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Everything You Need to Know About ACU Online’s DNP Program

Nurses are some of the most dedicated professionals in the healthcare field, providing comfort, respite and necessary care to others. Over time, many nurses will look at their career goals and where they aspire to be in the medical profession. If you find yourself looking to advance your career, now may be the time to consider some additional education. A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree can take you and your skillset to the next level. At Abilene Christian University, busy nursing professionals can earn a DNP degree entirely online, building their clinical and management skills while continuing in their daily work.

What Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree?

A DNP degree is a practice-focused program that builds on master’s degrees and provides additional leadership training and evidence-based medical care. The goal of this education is to improve the skills of a nurse so they can deliver a higher quality of care to patients.

An Accredited DNP Degree Available Entirely Online

At ACU, we offer a comprehensive DNP program that is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). CCNE accreditation attests to the quality of the education provided, ensuring that you are investing in a degree that will further your career goals and your knowledge as a medical professional.

This advanced training takes place entirely online and has no residency requirement, so nurses can continue working while earning this credential. On-the-job practice takes place through two hands-on projects woven into the program, which nurses can complete in their own clinics and facilities. This flexibility makes the ACU DNP degree ideal for those who cannot relocate and still need to balance work, life, and family.

A Specialized Concentration

The DNP Program at ACU offers a specialized concentration—Executive Nursing Leadership. This concentration examines these topics:

  • The DNP role
  • Epidemiology and population health
  • Research and applied statistics
  • Information technology and its role in patient care
  • Healthcare policy and Clinical practice
  • Organizational and system leadership

In addition, this concentration has specific topics that are delved into more deeply.

Executive Nursing Leadership
The Executive Nursing Leadership concentration focuses on developing leaders in the field. In addition to the foundational courses, this concentration covers:

  • Principles and theories of leading people
  • Finance and its impact on clinical practice
  • Impact and care of chronic health conditions

If you picture yourself in a leadership role within the healthcare industry, desire to help train other nursing professionals, or want a position in management, this concentration will prepare you well.

Career Opportunities

Nursing professionals have many potential job options after attaining DNP credentials. They may take roles that still allow them to practice nursing, such as lead clinician or CNO. They may find management positions such as a Director of Nursing, Director of Clinical Services, or Director of Advanced Practice Nurses. Public health coordinators and academic nurse leaders also often hold a DNP.

Costs of the ACU DNP

ACU Online’s DNP, which requires 39 credit hours to complete, is $871 per credit hour. Each course also has a $200 resource fee. However, there are scholarships available to help reduce the cost of tuition.

Residency and Clinical Hour Requirements

The flexibility of ACU’s DNP stems from the lack of residency requirements. Nursing students do not have to move to complete a residency and can continue working in their current clinical environments.

Students must earn a total of at least 1000 supervised clinical hours by the end of the DNP program. You can receive up to 500 hours of credit from precepted clinical hours completed in the Master’s degree. A student who completed less than 500 supervised clinical hours in the Master’s degree is required to earn extra clinical hours to reach a minimum total of 1000 hours by the completion of ACU’s DNP program. Proof of verification of precepted clinical hours during one’s Master’s degree will be required in order to receive credit and must be submitted by completion of the first DNP program course

Support Through the Journey

At ACU, we treat our students as family. From the moment you start speaking with the admissions team to the day you finish your program, and even beyond graduation, our faculty and staff are dedicated to your success.

Students receive a faculty mentor from ACU that serves as a guide through the degree and project completion. This mentor ensures you will receive support along the way, so you get the most out of your educational experience.

Is a DNP Right for You?

A DNP is a good fit for nurses who:

  • Have a Master’s in Nursing from an accredited school
  • Have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Have an unencumbered registered nursing license
  • Can submit a CV or resume along with two professional letters supporting the nurse’s work ethic and character
  • Are interested in a career in clinical or management roles

If you are a nurse who has your Bachelor’s in Nursing, be sure to look at our BSN to DNP program pathway.

Pursue Your DNP with ACU Online

If you are looking for advanced education in nursing, need the flexibility of a fully online program, and want a degree backed by Christian values, ACU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is the program for you. Talk to our admissions team today to learn more about the online DNP program or to apply.

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