Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership

The School of Health Sciences offers doctoral and masters degrees with student-centric approach. Nursing courses are taught by all doctoral faculty who bring diverse and relevant expertise to the curriculum. Commitment to community service is part of the identity of our nursing programs.

Fostering the advanced practice of nursing leadership

Effective and compassionate leaders are essential for success in any industry. They are a crucial component for organizations operating within the highly regulated healthcare industry. To truly understand the needs of patients, communities, and healthcare organizations, business skills, a command of advanced nursing practices, and in-depth industry knowledge are essential. Nursing professionals who have the passion and drive to move into management, the right education will bridge the gap between your current skills and those needed to advance into executive leadership roles.


Where advanced nursing and leadership meet

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership program prepares nursing professionals to assume leadership roles in 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, you must have an earned MSN, a 3.0 GPA, and a current, active and unencumbered license as a registered nurse (RN). You 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 will prepare you to work with multiple health disciplines through intellectual and applied collaboration.


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, mentor-guided, practice experience hours. Weekly start dates, and no requirement for group projects or GRE/GMAT exams give you the flexibility you need to fit higher education into your busy schedule. To assist you to successfully complete your program, we provide elevated support and personal guidance through a unique one-to-one learning model. We incorporate mentored practice experience hours to allow students to obtain the minimum of 1000 hours required for graduation. "Demonstrating experiential competencies, or a combination of these elements" (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2006). The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. Washington, DC: Author, p 20). Practice experience hours are obtained through mentored practice hours supervised by DNP faculty. Additionally, you will complete a DNP project to improve health care outcomes.

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

Examples of career options for DNP prepared nurses

  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
  • Chief Patient Experience Officer
  • Vice President of Patient Services
  • Clinical Manager
  • Nurse Manager
*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 Handbook
DNP FAQ's


Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership at a Glance

Total Credit Hours: 46 Credit Hours
Courses: 16 Courses
Recommended Completion Time: 30 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 (www.ccneaccreditation.org) 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.

Accreditation Status