Capella University Expands Online Graduate Nursing Degree Options for RNs

The online university now offers an online MBA Accelerated option for MSNs and an online DNP Preparatory Program for RNs with a non-nursing master’s degree

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Capella University (, a regionally accredited online university* that offers online degree programs designed to help working adults advance in their careers, has announced two new educational options for Registered Nurses (RNs) who want to expand their health care career options. They include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Accelerated option for RNs with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Preparatory Program for RNs with non-nursing master’s degrees.

As of Sept. 30, 2013, approximately 35,000 students were pursuing an online degree at Capella. The learning and career outcomes of Capella’s students and alumni can be found at

MBA Accelerated option adds business skills to nursing expertise
“As the economics of health care grows in complexity, effective nurse leaders need both advanced nursing expertise and sophisticated business skills,” said Christy Davidson, DNP, RNC-OB, Capella’s director of nursing. “Capella’s new MBA Accelerated option provides MSN-educated nurses the opportunity to complement their nursing knowledge with such managerial skills as accounting, marketing, operations, and leadership, and to take a more direct pathway to achieving that goal.”

Applicants holding a previous MSN degree are recognized for their previous graduate work, as Capella applies the maximum four courses—12 quarter credits—toward the MBA program, saving nurses up to six months and more than $8,600 on the cost of the degree. The MBA Accelerated option is also available to RNs who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and want to earn both an MSN and an MBA After earning an MSN at Capella, this graduate work is recognized by granting a block of 12 quarter credits toward the MBA program, again saving nurses up to six months and more than $8,600 on the cost of the MBA.

DNP Preparatory Program provides new pathway for RNs with a non-nursing master’s
RNs with non-nursing master’s degrees now have a new pathway to earning a DNP, which the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended as the new standard credential for all advanced practice nurses by 2015. Capella’s DNP Preparatory Program offers three prerequisite MSN courses that cover the essential knowledge and skills of a nursing-focused master’s degree. This allows RNs with non-nursing master’s degrees—including MHAs, MPHs, MBAs, and more—the opportunity to transition into Capella’s DNP program after successful completion of these courses.

“Fewer than 1 percent of nurses currently have a doctoral degree,” said Dr. Davidson. “With Capella’s new DNP Preparatory Program, more master’s-prepared nurses will qualify for our online DNP and can join the exclusive group of nurses who hold a doctorate. This will increase their own career options, and also help them address the nation’s shortage of nursing faculty and the industry call to double the number of doctoral-educated nurses by 2020.”

Because a DNP focuses on advanced, practical contributions to the nursing field, it can be completed more quickly than a research-focused PhD. Unlike many DNP programs, Capella's CCNE-accredited** DNP focuses on administrative, organizational, and systems leadership competencies to prepare RNs for a variety of nursing leadership positions. Capella's curriculum also incorporates the AACN’s Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

Capella’s new offerings further expand the online university’s extensive range of doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s, and certificate options for nurses. See Capella’s nursing pathways infographic for more information.

$3,000 grant available to eligible employees of Magnet® hospitals
Employees of Magnet® hospitals who enroll in a Capella MHA, DHA, BSN, MSN, or DNP online degree program and meet all eligibility requirements will be eligible for a $3,000 grant if they begin their program before April 7, 2014.

Enrollment now open
For more information, please call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552) or email

Maryland and North Carolina residents are currently not eligible to enroll in Capella’s DNP program.

For expense, completion and outcome information, visit:

DNP Preparatory Program
MBA Accelerated option

About Capella University
Capella University ( is a regionally accredited online university* that offers online degree programs designed to help working adults advance in their careers. Over 70 percent of Capella students are currently enrolled in master's or doctoral degree programs in business, counseling, education, health administration, homeland security, human resource management, human services, information technology, nonprofit management and leadership, nursing, psychology, public administration, public health, public safety, and social work. Capella also offers bachelor's degree programs in business, information technology, nursing, psychology, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 143 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 21 certificate programs. Approximately 35,000 learners were enrolled as of Sept. 30, 2013, from all 50 states and 61 other countries. Capella is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Founded in 1993, Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552).

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* Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA),
Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552),

**The BSN, MSN and DNP degree programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791

Magnet® is a registered trademark of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. All rights reserved.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) does not support or endorse Capella University products or services.


Media Contact:
Capella University
Michael Walsh, 612-977-5661

Release Summary

Capella University announces two new educational options for Registered Nurses (RNs) who want to expand their health care career options.


Media Contact:
Capella University
Michael Walsh, 612-977-5661