Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Executive Leadership, Doctorate
The Executive Leadership Track provides the terminal practice degree for Nurses with an MSN in Health Administration, Health Policy, Clinical Informatics, Clinical Leadership/Clinical Nurse Leader, or Public Health.
These roles allow nurses to provide quality assessment and improvement in patient care and care outcomes at the policy, public health, administrative, informatics, or organization level. Doctoral courses in the track are augmented with a business curriculum, inclusive of advanced computing, financial and managerial accounting, and marketing management, cultivating the executive nurse leader.
The DNP Program is Fast and Flexible
All degree requirements can be met within a seven-semester timeframe in the full-time option, or choose from two part-time options and complete in either a ten- or thirteen-semester timeframe. DeSales University is proud to offer the first DNP program in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania area.
The DeSales Difference
- You can continue to work while pursuing doctoral study with our innovative, flexible format.
- You can complete the program full-time or part-time.
- The DNP program starts once a year in August with an on-campus residency weekend. Students are encouraged to attend subsequent residencies on campus in Winter and Spring but have the option of attending completely online.
- Your Scholarly Project Committee Chair, a doctorally prepared DeSales University Nursing Faculty member, will guide you through the design, implementation, completion and defense of the scholarly project.
- You'll learn from highly-experienced, nursing faculty who maintain active clinical practices, have years of advanced practice experience across a variety of specialty areas, and are active in their state and national organizations.
- Our Nursing and MBA faculty are working professionals. You'll be taught by active industry leaders who integrate textbook theory with real-world application of tools, processes, and methodologies.
- A business foundations course is included for those who need a basic understanding of business principles. You don’t need a degree in business to pursue the DNP in Executive Leadership degree program.
Important Program Information
To apply to the DNP Executive Leadership track, you must have:
- a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution;
- master of science in nursing (MSN) degree from an ACEN or CCNE accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale in one of the five following concentrations: Health Administration, Health Policy, Clinical Informatics, Clinical Leadership/Clinical Nurse Leader, or Public Health;
- completion of a master's level statistics course with a grade of "B" or better within the last 5 years;
- current licensure as a registered nurse in the United States;
- national certification strongly recommended but not required;
- evidence of the equivalent of 12 months of full-time nursing practice within the last three years
Upon acceptance, the Director of the DNP Program will perform a gap analysis of all post-Master’s applicant transcripts to determine the amount of hours of practice post-baccalaureate is required in order to achieve the DNP competencies.
The DeSales DNP Program will provide up to 1,000 hours of practice post-baccalaureate as part of a supervised academic program that aligns with the corresponding DNP Essential(s) and to verify that standards specific to advanced practice have been met.
International applicants must contact Leslie Bartholomew, Designated School Official, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1859 or Leslie.Bartholomew@desales.edu to inquire about international admission requirements.
Post-MSN DNP degree applicants are admitted on a rolling basis. The deadline is June 15 for August (Fall semester) start
For important application procedure information, see How to Apply
In the DNP Executive Leadership Track you'll complete:
- 14 courses plus scholarly project and portfolio
- 41 - 48 credits
- 525 minimum residency hours plus variable practicum hours based on individual gap analysis
Choose from either a full-time or part-time program of study.
Learn more about the Division of Nursing mission and philosophy, program outcomes, and more. See important DNP program details
Careers & Internships
DNPs are employed in a variety of clinical practice positions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015:
- Average MSN salary was $104,740/year
- Average DNP salary was $135,000/year
- Average DNP/MBA salary was $155,000/year
With the evolution of skills and knowledge required to perform effectively in the practice arena, the DNP equips you to maneuver effectively in the changing health care environment.
The DNP graduate will serve in key leadership positions and activities designed to impact the health outcomes of individuals, families, and communities. The blending of clinical skills with organizational, economic, and leadership capabilities teaches you to be an active participant in the transformation of health care practices.
Do you want to become a nurse educator?
Tuition & Fees
- Tuition/credit hour: $945*
- Program Fees for Post-MSN DNP tracks: $140 per course (except NU805 and NU813, each of which are no cost)
- Application Fee: $50
- Graduation Fee: $120
- Returned Check Service: $30
*Tuition/credit hours listed are for 2023/2024 academic year. Tuition and fees are reviewed each academic year and are subject to change with notice.
DeSales University offers graduate students the opportunity to defer payment of their tuition when they will be receiving reimbursement from their employer or when they are eligible to receive financial aid. A copy of your employer's tuition reimbursement policy must be forwarded to the Treasurer's Office and/or all necessary financial aid paperwork must be filed with the Financial Aid Office before tuition deferment is granted.
Tuition deferment is a privilege given to graduate students at DeSales and can be revoked if this privilege is abused. Please note that you, as the student, are responsible for payment of your tuition balance in the event that your financial aid/loans or employer reimbursement is not received by the Treasurer's Office.
When a student is eligible for tuition reimbursement from his/her employer, written evidence of eligibility is required. The student is responsible for requesting this reimbursement from his/her employer. In cases where reimbursement is contingent upon successful completion of the course(s) and the student either withdraws or does not achieve a grade sufficient to warrant maximum reimbursement, the student is ultimately responsible for payment for the course(s).
Refund on Withdrawal
A refund of tuition payments will be made to a student who withdraws from a course. In all cases, credits will be calculated from the date the student completed the official withdrawal form, and the rebate will be based on the schedule shown below.
Refunds apply to tuition only. If a student is allowed to enroll by use of the deferred payment procedure, any funds due the University are immediately due and payable upon withdrawal.
Withdrawal during the add/drop period is 100% of tuition refunded. The schedule below is for withdrawal after the first class after the close of the add/drop period.
The refund policy is based upon the number of classes held up to the date of withdrawal.
- Withdrawal after 1st class: 80% of tuition refunded
- Withdrawal after 2nd class: 65% of tuition refunded
- Withdrawal after 3rd class: 50% of tuition refunded
- Withdrawal after 4th class: 25% of tuition refunded
- Withdrawal after 5th class: No refund
One FREE course for DeSales MSN graduates
DeSales offers one FREE 3-credit, 800-level Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) course to eligible* DeSales University Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program graduates and DSU Post-MSN Certificate (PMC) completers.
Veteran & Military Student Discount Program
Beginning Spring of 2023, DeSales University will match the Federal Military Tuition Assistance Program (T.A.) of $250/credit, or $750 for a three-credit course. The TA match discount program will be available to students who are currently serving on military active duty, National Guard, Reserve service members, and to eligible spouses or dependents. Adult Studies students eligible for TA match discount program will receive a combined $1,500 course credit against an approximately $1,600 course cost.
For more information, contact the Office of Veterans and Military Services
*Veteran & Military discount match is not applicable for the Accelerated BSN program nor combinable with additional DeSales University discount offerings.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at DeSales University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).