Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-Executive Leadership

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree emphasizes the highest level of education in order to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing roles.  The DNP offered by Edgewood College is in indirect care (Executive Leadership).  Graduates of this program bring the best practices to managing health services, having competence in care systems management, and providing evidence-based care and translational research methods.

A rounded curriculum will include: preparation in epidemiology, biostatistics, healthcare finance, informatics, and quality management, a DNP capstone project, and a customized practicum experience (500-1000 hours based on previous practicum experience in a master’s program).

  • Complete your post-master's degree in just 2 years
  • Complete all courses entirely online
  • Degree can be done part-time or full-time
  • Enroll each fall, spring and summer semester

DNP Information Session

Join us to learn more about our Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership and our various pathway options.


Admission Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

New students may begin the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Executive Leadership program in the fall, spring or summer semesters. Candidates seeking admission to Edgewood College's DNP program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Graduated with a baccalaureate degree from a nursing program accredited by a national nursing accreditation body and received at least a 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale from an accredited master's degree program.*
  2. A graduate statistics course completed in the last three years is strongly recommended before admission, but is absolutely required by the end of the first semester in the DNP program (unless a graduate statistics course was successfully completed as part of a master's degree conferred within the last three years)
  3. Hold a current registered nursing license
  4. Practiced for a minimum of one year as a Registered Nurse in the United States (preferred)
  5. Will complete an interview with the program Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee
  6. BSN-prepared candidates may be considered for the DNP program by first successfully completing the MSN degree

*BSN-prepared candidates with a master’s degree in a discipline other than nursing may also be considered for admission. If a candidate’s master’s degree is not an MSN, his/her program of study will be evaluated for coursework that prepares him/her for DNP study. Non-MSN candidates may be asked to submit a portfolio of professional practice that highlights their knowledge, skills, and application of the MSN Essentials (i.e., research, health care policy, ethics, role development, foundations of nursing, human diversity and social issues, and health promotion). These students are often required to enroll in additional coursework prior to beginning the DNP program.


Application Process

Candidates for the DNP program apply using this application. Only completed applications will be reviewed by the School of Nursing for admission consideration. A completed application includes the following items:

  • Complete DNP application
  • Official post-secondary transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Reason for Study Essay
    • Express your professional objectives and how Edgewood College’s DNP program will contribute toward your role as a nursing leader
    • Describe an issue related to quality of practice or healthcare system improvement you are considering for your DNP project (preliminary ideas)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Two letters must come from nursing colleagues (at least one from a supervisor) that can address potential competency in graduate level studies
    • One letter should come from a former faculty member from your MSN program who is qualified to evaluate academic competence for doctoral study
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • A scholarly writing sample that best exemplifies your writing and composition skills (this can be a sample from your master's program)
  • Proof of licensure (required) and certification (optional)
  • International students must submit TOEFL scores. Learn more.
  • Once applicants successfully complete the online application, they will receive an email request to submit additional materials (transcripts, essay, letters of recommendation, resume, and licenses) directly to Edgewood College.

    **Note application process exception for candidates who already have an Edgewood College MSN: Those who have earned an MSN from Edgewood College within the past 3 years and received at least a 3.3 GPA are guaranteed admission into the DNP program upon application. If a candidate has not met the minimum 3.3 GPA requirement, he/she must apply and meet for an interview to be considered for admittance.

    Application Deadlines:

    • August 1st for Fall
    • January 1st for Spring
    • May 1st for Summer

Course Requirements


New students may begin the program in either the fall, spring or summer semesters.

The course sequence depends on which semester you begin the program. All courses are 3 credits each with the exception of NRS 801 A, B, and C which are 1 credit each. The degree can be completed between 2-3 years while taking 1-2 courses per semester (including summers). View DNP Course Sequences for full-time and part-time options.


NRS 800A and NRS 800B Applied Research Methods (1 and 2)

In this 2-course sequence, quantitative and qualitative research methods are presented in conjunction with data analyses, interpreting results from data analysis, and quality improvement methods. Course work supports applying research findings to evidence-based practice; leading and conducting quality improvement initiatives; and developing the DNP project.


NRS 802A and 802B Introduction to the DNP: Role, Residency, and Project (1 and 2)

In this two-course sequence (NRS 802A and 802B), students will self-assess and reflect upon their individual strengths and opportunities for executive leadership development. In collaboration with the course instructor, action plans for professional growth during the DNP program are established. In the online seminar portion, students will virtually attend weekly seminars and participate in a multitude of didactic activities. Students will explore foundations of the DNP degree and the DNP role. Students will also work with the course professor to identify preceptors to design their residency experience; culminating in the accumulation of 1000 hours of residency towards the DNP degree. Finally, students will work with the course professor to develop a relevant clinical problem/issue as the foundation for the DNP scholarly project, complete an outline of the DNP scholarly project, and draft a review of literature to support the DNP scholarly project.


NRS 803A and 803B DNP Residency (1 and 2)

This two-course sequence (NRS 803A and 803B) is specifically focused on advancing students' executive leadership knowledge and skills through residency hour experiences. In the online seminar portion, students will virtually attend weekly seminars and participate in a multitude of didactic activities. Students will continue to work with the course professor and preceptors to refine their residency experience; which will culminate in the accumulation of 1000 hours of residency towards the DNP degree. Developing expertise in collaboration within interprofessional teams will be a foundation in addressing individual, group, community, or population needs in the context of a systems network in a U.S. healthcare organization.  


NRS 805 Healthcare Finance and Regulatory Environments

Study of the financing and fiscal management of the U.S. Health Care system. Policy, regulatory, health care economics and market influences are examined. Budgeting and accounting principles are reviewed. Prerequisite: admission to the MSN or DNP program.


NRS 810 Population Health and Health Policy

Population health is explored to critically examine epidemiological statistics on determinants of health; and strategies to promote health, reduce health risks at multiple levels, and promote a culture of health among diverse populations. Prerequisite: admission to the MSN or DNP program.


NRS 820 Health Care Service and Clinical Quality

The focus of this course is to understand and apply methods and practices that clinical practitioners, administrative managers and leaders of health systems deploy to measure and assure continuous improvement in patient safety and clinical quality. Prerequisite: admission to the MSN or DNP program.


NRS 830 Health Systems Informatics

Examining the optimization of information management and communication to improve the health of populations, communities, families, and individuals. Frameworks include regulatory, legislative, workflow, electronic health record, billing, and telehealth. Application in professional development, translational research, and bioinformatics (genomics) are explored. Prerequisite: admission to the MSN or DNP program.


NRS 845 Leadership Capstone 1

The DNP Project is designed to equip nurse leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply relevant and current evidence to a quality improvement project working with stakeholders and resources within a practice or community system. In Capstone 1 students complete the first 3 sections of their DNP Project including review of literature, project purpose and scope, proposed quality improvement method(s) and IRB application. Prerequisite: admission to the DNP program. Prerequisite: Completion of NRS 800, 805, 810, 820, and 830.


NRS 850 Leadership Capstone 2

The DNP Project is designed to equip nurse leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to apply relevant and current evidence to a quality improvement project working with stakeholders and resources within a practice or community system. In Capstone 2 students complete the last 2 sections of their DNP Project including review of the quality improvement process, implications for practice and system changes, as well as dissemination plan. Prerequisite: NRS 845.


NRS 855 Leadership Capstone 3 (if needed)

Capstone 3 is available if student projects require an additional semester to complete.


NRS 860 Leadership Residency 3 (if needed)

Residency 3 is available if the student requires an additional semester to complete hours.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending graduate school is one of the best investments you will ever make in yourself and your future. While the benefits related to personal development and growth are priceless, you can also expect your DNP degree to expand your career options and enhance your earning power in the marketplace. Remember, completing your Doctorate is an investment in yourself and your career. Be sure to consider not only the total cost of your education, but also how that total breaks down in terms of monthly costs, which can make your investment feel more manageable and affordable.

Financing your Edgewood College DNP degree

Most graduate students are working professionals who take courses part-time. The DNP degree requires completion of a total of 30 credits. Typically, a part-time student completes their DNP in 2-3 years.

Tuition and Financial Aid information for doctoral programs.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more about Stafford Loans, including eligibility requirements and application instructions.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Our admissions and financial aid counselors have worked with thousands of students who have questioned how they could afford to complete their graduate education. They will use their experience to suggest creative solutions for financing your education. We work with students and organizations to manage tuition reimbursement plans, extend tuition discounts to various corporate partners in the region, offer third party billing and monthly payment plans, and work with veterans to maximize their available aid.