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 800 Applied Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice A variety of research methodologies are presented in conjunction with qualitative and advanced quantitative data analysis, statistical interpretation, and evaluation. Course work prepares students for their capstone project. Prerequisite: admission to the DNP program.

NRS 801A, B Capstone Writing 1, 2 This course aims to further cultivate DNP candidates’ skillset in critiquing scholarly writing, conducting a comprehensive literature review, analyzing and synthesizing research, and producing scholarly writing themselves. Intertwined with DNP candidates’ first year of courses, this three course sequence is specifically designed to assist each candidate in the production of their Leadership Capstone Project (LCP). At the conclusion of the course sequence, the DNP candidate will begin their first Leadership Capstone Course with their Capstone topic, outline for their project, and a “working” draft of their first three chapters. Prerequisite: admission to the DNP program.

NRS 805 Healthcare Finance and Regulatory Environments Study of the financing, accounting, and management of the U.S. health care system. Regulations and reimbursements, accounting principles, analysis of financial statements, cost analysis, pricing, staffing, and budgeting are examined. Forecasting, depreciation, inventory management, ratio, and investment analysis applied in project work. Prerequisite: admission to the DNP program.

NRS 810 Population Health and Health Policy Population health is explored through epidemiologic research to critically examine the determinants of health, health promotion, and risk reduction strategies. Bio-statistical approaches are used to analyze population data. Prerequisite: admission to the DNP program.

NRS 820 Health Care Service and Clinical Quality Human resource management in healthcare, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), and principles of risk management; ethics, patient safety, claims management, and proactive loss control are examined. Strategies for interprofessional team effectiveness in quality processes, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction are evaluated; benchmarking metrics are outlined. Prerequisite: admission to the 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 DNP program.

NRS 835 Leadership Residency 1 This is the first of two semesters of clinical practica in combination with seminar discussion designed to provide advanced leadership skills focusing on indirect care. Students will work with course professors to identify preceptors to design their residency experience. 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. Prerequisite: Completion of NRS 800, 805, 810, 820, and 830.

NRS 840 Leadership Residency 2 This is the second of two advanced practice seminars and practica. Executive leadership and management experiences in upper level management to achieve preparation to lead, manage, and influence healthcare for positive outcomes (CGEAN). Prerequisite: NRS 835.

NRS 845 Leadership Capstone 1 The capstone project is designed to equip advance practice nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance the application of translational research in a clinical practice setting. In Capstone I students complete the theoretical work necessary to design a clinical research project and write the first 3 sections of their project. Prerequisite: NRS 801A, B, C, and NRS 835.

NRS 850 Leadership Capstone 2 The capstone project is designed to equip advance practice nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance the application of translational research in a clinical practice setting. In Capstone II students complete the data collection necessary to analyze a clinical research project and write the remaining sections of their project. 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 for students who still need to meet the required total of 1000 residency 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

Graduate tuition for the 2021-22 year is $1052 per credit (effective Summer 2021).  You can expect that cost to rise by in the future.

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.

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.