Online DNP Program in Educational Leadership

Our ACEN-accredited Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a specialization in educational leadership is a practice-based, leadership-focused program that prepares faculty, program directors and deans to lead nursing education programs. Our online DNP nursing program is one of a very few that offers a DNP degree with an educational leadership specialization.

Relevant Practice-Focused Program

  • Most traditional Ph.D.’s are research-based, not practice-focused. Traditional Ed.D., programs are focused on general education and not specific to nursing. Our online DNP program in nursing education provides nurse education leaders with credentials that validate credibility and competence to academic and business leaders.
  • Capstone implementation science project (not a dissertation) is tailored to your professional goals.

Affordable Tuition

Flexible and Short Program

  • Just over two-year program with one short residency each year.
  • With the exception of the short residency all classes are 100% online.

Educational Leadership Course Highlights

Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of issues in nursing and health care, giving students the foundation and skills to lead nursing education programs. Here are a few of the DNP, educational leadership specialization program’s online courses:

  • Leadership: Setting the Example (N700): Focuses on leadership in nursing education in a dynamic health care environment. Students explore leadership theory and take into account organizational culture and governmental complexities.
  • Role of Technology and Simulation in Nursing Education (N714PE): Explores the use of the Internet, WEB 2.0 tools and other online technologies used in the delivery of academic programs. Students will explore research on best practices in online learning. American Sentinel has created cutting edge simulation technology to the enhance student experience.
  • Organizational Dynamics of Higher Education (N702PE): Focuses on the organizational structure of higher education, starting with the federal and state laws that govern academic institutions. Students explore the standards for accreditation, as well as, the nature of leadership roles in public and private institutions.

View the entire DNP Educational Leadership curriculum

Practice Experiences

The online DNP in nursing educational leadership program 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.

Why Choose American Sentinel?


  • DNP classes are online and designed for working professionals, giving you the convenience and control to participate in classes around your busy schedule.
  • Classes are only eight weeks in length.


  • A MySentinel™ Student Support is our distinctive personal approach to helping students succeed. All students have a dedicated advisor to help guide them from admissions to graduation.

Are You Eligible?

The program is open to nurse educators who have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience in a leadership or faculty role in nursing education at a two- to four year college or university, hospital or health care organization within the past five years. Applicants must hold an active and unencumbered nursing license and an 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.

All DNP applicants are required to have an MSN degree. Applicants with master’s degrees in other disciplines (e.g., MBA, MHA, MPH or MEd) may transfer credits from courses that are equivalent to the courses in the American Sentinel MSN program. They will then complete the MSN program at American Sentinel before being accepted into the DNP program.

What You’ll Learn in Our DNP Educational Leadership Program

Graduates of the DNP, educational leadership specialization program will be able to:
  • Appraise the needs of complex organizations as they go through strategic decision making and change implementation.
  • Critique roles of leaders and collaborators in planning, providing, and evaluating health care.
  • Generate strategic plans for organizational change by utilizing theoretical knowledge, meaningful, data and evidence-based practice to while being culturally and ethnically sensitive.
  • Evaluate curricula in order to meet the needs of communities of interest.
  • Explain how technology and simulation can be effectively integrated into a nursing curriculum at all levels.
  • Propose how technology and simulation can be effectively integrated into nursing education.
  • Plan for use of economic and human resources to maximize the potential of a program or school.
  • Create an assessment plan for a nursing program that provides direction for program improvement as well as meets state and accreditation requirements.

Learn more!

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