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Nurses and Nursing students
Doctor of
Nursing Practice - Leadership

Courses

The core essentials of the online Doctor of Nursing Practice – Leadership (DNP–Leadership) program include translation of research into practice, transformational leadership, and advanced expert nursing practice. To support these essentials, other course work will include nursing/change theory, foundations of advanced nursing practice, health policy, informatics, and population-based health.

Depending on your educational background, the DNP–Leadership program has two entry pathways:

  1. Post–Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing for nurse administrators (61 total credits)
  2. Post–Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) entry for nurse administrators and advanced practice nurses (38–46 total credits)

The culmination of the program is an evidence-based practice project. The goal of your DNP project is to produce an actual, deliverable product that has originated from practice experience. You will identify a problem and use evidence-based research to develop a proposal to implement and evaluate a practice change initiative.

DNP–Leadership Entry Options

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice – Leadership (DNP–Leadership) program has two entry options:

  1. MSN to DNP — Curriculum will be composed of five components for a total of 38–46 credits. (Your total number of credits will depend on the number of practicum hours you need to meet the 1,000-hour requirement.)
    • DNP core courses: 15 credits
    • Other required courses: 17 credits
    • Advanced practice clinical: 0–8 credits (The number of required credits depends on the number of hours completed in your MSN program; if you have completed 550 hours, additional clinical practice hours are not required.)
    • DNP project requirement: 6 credits (minimum)
  2. B.S. to DNP — Curriculum will be composed of seven components for a total of 61 credits.
    • Master's core courses: 9 credits
    • Nurse administrator option courses: 13 credits
    • DNP core courses: 12 credits
    • Other required courses: 14 credits
    • Advanced practice clinical: 4 credits (needed to meet the 1,000-hour requirement)
    • DNP project requirement: 6 credits (minimum)
    • Electives: 3 credits

Practicum Hours

A total of 1,000 hours of post–B.S. practicum are required in the DNP–Leadership program. You may transfer 550 hours of practicum (if applicable) from the master's program. The remaining hours are accomplished through various courses in the DNP curriculum that include practicum hours as part of the course work. Practicum hour plans will be developed in consultation with the course faculty member and with the approval of the DNP faculty adviser. Development of the plans for practicum experiences begins with your admission to the program. The practicum planning process involves establishing a site affiliation agreement with the practicum site and identifying a preceptor(s). You will be responsible for identifying potential practicum sites and preceptors and working with the Assistant Dean for Online Education and Outreach at the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing to accomplish the affiliation agreement process. Some students choose to complete practicum requirements at their place of employment and other students identify alternate practicum sites. 

MSN to DNP Curriculum

DNP Core Courses (15 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    This course will provide foundational information regarding the concept of evidence-based research to achieve optimal patient care outcomes.

  • 3
    credits

    Evaluation and translation of evidence-based research into nursing practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 830

  • 3
    credits

    Doctor of Nursing Practice transformational leadership to improve healthcare delivery and quality outcomes.

  • 3
    credits

    Doctor of Nursing Practice transformational leadership to improve healthcare delivery and quality outcomes.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 832

  • 3
    credits

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project plan will be developed focusing on design, sample, data collection, projected outcomes, resourcing, plan for analysis, and sustainability. Students will collaborate with key stakeholders to build project support. Students will complete steps for Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission. The course includes 75 hours of required clinical practicum hours.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 830, NURS 831

Other Required Courses (17 credits)

  • 1
    credit

    Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

  • 1
    credit

    Provides the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to design and conduct ethically responsible social and behavioral health research.

    • Prerequisite

      Master of science degree

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores population health concepts, measurement, and application in practice, research, and policy. This course explores population health as a framework for improving health in society. Multiple determinants will be examined in relation to health status measurement, health and disease trends, and health disparities at a community, national, and global perspective.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in information systems and technology for improvement of health care.

  • 3
    credits

    Concepts of health care economics and policy for nurse administrators.

  • 3
    credits

    Develops research and quantitative methods related to the design and analysis of epidemiological (mostly observational) studies. Such studies assess the health and disease status of one or more human populations or identify factors associated with health and disease status. To a lesser degree, the course also covers non-randomized, intervention (experimental) studies that may be designed and analyzed with epidemiological methods.

  • 3
    credits

    Investigates methods for assessing data collected from experimental and/or observational studies in various research settings.

DNP Project (6 credits)

  • 2
    credits

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice project demonstrates clinical scholarship in an area of practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 831

    • Note

      This course will be repeated three times for a total of 6 credits.

B.S. to DNP Curriculum

Master's Core Courses (9 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis and evaluation of the health care system with emphasis on health policy and economic issues affecting nursing practice.

  • 3
    credits

    Current conceptual and theoretical models in nursing, including relationship to practice and research in development of nursing science.

  • 3
    credits

    This course will provide foundational information regarding the concept of evidence-based research to achieve optimal patient care outcomes.

Nurse Administrator Option Courses (13 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Concepts of health care economics and policy for nurse administrators.

  • 3
    credits

    Concepts and theories of leadership for nurse administrators.

  • 3
    credits

    Human resource management and workforce issues for nurse administrators.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 846

  • 4
    credits

    Practicum in the application of the nurse administrator role in health care settings.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 845; NURS 846; NURS 847

DNP Core Courses (12 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Evaluation and translation of evidence-based research into nursing practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 830

  • 3
    credits

    Doctor of Nursing Practice transformational leadership to improve healthcare delivery and quality outcomes.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 831

  • 3
    credits

    Doctor of Nursing Practice transformational leadership to improve healthcare delivery and quality outcomes.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 832

  • 3
    credits

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project plan will be developed focusing on design, sample, data collection, projected outcomes, resourcing, plan for analysis, and sustainability. Students will collaborate with key stakeholders to build project support. Students will complete steps for Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission. The course includes 75 hours of required clinical practicum hours.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 830, NURS 831

Other Required Courses (14 credits)

  • 1
    credit

    Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

  • 1
    credit

    Provides the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to design and conduct ethically responsible social and behavioral health research.

    • Prerequisite

      Master of science degree

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores population health concepts, measurement, and application in practice, research, and policy. This course explores population health as a framework for improving health in society. Multiple determinants will be examined in relation to health status measurement, health and disease trends, and health disparities at a community, national, and global perspective.

  • 3
    credits

    This course provides a foundation in information systems and technology for improvement of health care.

  • 3
    credits

    Develops research and quantitative methods related to the design and analysis of epidemiological (mostly observational) studies. Such studies assess the health and disease status of one or more human populations or identify factors associated with health and disease status. To a lesser degree, the course also covers non-randomized, intervention (experimental) studies that may be designed and analyzed with epidemiological methods.

  • 3
    credits

    Investigates methods for assessing data collected from experimental and/or observational studies in various research settings.

Advanced Practice Clinical (3-4 credits)

  • 1-4
    credits

    The focus of the clinical practicum is planning, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based interventions to address a healthcare problem.

    • Note

      1–4 credits per semester (maximum of 8 credits)

DNP Project (6 credits)

  • 2
    credits

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice project demonstrates clinical scholarship in an area of practice.

    • Prerequisite

      NURS 831

    • Note

      This course will be repeated three times for a total of 6 credits.

Electives (3 credits)

Students can choose from a diverse list of online courses preselected by the program to satisfy this requirement.

DNP Project

The DNP project is an important aspect of the program. You and your advising team will meet prior to the beginning of the first semester to begin planning your DNP project. Project identification and development progress along with coursework will align with evidenced-based practice and quality improvement initiatives. You will present project related presentations at varying points during the program. Please see the Benchmarks section for more details. The culmination of the program is an evidence-based practice project. The goal of the DNP project is to produce an actual, deliverable product that has originated from practice experience. You will identify a problem and use evidence-based research to develop a proposal to implement and evaluate a practice change initiative.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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