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Select “Doctor of Nursing Practice, Educational Leadership” and fill out the form below to learn more about our DNP Program.

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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. As a student you will be taught by some of the top nurse educators in the nation and surrounded by colleagues who share your education-focused goal. Our students come from top hospitals around the U.S. such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, UCLA Medical Center, Geisinger Health System and Spectrum Health System.

DNP Specializations
Questions? Join our next Open House!

DNP Open House

Mon., Nov. 18, 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. MDT

Play Video

DNP, Educational Leadership Graduate Discusses Curriculum

Nicole Heimgartner, an American Sentinel University alumnus discusses her experience in the DNP, Educational Leadership program. She is an educational consultant who used her experience to design her capstone project around Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies.

I feel more equipped than ever to help nurses be successful.
Sheila Matye
DNP graduate
with Montana State University

Relevant Practice-Focused Curriculum

  • Most traditional Ph.D.’s are research-based, not practice-focused. Traditional Ed.D., programs are focused on education in general 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.
  • The required Capstone implementation science project (not a dissertation) is tailored to your professional goals.

Flexible and Fast Program

  • Program is only 28 months long with rolling admission
  • Year one: four–day residency, we pay for hotel cost; year two: one-day virtual residency
  • Schooling is 100% online except for residency in Aurora, CO

Affordable Tuition So You Can Earn Your DNP, Debt-Free*

Our competitive tuition rates, various payment options and DNP Travel Assistance Program allow most of our students to graduate debt-free.

Educational Leadership Course Highlights

Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of issues in nursing and health care, giving students the foundation and skills to teach the next generation of nursing and lead academic and educational initiatives in healthcare organizations. Here are a few of the educational leadership’s online courses:

  • Leadership: Setting the Example (N700PE): 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.

DNP Educational Leadership Specialization

Completion of the DNP, educational leadership specialization degree requires 42 credit hours. The expected length of the program is just over two years. The program is structured to have two short residencies (one onsite, one virtual), with the remainder of courses offered online in eight week modules.
View more information on DNP practice experiences.


Credit Hours*





Total Required Credits (14 courses)



Credit Hours*

ELECTIVE COURSES (choose 6 credit hours)


* credit hours are equivalent to semester hours
** residency courses
*** contact your SSA before registration

Practice Experiences: A More Active Way to Learn

The online nursing doctoral program in nursing educational leadership program at American Sentinel University includes 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 an opportunity to get away from traditional reading and writing assignments; instead these assignments are replaced with more active assignments.

Practice experiences are not like the clinical experiences you completed to obtain your degree to become 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.

Join our next Open House!

DNP Open House

Mon., Nov. 18, 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. MDT

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

MySentinel® Student Support is our distinctive personal approach to helping students succeed. As a DNP student, you will work exclusively with our fantastic student success advisors, Abigail and Aaron, who will help guide you through graduation.

Our competitive tuition rates, various payment options and DNP Travel Assistance Program allow most of our students to graduate debt-free.*

* Based on 2018 data. This figure includes graduates paying out of pocket for their education and those receiving tuition reimbursement from their employer. The University also offers payment plans financed over four or nine-month increments depending on program of study that will allow a participant to graduate debt free. 

We have educated students at some of the top healthcare organizations in the country: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Health System, Johns Hopkins University, Kindred Healthcare, and the list goes on. These students along with many more have achieved personal goals, and new positions with their DNP, educational leadership specialization from American Sentinel University.

Meet faculty and peers that will become your support team through graduation and beyond. We invite you to learn more about the DNP Residency.

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, educational leadership specialization 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 Get

  • Real-world solutions for your organization’s challenges
  • Connections to peers at leading organizations around the country
  • A deeper understanding of educating the next generation of nurses
  • A professional headshot

What You’ll Learn

  • 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.

The mission of the DNP program is to prepare highly qualified nurse leaders and nurse educators to serve in competitive healthcare and higher education settings.