Jul 13, 2024  
NCU Catalog - July 2021 (Amended) 
NCU Catalog - July 2021 (Amended) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership, DNP

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Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership

Description of Program

The DNP in Executive Leadership specialization is designed for experienced nurses who want to expand their career options. This specialty prepares advanced degree nurses to assume a broader leadership role as a nurse executive within a healthcare organization and to actively participate in and lead interdisciplinary teams. In addition to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials (2006), the specialization outcomes were based upon the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) Nurse Executive Competencies (2015).

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 570 practice experience hours. A minimum of 1000 post-baccalaureate clinical/practice experience hours is required for program completion. 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**

Learning Outcomes

  • 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 partnership in maintaining health

Basis for Admissions

Admission to the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership requires:

  1. Earned Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from a regionally or nationally accredited program (an institution accredited by either a regional accreditation agency or an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA)
  2. A total of 1000 post-baccalaureate supervised clinical/practice experience hours are required for DNP program completion. Up to 500 of supervised clinical/practice experience hours accumulated during an MSN program, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) program/certificate, or post-master’s certificate may be applied to the NCU DNP program
  3. GPA 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale
  4. Current, active, unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse (RN). (Require license number and expiration date.)
  5. Employment verification or verified access to an applicable healthcare environment for practice experience requirements and completion
  6. May require candidacy review process including telephone and/or video interview and writing samples
  7. Also required are transcripts, current resume, or curriculum vitae

Degree Requirements

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 complimentary 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 estimated time to completion for this program is 30 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 30 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. DNP students will continue to complete practice hours in to meet program requirements while completing the DIS 990X course sequence.

Program Specific Accreditation Information

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Course Sequence

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.

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