Description of Program
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Executive Leadership is a 46 credit program to prepare nurses to function in executive nursing leadership roles by designing scholarship, evaluate evidenced-based research and institutional data, and lead interprofessional collaboration and practice implementation for optimal outcomes in diverse healthcare settings.
The DNP program includes both didactic and practice experience courses to meet the degree requirements. Click here to view the DNP Handbook.
NCU’s DNP program will utilize both the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials (2006) and the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) competencies (2015) in the development of program and course outcomes. The program includes a minimum of 500 practice experience hours. The experiential learning component is focused on the development of leadership competencies across a variety of healthcare settings and organizations.
Click here for potential career opportunities within the DNP.
**Note: Program availability may vary by state - please contact the Enrollment Office for more information**
- Evaluate data to inform nursing practice, organizational health, and care delivery
- Develop data-informed, literature based strategic plans for organizations
- Interface with other nursing professionals with regards to the fostering of culture of accountability and responsibility for professional judgment and actions
- Create new explanatory and predictive models to advance healthcare organizations and nursing care delivery in a global society
- Recommend health policies which ensure stewardship of resources, promote social justice, and community partnerships in maintaining health
Basis for Admission
Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership requires:
- Earned Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from an institution accredited by either a regional accreditation agency or an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA).
- Students are expected to have completed 500 practice hours from their MSN program.
- Students determined to have less than 500 hours upon entry will be required to complete additional hours during the program.
- May include practice hours from Advanced Practice RN (APRN) MSN programs that are regionally or nationally accredited (CCNE or NLNAC/NCEA).
- GPA 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
- Current, active unrestricted license to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the student’s state of residence.
- All students must maintain licensure throughout the program of study.
- License number and expiration date are required.
- Employment verification or verified access to an applicable healthcare environment for practice experience requirements and completion
- Also required are: transcripts, current resume or curriculum vitae
The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership degree requires a minimum of 46 credit hours at the graduate level beyond the master’s degree. The University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed at an accredited college or university while enrolled in a doctoral program with a grade of “B” or better.
The DNP degree program have the following graduation requirements:
- A minimum of 34 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through NCU
- Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher
- Complete required practice experience hours
- Satisfactory completion of DNP Project
- Submission of the approved final DNP Project
- Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred master’s degree from an accredited academic institution
- Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University
- All financial obligations must be met before the student will be issued their diploma and/or degree posted transcript.
- Students are required to own or otherwise have access to a computer/laptop equipped with a webcam, a microphone, and a high-speed Internet connection in order to complete course assignments throughout their program.
Time to Completion
NCU allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less.
The median time to completion for this program is 36 months.
Time to completion varies depending upon the pace in which a student completes courses and the number of transfer credits accepted. As most NCU students are working adults, balancing educational, professional, and personal commitments, our academic and finance advisors will work with you to develop a program schedule that works best for your needs.
Students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for this program, and applying no transfer credits, can expect to finish in as little as 28 months.
Note: It is an expectation of the Nursing Department that students complete the DNP program within 49 months.
Doctoral Student Experience (DSE): An Applied Dissertation Process
Faculty assists each NCU Doctoral student to reach this high academic goal through a systematic process leading to a high-quality, completed applied project. The applied dissertation is a scholarly documentation of the completed project, which uses current knowledge to solve a real-world problem. This process requires care in choosing a project topic, documenting its importance, planning the methodology, and connecting the importance of the project to the field. These activities lead smoothly into writing the applied dissertation and presenting the defense of the project.
A doctoral candidate must be continuously enrolled throughout the series of dissertation courses as they work on their applied project. These courses are automatically scheduled and accepted without a break in scheduling to ensure that students remain in continuous enrollment throughout the course sequence. If additional time is required to complete any of the courses, students must enroll in supplemental courses and pay the tuition for those courses. Continuous enrollment will only be permitted when students demonstrate progress toward completing the requirements of the applied doctoral project. The Project Committee determines progress.
Program Specific Accreditation Information
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has approved the application for initial accreditation of the DNP program at Northcentral University. NCU is pursuing initial accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education www.ccneaccreditation.org for the Doctor of Nursing Practice, degree program. NCU is in the process of writing its self-study and scheduling the required accreditation visit for Spring, 2021.
Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.
The DNP program requires a minimum of 46 credits. Additional credit hours may be allowed as needed to complete the scholarly paper. If granted, additional courses will be added to the student degree program in alignment with the Satisfactory Academic Process (SAP) and Academic Maximum Time to Completion policies. Students who do not complete their program in accordance with these policies may be dismissed.