Grand Valley State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) is offered through the university’s Kirkhof College of Nursing and is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice. It is the only program of its type in West Michigan.

The D.N.P. curriculum is consistent with the national agenda to transform American health care through interprofessional collaboration, health care policy advocacy, patient-centered care, quality/safety initiatives, and use of informatics. The program offers two emphasis areas: Advanced Nursing Practice (Child/Adolescent or Adult/Older Adult) and Health Systems Leadership.

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Michigan Job Growth by 2024
National Job Growth by 2024
GVSU Ranking as a West Michigan Talent Provider

Source: EMSI, 2020


D.N.P. graduates at Grand Valley are often nurse practitioners or medical and health services managers. According to EMSI employment opportunities for nurse practitioners are expected to grow 15% in Michigan and 17% in the U.S. by 2024. Employment opportunities for medical and health services managers are expected to grow 8% in Michigan and 11% in the U.S. by 2024. The median annual wage for nurse practitioners with a masters or doctorate degree in Michigan was $103,168 in 2019. The median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $93,704 in 2019. The following job titles are available to D.N.P. graduates:

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Medical directors
  • Nurse leaders
  • Clinical managers
  • Clinical directors
  • Chief nursing officers
  • Directors of nursing

Source: EMSI 2020

The Skills Employers Want

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) at GVSU will develop the skills you need to land the job you want. Whether the skills are advanced or general, you will build a resume of qualifications that are sure to attract employers. The following skills correlate with those pulled from actual job postings.

Advanced Skills

  • Nursing
  • Performance Improvements
  • Clinical Nursing
  • Strategic Planning
  • Nursing Practice
  • Health Administration
  • Patient Safety

Common Skills

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Operations
  • Coordinating
  • Communications
  • Research
  • Decision Making
  • Interpersonal Skills

Source: EMSI, 2020

Other Reasons to Study Nursing at Grand Valley State University

  • Flexible. Many nursing classes are offered in a hybrid format to accommodate working professionals.
  • Versatile. Prepares nurses for advanced practice nursing roles including clinical practice and nursing administration.
  • Practical. Graduates will have an exceptional blend of clinical, organizational, economic, and leadership skills and be prepared to contribute to health care reform.
  • Convenient. Courses are offered primarily at the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences (CHS) in downtown Grand Rapids.

D.N.P. student Claudia Rivera-Salas graduated in 2019 and is now employed at Lansing Rheumatology.

Course Offerings

D.N.P. degree requires approximately 75-77 credit hours and 1035 clinic and immersion hours for students entering with a B.S.N. A customized plan is offered for students enrolling with an M.S.N. The curriculum is consistent with the national agenda to transform American health care. Students study a variety of topics, including:

  • Applied statistics
  • Informatics, innovation, and technologies
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Health care system, policy, and politics
  • Health issues in vulnerable populations

Visit the online catalog for course offerings and degree requirements.

Course Offerings


The preferred application deadline is February 1. Applications received thereafter accepted based upon space available. The $30 application fee is waived if you’ve already applied to Grand Valley.

Admission Requirements


When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Note: Grand Valley does not charge a higher tuition rate based on residency. Tuition is based on the program in which you chose to enroll. 

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