Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Advance your healthcare career.

Our Doctor of Nursing Practice is designed to further develop your clinical and leadership skills as a medical professional through a combination of online learning and practical application in the workplace. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership to proactively develop, implement, and evaluate ethical healthcare policies at all levels. By earning your degree, you’ll encourage your own career development while helping guide and support colleagues in their own journey in the healthcare profession.

ACU's online DNP program adheres and aligns with the current trend in the education of nurses and supports recommendations set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Institute of Medicine, and numerous other healthcare organizations. 

CCNE Third-Party Comments

As required by the CCNE procedures, at least two months before the scheduled on-site evaluation, the program must notify its constituents, including, at a minimum, faculty teaching in and students enrolled in the program(s) under review, that an accreditation review is scheduled. Written third-party comments will be received by CCNE until 21 days before the scheduled on-site evaluation. The accreditation review by CCNE is scheduled for Febuary 7, 2018 so written third-party comments must be received by CCNE by January 17, 2018. 

All comments are to be directed to: 

on Collegiate Nursing Education

Attn: Third-Party Comments

655 K St., NW, Suite 750

Washington, DC 20001     


Program Overview

Credit hours 39
Degree Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Program length 26 months
Tracks 2


  • Foundational Courses
    • The DNP Role
    • Informatics to Improve Patient Care
    • Applied Statistics and Research
    • Epidemiology and Population Health
    • Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in Chronic Care (DNP-C) or Theories and Practices of Effective Leadership (DNP-L) 
    • Genomic Implications in Advanced Practice (DNP-C) or Human Resources Development (DNP-L) 
    • Health Care Finance and Clinical Practice 
    • Foundations of Integrative Care (DNP-C) or Leadership in Diverse Contexts (DNP-L) 
    • Role of the DNP in Policy Development 
    • Systems Leadership for Safety, Quality, and Efficiency 
    • Healthcare Reform and Pay for Performance 
  • Research courses: 
    • DNP Project I 
    • DNP Project II 
    • DNP Clinical Track (DNP-C) or DNP Transformational Leadership Track (DNP-L)


  • Advanced Practiced Nurse
  • Executive Nursing Leadership

What outcomes can you expect?

  • Director of Nursing
  • CNO
  • Director of Clinical Services
  • Director of Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Lead Clinician

Admission Requirements

  • Application for admission with a nonrefundable processing fee
  • Master’s in Nursing from an accredited school of nursing (NLNAC, CCNE)
  • Official transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities that awarded the baccalaureate and masters degrees to the applicant sent in a registrar's sealed and stamped/signed envelope or official electronic transcripts
  • Minimum graduate nursing cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Two recommendation letters that attest to the applicant's academic abilities, character, and professional abilities
  • A 500-word purpose statement outlining the applicant's interest in the Doctor of Nursing Practice and their intended capstone project
  • Professional CV or resume
  • Proof of unencumbered registered nurse and/or advanced practice nursing licensure and certification in the United States (for Advanced Practiced Nurse track only)

See full ACU online graduate catalog, including admission requirements here.
For a comprehensive list of admission requirements please contact a Graduate Advisor.

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Ready to Be a Part?

We’re eager to see not only what you can accomplish with an ACU education, but how your unique perspective can enrich your fellow classmates and ACU as a whole.