The DNP program was a revolutionary response to the unmet need for expert clinicians and leaders within the modern healthcare system. The University of Kentucky College of Nursing launched the first DNP program in 2001. Since its origin, this innovative nursing doctorate has been adopted at a remarkable rate. By 2006, 20 programs existed across the country. In 2011, 182 schools offered DNP degrees. As of June 2015, as many as 264 DNP programs are admitting eager students with 60 more programs in the planning stages.