governors State University.

The DNP program at Governors State University is in the Department of Nursing under the College of Health and Human Services. Admission to the DNP program is competitive and selective. Students may apply to the nursing doctoral program after completing a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) or MSN (Master of Science in Nursing).

To apply to the DNP, nurses should have a BSN from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of 3.5. Prerequisite courses include statistics, which also must be completed with a minimum grade of B. Nurses with international qualifications are eligible to apply, but should earn a satisfactory score on the TOEFL and have graduated from a program which meets the standards set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. All nurses enrolled in the DNP must have valid RN licensure. Nurses with an RN license from another state may apply, so long as practice requirements are completed in the state in which the nurse holds licensure.

Illinois State University: PhD in Nursing Program Review

Illinois State University

Mennonite College of Nursing

Campus Box 5810

Normal, Il 61790-5810

Illinois State University is based in the town of Normal, Illinois. The university was founded in 1857 and neighbors the Illinois city of Bloomington. Illinois State University lays claim to being the oldest public university in Illinois.

The Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University offers a PhD in Nursing program. Nursing studies and research in the Doctor of Philosophy program focus on vulnerable populations, specifically aging populations.

To apply, nurses should have an MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing) from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and exam scores on the GRE. Nurses should have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of undergraduate nursing education or 30 hours of graduate nursing education. Students with a 3.4 or higher are exempt from taking the GRE. There are additional admission requirements for international students including satisfactory TOEFL and GRE exam scores. An application to the DNP program includes transcripts, a personal statement of goals, three references, a Curriculum Vitae (CV), and proof of licensure as an RN.

Career options for graduates of the PhD in Nursing program at Illinois State University are numerous and interdisciplinary. Nurses can serve as researchers, educators, and consultants in various settings in academia, government, business and healthcare institutions.

Rush University: DNP & PhD in Nursing Program Review

Rush University

600 South Paulina Street

Chicago, IL 60612

Rush University is a private university in Chicago, established in 1972. The university is affiliated with Rush University Medical Center and offers medical and nursing programs. More than 2,000 students enroll at Rush University in one of over 30 academic programs.

Rush University offers Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science programs.

The PhD in Nursing accepts both BSN and MSN nursing graduates. The BSN-PhD and MSN-PhD programs prepare nursing graduates to become researchers specifically in the area of clinical nursing research as it relates to patient care. The doctoral nursing research program can normally be completed in three to four years of study. Though the PhD in Nursing Science is offered online, students are recommended to commit to full-time study.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a practical degree designed for nurses who seek to earn the highest clinical qualification while remaining in practice. The DNP offers several tracks and advanced practice study options for nurses. Students enrolled in the DNP program may choose from one of the following specializations:

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Adult-Gerontology – Acute Care (AACNP)

Adult-Gerontology – Primary Care (AGNP)

Family (FNP)

Neonatal (NNP)

Pediatric – Acute Care (AC PNP)

Pediatric – Primary Care (PNP)

Psychiatric – Mental Health (PMHNP)

Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA)

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)


Adult-Gerontology Critical Care



Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN)

Leadership Tracks

Systems Leadership

Leadership to Enhance Population Health Outcomes

Rush University offers financial awards and scholarships for doctoral students according to specific criteria such as academic program or area of study. There are also more general awards for which doctoral students may be considered. In order to be considered for financial aid, students should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing: DNP Program Review

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

511 NE Greenleaf Street

Peoria, IL 61603

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is a Catholic college of nursing in Peoria. The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis own the college, which is also a part of the Order of St. Francis, St. Francis Medical Center. Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing was established in 1905 as a nursing school for the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

To apply to the DNP program, nurses should hold a masters degree. The doctoral program is delivered in a hybrid format with both campus-based and online coursework required. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program of study requires 39 credits.

Admission requirements to the DNP program include an essay, three letters of recommendation and a masters GPA of 3.2 or higher. The DNP program offers conditional admission for applicants who do not meet all of the admission criteria. As part of the conditional admission process, nursing students must complete a minimum of 12 credits with a grade of “B” or higher in all courses.

As part of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, nurses complete a doctoral project which demonstrates understanding of evidence-based practice. Upon completing the DNP program, nurses take an exam to become a certified DNP.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: DNP Program Review

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

IL State Rte 157

Edwardsville, Illinois 62026-1001

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a public university founded in 1957. The university is based 20 miles from St. Louis, Missouri. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is ranked among the “Up and Coming Universities” by U.S. News and World Report.

The School of Nursing at SIUE offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice program for masters prepared nurses. Rather than a dissertation, students complete a doctoral project as part of the degree requirements. The DNP is a professional doctoral degree for nurses.

Admission to the DNP is based on criteria including GPA; the nurse’s academic and research goals, and a personal interview. To apply, students should submit transcripts, resume, personal statement as it relates to academic goals, and letters of reference. Nurses should have an MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing) with an advanced practice certification. Prerequisite courses include statistics and epidemiology, which must be completed with a grade of “B” or better.

In additional to the doctoral project, students enrolled in the DNP program will complete a 500 hour residency. One-thousand hours of clinical practicum experience are required to earn the DNP, and at most 500 clinical practicum hours may be transferred from previous nursing study at the graduate level.

The DNP program is designed to be completed in two years.

University of Illinois at Chicago: Doctor of Nursing Practice & PhD in Nursing Review

University of Illinois at Chicago

601 S Morgan

Chicago, Illinois 60607

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a public research university located in the heart of Chicago near the public transportation system known as The Loop or The L due to the shape of its route. The University of Chicago was established as a combination of universities in 1982, though its roots date back to 1858 as the Chicago College of Pharmacy.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago prepares nurses for advanced roles, both working directly with patients and also managing care. The DNP program offers several entry options for nurses with a BSN, MSN, or a bachelors degree in a field other than nursing. Nurses can choose from among several advanced practice specialties such as Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), learn a new specialty, or direct their studies towards one of the leadership tracks.

Applications for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program are accepted annually each February. The doctoral program begins in the fall.

The PhD in Nursing is a research-based academic program which prepares nurses for a role contributing to knowledge in the field of nursing research. Admission requirements to the PhD in Nursing program include a BSN from a program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC. Applicants may have an MSN or a masters degree in a related healthcare field. Students without a masters degree in nursing may be required to complete additional coursework for the PhD in Nursing.

University of St. Francis: DNP Program Review

University of St. Francis

500 Wilcox Street

Joliet, IL 60435

The University of St. Francis is a Catholic higher education institution based near Chicago. The university serves over 3,000 students. Established in 1920, the university offers over 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University of St. Francis University is one of several universities in Illinois to sign the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact.

For the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, admission requirements include a masters degree from an accredited nursing program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, certification as a CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) or NP (Nurse Practitioner), and satisfactory completion of an interview with nursing faculty.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the DNP is designed to replace the Master of Science in Nursing advanced practice program by the year 2015. Salaries for students with a DNP range from $68,000 to over $150,000 for nurses in various academic roles. Career options for DNPs include nursing director, Nurse Practitioner (NP) and nursing faculty member.

The DNP program at the University of St. Francis is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The College of Nursing is designated an Edge Runner by the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). The AAN recognizes the quality and effectiveness of the DNP’s advanced-practice training.