Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Discover how you can promote a higher standard of care while advancing your knowledge and career with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Abilene Christian University. Fully online coursework lets you reach for your goal without putting your career on pause, and in-person clinical assignments, completed where you currently work, help you apply what you’ve just learned.

As the highest credential for the nursing profession, this Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited online DNP program helps you tackle today’s challenges and better serve patients. Building off your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you’ll deepen your commitment to effective leadership in a faith-based context, strive to improve population health through research and take your clinical skills to the next level. Based on where you see yourself, choose your own path among two concentrations to determine where and how you’ll make a difference. 

Discover how you can promote a higher standard of care while advancing your knowledge and career with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Abilene Christian University. Fully online coursework lets you reach for your goal without putting your career on pause, and in-person clinical assignments, completed where you currently work, help you apply what you’ve just learned.

As the highest credential for the nursing profession, this Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited online DNP program helps you tackle today’s challenges and better serve patients. Building off your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you’ll deepen your commitment to effective leadership in a faith-based context, strive to improve population health through research and take your clinical skills to the next level. Based on where you see yourself, choose your own path among two concentrations to determine where and how you’ll make a difference. 

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Dedicate Yourself to Patient Care

Whether you envision yourself in a higher-level care or leadership role, nurture your drive with ACU’s online DNP program structured to empower working adults. As you complete online courses and in-person assignments around your existing obligations, our vibrant, virtual, Christ-centered community embraces your passion for improving care quality, delivery and access. 

About the Program

Nurse at desk, Doctor of Nursing Practice

You have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership that proactively develops, implements and evaluates ethical healthcare policies at all levels. By earning an online DNP degree, you’ll encourage your own career development while helping guide and support colleagues in their own journey in the healthcare profession.

Program Structure

All the Details on Your Degree

ACU’s online DNP program adheres to and aligns with current trends in nursing education and supports recommendations set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the National Academy of Medicine and numerous other healthcare organizations.

Tracks

Executive Nursing Leadership

Required Hours

39 hours
26 month minimum timeframe

Example Coursework

Informatics to Improve Patient Outcomes
Foundations of Integrative Care
Epidemiology and Population Health
Healthcare Finance and Clinical Practice

Department

Upcoming Start Dates

August 23, 2022
October 18, 2022

Common Job Titles

Academic Nurse Leader
Director of Advanced Practice Nurses
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
Director of Nursing
Lead Clinician
Director of Clinical Services
Public Health Coordinator

Curriculum

Start your journey with an 18 credit-hour core regardless of which concentration resonates with you. Over this sequence, you’ll explore the role of the DNP in today’s healthcare industry, including as a practitioner, patient advocate, leader and scholar. From here, you’ll broaden your mindset through courses diving into epidemiology as a tool to promote population health; research and statistical analysis in healthcare delivery; using data and other technology to better predict patient outcomes; healthcare policies involving finance, regulation, care quality and access; and managing a medical practice, from organization to accommodating patients.

Champion change from within by refining your critical thinking skills, integrating technology and rooting decisions on evidence-based practice. For applying these concepts, you’ll additionally complete 500 clinical hours and two projects requiring you to plan and implement a clinical program and present a paper for review. 

 

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Executive Nursing Leadership

You experienced a taste of leadership after earning your MSN or completing ACU’s BSN to DNP pathway program. Continue cultivating related competencies with a concentration highlighting techniques for directing teams of healthcare workers and how finance factors into a clinical practice. Stay connected to industry trends by studying the impact and care of chronic health conditions and learning how to both manage a practice and train beginning to mid-career nursing professionals. 

Meet the Program Director

Dr. Linda Gibson, BSN to DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Dr. Linda Gibson, Doctor of Nursing Practice

Dr. Linda Gibson is the program director for the BSN to DNP and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Dr. Gibson has been an associate professor within ACU’s School of Nursing for the past three years, though her teaching experience spans 30 years. Much of her clinical experience comes from a VA hospital, and her MSN specialty areas include Medical/Surgical Nursing (RNP), Teaching/Evaluation, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing (CNS).

As a lifelong learner, she went on to complete her DNP and is currently pursuing a homeopathic degree. Dr. Gibson lives in the hills of Tennessee surrounded by her children and grandchildren.

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Take a leap forward not only with your career but for the future of healthcare delivery. Reflecting demand for a more nuanced, elevated skill set, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified 45% growth for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030. Our DNP program gives you an edge to unleash your potential and persevere in today’s medical environments as a:

  • lead clinician;
  • chief nursing officer (CNO);
  • director of nursing;
  • director of clinical services;
  • director of advanced practice nurses;
  • public health program director or coordinator;
  • nurse practitioner;
  • informaticist;
  • clinical nurse specialist;
  • certified nurse midwife; or
  • nurse educator.
Doctor listening to patient's heart, Doctor of Nursing Practice

To be considered for admission, students must:

  • Complete the online program application accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee.
  • Have a Master’s in Nursing from an accredited school of nursing (ACEN, CCNE).
  • Submit official transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities that awarded the baccalaureate and master’s degree to the applicant sent in a registrar’s sealed and stamped/signed envelope or official electronic transcripts.
  • Have a minimum nursing cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Supply two professional recommendation letters that attest to the applicant’s character, work ethic and professional abilities.
  • Author a 500-word purpose statement outlining your interest in the Doctor of Nursing Practice and your intended scholarly project topic, written in APA format.
  • Submit a professional CV or resume.
  • Provide proof of unencumbered registered nurse licensure in the United States.
  • Complete an undergraduate level statistics course with a “C” or better.
CCNE Accredited logo

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program Outcomes

The future of the healthcare field depends on professionals devoted to improving outcomes, be it the services delivered or fighting for greater access. Commit to this path by enrolling in ACU’s online DNP program, a course of study intended to strengthen your leadership skills, foster your own development and help you shepherd the progress of other nursing professionals.

We strive to graduate nursing professionals ready to develop and evaluate healthcare policies at all levels and provide a higher degree of evidence-based care. Over 39 credit hours, you’ll devote yourself to this endeavor designed to:

  • produce practitioners who think critically, globally and missionally;
  • enhance your ability to engage in distinct and creative clinical practice initiatives for quality healthcare delivery and the improvement of patient health outcomes;
  • guide you toward becoming a healthcare agent for your community;
  • imbue a missionally driven message that you pass along to whomever you care for and serve; and
  • encourage reflection upon your calling and vocation as a nurse leader, educator or practitioner.

Our Christ-centered community welcomes your personal vision and drive, and aims to help you connect with your faith as you advance your career with the purpose of uplifting others.