FAST FACTS: Our DNP in Educational Leadership

American Sentinel University is one of the few nursing schools in the U.S. to have a DNP degree program specifically tailored to leaders in nursing education. Here’s what you need to know, at a glance. 

Program mission

Both the Institute of Medicine and Carnegie Foundation have called for revising the system of nursing education. American Sentinel has developed a program to expand the role of leadership of nursing education. The goal is to prepare highly qualified nurse educators and educational leaders to serve both in healthcare and higher education settings.

Industry need

  • In recent years, nursing schools have turned away up to 67,000 qualified applicants annually, primarily due to lack of teaching faculty.
  • Nursing education not only needs qualified teachers, but visionary leaders: deans and program directors are increasingly called on to participate in innovative curriculum development, strategic planning, technology issues, and budget/fund development.
  • The above areas are not generally covered in MSN-education programs or nursing Ph.D. programs.

Why not a Ph.D.?

The two types of terminal degree programs differ in goals and competencies. The Ph.D. prepares nurses for a career in research, while the DNP is practice- and leadership-oriented. The DNP is designed to strengthen nurse leadership in education policy, healthcare informational technology, and nursing curricula that reflect the evolving healthcare industry. 

Our program requirements

  • The program is open to nurse educators with a minimum of one year of full-time work experience in a leadership or faculty role.
  • Work experience in nursing education can be at a two- or four-year college, or a hospital or healthcare organization—but it must have occurred within the past five years.
  • Applicants must have an active nursing license and an MSN degree from an accredited institution. (Foreign students must have a comparable degree from a recognized institution).
  • No GRE or other placement test is required.
  • Applicants with master’s degrees in related fields (e.g., MBA, MHA, MPH) can get transfer credits toward the MSN program at American Sentinel, which they must first complete before being accepted in the DNP program.

Practice learning experiences

These interactive learning assignments are an important part of our DNP program. They are built into the courses and do not add additional work. They include:

  • Practice learning: course assignments that allow you to use what you learned in the online classroom out in the real world.
  • Precepted experiences: Course assignments that take place in the workplace or other healthcare settings.
  • Capstone project: a project you design and implement as an independent study, in a topic of your choosing.

Your coursework will ultimately prepare you to…

  • Appraise the needs of educational programs and generate strategic plans as your organization implements change.
  • Use theoretical knowledge, meaningful data, and evidence-based practice to plan and evaluate new models of curriculum development and theory.
  • Integrate technology and simulation into a nursing curriculum at all levels.
  • Create budgets and fund-development plans to maximize resources.
  • Create an evaluation plan that provides direction for improvements, based on the ongoing needs of students and employers.
  • Meet all regulatory and accreditation requirements.
  • Play a role in shaping education policy as it relates to nursing and the evolving healthcare industry.

Fast, flexible, and affordable course of study

  • The DNP program is only 28 months long and individual classes are eight weeks in length.
  • Rolling admission means you can start with any of the DNP starts (nine per year).
  • Classes are online, designed for working professionals—with the exception of a four-day residency in Aurora, Colorado at the start of the program.
  • During the second year of study, a two-day virtual residency requires no travel.
  • Most of our students graduate without debt, due to our competitive tuition rates and flexible payment options.

To chat with an Admissions advisor, please call 866.922.5690!