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Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership

Fostering the advanced practice of nursing leadership

Strong leaders are essential for success in any industry, but they are a crucial component for organizations operating within the highly regulated healthcare industry. In fact, to truly understand how to support the needs of patients and healthcare organizations alike, one must have not only business skills, but also a command of advanced nursing practices and in-depth industry knowledge. For current nursing professionals eager to move into management, the right education can help to bridge the gap between your current skills and those you need to take on executive leadership roles.

Where advanced nursing and leadership meet

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership program helps nursing professionals prepare to take on leadership roles within an increasingly complex and evidenced-based environment. It was designed to closely align with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials and the competencies from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL). To enroll in this program, students must have, and maintain throughout the program, a current, active and unencumbered license as a registered nurse (RN).

Students will explore key topics such as organizational leadership, economics and finance, advocacy for healthcare policy improvement and how to use data and technological resources for decision-making. Utilizing an innovative Interprofessional Education (IPE) model, this practice-based program also teaches students how to work with multiple health disciplines through intellectual and applied collaboration. Additionally, students will complete an evidence-based research project designed to offer invaluable hands-on experience.

Earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at NCU

At Northcentral University you can earn your degree with a combination of online coursework and in-person practice experience hours. We also offer weekly start dates and don’t require group projects or GRE/GMAT exams so that you have the flexibility you need to fit higher education into your busy schedule. And even though you attend class online, at NCU you’re never alone. Our students enjoy an active online community and all of our courses utilize a one-to-one learning model. This pairs you with one faculty member for each of your courses, providing an elevated level of personal support and guidance.

Program 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

Career Potential*

  • Medical Director
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Clinical Manager
  • Health Information Management Corporate Director
  • Nurse Manager
  • Medical Affairs Director
  • Clinical Director
  • And many more, in public and private facilities of all different sizes!
*Positions may require additional experience, training and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Many roles may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met.

DNP Program Handbook
DNP Practice Experience Packet

Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership at a Glance

Total Credit Hours: 46 Credit Hours
Courses: 18 Courses
Recommended Completion Time: 28 Months
Next Start Date: Every Monday
Classroom Size: One

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has approved the application for initial accreditation of the Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs at Northcentral University. NCU is pursuing initial accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( for the MSN and DNP degree programs. 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.