Doctor of Nursing meeting with a child and her mother

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

As you progressed in your medical career, you also had to progress academically, likely achieving a number of educational milestones – including, perhaps, an online BSN program or even your MSN.

Now, take the next step. Pursue your DNP at ACU Online!

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. And as the shortest online DNP program in Texas, it’s as good for your life as it is for your career.

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 February 7, 2018, so written third-party comments must be received by CCNE by January 17, 2018. 

All comments are to be directed to: 

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Attn: Third-Party Comments
655 K St., NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001

We understand the cost of graduate school can be overwhelming, which is why ACU offers a variety of financial assistance to qualifying students, including our new ACU Online Achievement Award. Learn more about this new scholarship and other financial aid options here.

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 Executive Nursing Leadership Track (DNP-L)


  • Advanced Practiced Nurse
  • Executive Nursing Leadership
View Catalog
Nurse treating a teenage girl

What career outcomes can you expect from our online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs?

  • Academic Nurse Leader
  • CNO
  • Director of Nursing
  • Director of Clinical Services
  • Director of Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Lead Clinician
  • Public Health Coordinator

Program Outcomes

  1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical and organizational sciences to enhance health and alleviate or ameliorate illness.
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate care delivery approaches based on scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences that meet current and future needs of patient populations.
  3. Design and implement processes to evaluate outcomes of practice, practice patterns, and systems of care within a practice setting, health care organization or community in order to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient- centered care.
  4. Use information systems/technology resources to implement quality improvement to support practice and administrative decision-making.
  5. Demonstrates leadership to proactively develop, implement and evaluate at all levels, health policies that are just, ethical, and equitable.
  6. Employ consultative and leadership skills in intra- and inter-professional teams in order to create excellence in all types of health care delivery systems.
  7. Demonstrate leadership in developing, implementing, and evaluating delivery models and/or strategies, using concepts related to community, environment, and occupation health and cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health.
  8. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking and accountability as an advance practice nurse in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence based care to achieve positive outcomes to individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  9. Continue professional development throughout own career, while supporting colleagues in their professional journey.
  10. Integrate insight about their own calling with their ability to influence the health care delivery system in order to promote social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare, by (a) articulating the rich tradition of literature and practice in Christian vocation; (b) reflecting upon the concept of vocation in their own leadership development; and (c) applying new understanding of vocation in their organizational contexts.

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 for our Doctor of Nursing Practice online program, please contact a Graduate Advisor.

Student on Laptop viewing Admissions Requirements for ACU Online

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.