About the DNP Program in Executive Leadership
The Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership program prepares master’s-educated nurses for leadership roles in the health care system. The program develops five key competencies: leadership, business intelligence, finance, health policy and health services research.
Students examine legislative policy issues and economics, build critical thinking skills and develop into more marketable leaders. The nursing leadership DNP program is ideal for executives and managers who currently hold or intend to pursue leadership positions in their careers.
This nursing education program is a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), formerly known as NLNAC, 3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; Phone (404) 975-5000 FAX (404)-975-5020. American Sentinel University recently hosted an on-site visit by ACEN and received positive reviews of its DNP program with specialty tracks in executive leadership and educational leadership. Final accreditation status will be determined in Spring 2014. View complete details.
What’s it like to be a DNP student? View a chat session between a prospective student and American Sentinel DNP graduate.
American Sentinel offers a flexible, online study format allowing DNP Executive Leadership students to fit their course work into their busy schedules. Features of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership include:
- Two-years, 42 credit hours.
- Discussion of application theory and evidence-based practice in the workplace.
- Eight-week courses.
- Capstone implementation science that help students define their academic goals.
- One 7-day residency per year at American Sentinel in Denver, Colorado (two residencies total, which take place at the beginning of each year of the program).
One of the most flexible DNP programs online available, our doctorate of nursing practice combines a rigorous health care executive leadership program with the fundamental business skills used by today’s nursing and health care leaders.
The nursing programs at American Sentinel University contain practice experiences. This is done to meet the accreditor requirement that RN to BSN, RN to MSN, MSN or DNP programs include practice experiences in the curricula to enable students to achieve the required educational competencies (AACN White Paper, Oct. 2012; DNP Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, 2006; ACEN 2013 Standards). These practice experiences have specific objectives, expected outcomes and competencies.
Practice experiences are not like the clinical experiences you completed to obtain your degree as a registered nurse. Practice experiences do not involve hands-on patient care. They are designed to provide you with the opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge you learn in the nursing courses.
See Nursing Practice Experience Guide for more information.
Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of issues in nursing and health care, giving nurses the foundation and skills to lead their organizations. Here are a few of the DNP program’s online courses:
- Statistics for Health Care Administrators (HCA725): This course gives students the tools to analyze data critical for the management of their medical systems.
- Leadership: Setting the Example (N700): This one-week immersion course focuses on executive leadership in a dynamic health care environment. Students explore leadership theory and take into account organizational culture and governmental complexities.
- Health Care Finance (N720): Covers economic ideas and models in the health care realm, and provides students a working knowledge of the analytical tools used in contemporary health care.
- Health Services Research (N725): Students learn about a variety of health services research types and review studies to learn about quality research design.
- Capstone Project (N740, N765 and N770): This three-part capstone of the online doctorate nursing program begins with the identification of a problem statement and hypotheses, moves into the development of a research proposal and culminates with the implementation of the research project. Students defend their project to a committee lead by the dean.
The program is open to nursing managers and executives who have at least three years of leadership experience. Applicants must hold an active and unencumbered nursing license and a MSN degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution. Foreign students must hold a comparable degree from a recognized institution. No GRE or other placement testing is required.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Lead complex organizations through strategic decision-making and change implementation.
- Assume roles as leaders and collaborators with other professionals and communities in planning, providing and evaluating health care.
- Create new models to explain, predict and improve the performance of organizations.
- Enhance professional nursing practice through the generation of research and evidence-based practice.
- Utilize health information technology to analyze meaningful data that informs leadership.
- Utilize theoretical knowledge, data and best-practice research to create strategic plans for organizational change.
- Collaborate with others in research activities and utilize knowledge gained to create improved models of care and organizational performance.
- Lead other nursing professionals in the acceptance of accountability and responsibility for one’s own professional judgment and actions.
- Create new models for nursing in a global society.
- Develop health policy that considers environmental, social justice, consumer and other issues.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP TOWARD SUCCESS
Completion of the DNP Executive Leadership degree requires 42 credit hours. The expected length of the program is two years. The program is structured to have two onsite residencies, with the remainder of courses offered online in eight week modules. No doctoral-level courses will be accepted for transfer. All credit hours must be taken at American Sentinel University.
** residency courses* Credit hours are equivalent to semester hours
Career and Industry News
Successful Students and Alumni
Nurse Executive Revamps Bedside Nursing Program Thanks to Skills Gained in DNP
For Kim Sharkey, MBA, vice president of medicine and CNO of Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, the DNP Executive Leadership program inspired her to revisit and revamp a program designed to recognize levels of clinical expertise among RNs and to reward them for changing practice at the bedside. “Typically, nurses could only advance by leaving the bedside and going into education or management. But we need our most skilled nurses at the bedside,” Kim explained. Over time, however, the program had become less meaningful. “I wouldn’t have thought of working on this issue if I hadn’t been in a class that inspired me to look at it in more depth,” she admitted. Now this work will form the basis of her Capstone Project. Read the full story.
“I enrolled in American Sentinel’s DNP after an exhaustive search through cadres of online DNP programs. I work full-time as a senior VP/CNO. I had been out of school for 20 years. Once I made the decision to do it, I've loved every minute of it. The program is great and all the staff and faculty have been fantastic. I have the same challenges of a full life and schedule, but I've found it doable. My cohort is really close. We bonded during the residency. The faculty are really great. They treat you like adult learners, and there is lots of respect. I've been thrilled with my experience so far.” – Eddie Beard, American Sentinel DNP student
Career Opportunities in Nursing Leadership
With a Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership, you will be qualified to pursue executive positions in nursing. Positions might include nursing director in a hospital or other health care organization or a variety of leadership positions in hospital administration, managed care and accountable care organizations, community health centers, hospice and palliative care programs and entrepreneurial ventures.
Job Outlook for Nursing Leadership
In the increasing complexity of the health care system today, proactive nurse executives with additional education are more important than ever. Graduates of the DNP Executive Leadership will have excellent job prospects. Learn more about advancing your nursing career in American Sentinel's nursing chat series with NurseTogether.com.