McGurrin and Leahy Halls

Post-Master's Leadership, DNP

Program Overview

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Post-Master’s Leadership provides graduate education with these hallmarks:

  • ethical leadership
  • creative problem solving
  • service to patients and communities
  • inter-professional teamwork
  • appreciation of diversity
  • a commitment to excellence in nursing practice

We prepare local, regional, national, and international nurse leaders who will use their expertise to provide evidence-based care for improving the health of vulnerable populations.


The program is uniquely offered in an executive leadership format.  It is specifically designed to accommodate full-time practice and full-time academic commitment.  This hybrid model allows for on-campus and on-line course work.  It is the best of both worlds – incorporating the benefits of face-to-face on campus learning with the flexibility of on line learning.

The 30-credit program can be completed in 21 months, with entry in fall and graduation two years later in May.    

Students take two courses for each of five semesters, meeting during two to four scheduled weekends each semester.

The executive leadership model -- with planned, on-campus meetings -- allows for increased collaboration among students and regular face-to-face contact between students and professors. This enriches the academic experience and facilitates direct access to faculty and advisors for guidance and support.

How to Apply


In addition to coursework, each student will complete an evidence-based scholarly project with significant potential to positively change health care delivery or improve patient outcomes for vulnerable patients, families, communities, or populations.  

Also, each student will complete clinical practice hours related to the scholarly project and /or to advance knowledge in the student’s area of specialization.  Advanced nursing practice students will be given credit for the clinical hours completed in their master’s specialty program and will complete additional hours to fulfill the 1000 clinical hours total required for the DNP program. The number of clinical hours required for each student will be divided between the two DNP Scholarly Project courses (NURS 780 and NURS 790).

A minimum of 125 hours is required in each DNP Scholarly Project course.  Additional hours above the 125 hour minimum will be dependent upon the student’s prior precepted clinical experience at the master’s level. 

View Curriculum and Course Descriptions     View DNP Student Handbook  View Mentor Manual

Practice and Employment Opportunities

The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs.

DNP-prepared nurses are well-equipped to fully implement the science developed by nurse researchers prepared in PhD, DNSc, and other research-focused nursing doctorates. 

The program positions graduates well for the changes and opportunities that are expected to arise for health care practice in the future, including:

  • advancement in independent practice
  • leadership positions in a variety of practice settings
  • executives in health care organizations
  • directors of clinical programs
  • faculty positions responsible for clinical program delivery
  • teaching in the clinical setting
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