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.
Our Locked-In Tuition program guarantees you’ll pay the same price for your entire graduate degree.
About the Program
You have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership that proactively develops, implements and evaluates ethical healthcare policies at all levels. By earning an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, you’ll encourage your own career development while helping guide and support colleagues in their own journey in the healthcare profession.
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.
26 month minimum timeframe
Informatics to Improve Patient Outcomes
Healthcare Policy and Clinical Practice
Epidemiology and Population Health
Organizational and System Leadership
Upcoming Start Dates
January 9, 2024
April 30, 2024
August 20, 2024
Common Job Titles
Academic Nurse Leader
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
Director of Nursing
Director of Clinical Services
Public Health Coordinator
Start your journey with an 18 credit-hour core. 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.
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. Marcia Sotelo, Doctor of Nursing Practice
Dr. Marcia Sotelo is the Program Director and an Associate Professor for Abilene Christian University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Having earned her Baccalaureate Degree in Communications from Baylor University years ago, she decided to return to school and pursue nursing after the birth of her first daughter. She received her ADN from Austin Community College, her BSN from The University of Texas at Arlington, her MSN from Western Governors University, and her DNP from Samford University. All of these nursing education programs were completed online. This has enabled her to understand both the benefits and the challenges of learning in the online setting.
Professionally, Dr. Sotelo has worked in a wide variety of clinical areas, including medical-surgical, outpatient surgery, GI lab, PACU, and Women’s Services. As a National League of Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator, she has extensive experience teaching in and leading both traditional and online programs at all educational levels. She loves her job of guiding students as they pursue further education and looks forward to working with each student as they achieve their personal and professional goals by earning their DNP degree.
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Marcia Sotelo
Dr. Marcia Sotelo is more than just an advocate for future nurses and seasoned nursing professionals. As a clinical nurse, trainer, professor, and board member for various universities across the country, Dr. Sotelo knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a healthcare expert. Focused on championing her students and their well-being, Dr. Sotelo is excited to see what she can do for her students as the newest program director for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at ACU Online.
Student Spotlight: Dr. Shecarra Cook
One conference was all it took to inspire a dream. Learn how a connection with ACU Online led to Dr. Shecarra Cook discovering her calling and earning her Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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