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Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctoral Degree

Earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice with Clarke University to advance your career while learning to care for the whole person and make a positive impact on their overall health. Personalize the program to your goals with concentrations including:

With cohorts limited to 20 students each, you will get the one-on-one support and attention Clarke is known for. Our faculty bring their years of professional experience to the program, granting you insight and perspective to the health care field. Plus, our hybrid DNP program allows you the flexibility to complete work on your own schedule while benefiting from face-to-face discussions twice a month.

Throughout the DNP degree coursework, you will complete over 1,000 hours of clinicals in your area of concentration. Gain practical experience and serve a wide variety of patient populations, while getting to know what the city and region have to offer.

Students in the DNP program average a 100% pass rate on national certification boards and licensed graduates enjoy a 100% job placement rate at clinics and health centers nationwide.

See the Doctor of Nursing Practice Mission and Outcomes.

Clarke University Doctor of Nursing Student.

Clarke University Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner student gaining real world experience

Aligned With Your Goals

Combined with our experiential learning activities and clinicals tailored to your career aspirations, the Clarke DNP degree creates a clear path to success. You can even add specializations like our Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate or the Nursing Education Certificate. You’ll also add breadth and depth to your expertise as the faculty help you draw connections between the social determinants of health and ways you can impact the communities you serve.

Have your MSN degree and want to earn your DNP?
Clarke offers a MSN-DNP Bridge Program In this program, students will complete 39-48 credits depending on whether they completed the 3 Ps (Physical Assessment, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology) in their MSN program. The program focuses on advocacy, policy, economics, informatics, and evidence-based practice.

National Recognition

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Clake University is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Clarke has earned outside recognition as well, including, which named Clarke one of the top 5 doctorate of nursing programs in the nation in 2019. Clarke University has also earned recognition as the #1 Best Faith-Based University in Iowa from Plexuss, Princeton Review’s Best Midwestern Colleges, and #62 Nationally in Social Mobility from U.S. News & World Report.

Clarke University Doctor of Nursing student working with patient.

Program Details

Classes are hybrid, meeting face-to-face the first and third Thursdays of each month. Cohorts are limited to 20 students. Students will complete 1,000 clinical hours specific to their concentration. You’ll learn to: 

  • Provide excellent patient care based on evidence-based practice 
  • Collaborate with inter-professional teams 
  • Apply ethical perspectives to decision-making 
  • Advocate health care access for all 
  • Manage the business of health care effectively 
  • Inform practice with current research 
  • Use technology to support practice 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the issues and trends related to health care and socio-economic policies
  • For course descriptions and more information, please see the Academic Catalog

Admission to Clarke University

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. GRE is required if GPA is less than 3.0. 

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Meet Our Faculty

When our graduates speak about the Clarke moments that helped shape them, there’s always a professor in the story. That’s because being a faculty member at Clarke University requires a deep passion for educating, encouraging, and empowering students. Here, your professors will know you by your first name. They will push you to develop your full potential, and then they’ll ask for more. And, they’ll be right there to congratulate you when you exceed even your own expectations. Often, it’s a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

View Our Faculty & Staff
Lisa Rettenmeier, Ed.D.

Lisa Rettenmeier, Ed.D.

Chair and Professor of Nursing

I believe that it is imperative that we utilize strong leadership characteristics as nurses, to care for individuals who cannot care for themselves. Nursing is about caring for the whole person, the body, mind, and spirit. 

Andrea Simmons, DNP

Andrea Simmons, DNP

Director of Graduate Nursing Studies and Assistant Professor of Nursing

As an educator, my goal is to challenge students to think in a way that promotes their professional and personal growth so they can positively impact their profession. 

Angel Keller, DNP

Angel Keller, DNP

Assistant Professor of Nursing

I am passionate about finding creative ways to help students synthesize complex information, to enable them to be successful learners so they may enjoy their journey in education and be able to share their gifts with others. 

Jackie Fleming

Jackie Fleming

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Clarke’s DNP program offers a robust amount of experiences and resources to help students succeed in the program and prepare for their role as nurse practitioners after graduation.

Brandon Rogers, DNP

Brandon Rogers, DNP

Assistant Professor of Nursing & Director Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program

My goal as an educator is to help prospective psychiatric providers see beyond the symptoms and develop partnerships with those in their care.

Psychology Major students have access to state of the art facilities at Clarke University
There’s more to college than going to class.

The Classroom and Beyond

But don’t take our word for it…

Our Students & Alumni

Kristen Klein

Kristen Klein

Doctor of Nursing Practice ‘23

What I like most about the Clarke DNP program is the smaller cohort so the professors can provide support to each individual student, setting them up for success.  The hybrid program also provides a unique opportunity for students and educators to meet face-to-face about twice a month, unlike some programs that are all online.

Gene Leutzinger

Gene Leutzinger

Doctor of Nursing Practice ‘16

The DNP program at Clarke impacted me in a much more profound way that I had anticipated. It was much more than knowledge that I gained. Clarke shaped my world view and empowered me in my role as a dean to work for betterment of others and advocate effectively for social justice.

Angel Thompson

Angel Thompson

Doctor of Nursing Practice ‘18, BSN ‘11

The Clarke DNP program taught me the importance of being an advocate for my patients. I am now able to make an impact towards improving the health of the community that I serve.

100 %
Pass Rate

DNP pass rate on national certification exam.

Years to a DNP

Earn a doctoral degree in as little as three years.


Clarke assists with clinical locations. All students are precepted one to one.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Clarke University is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Clarke University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.

Experience Clarke Doctor of Nursing Practice for Yourself

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