Doctor of Nursing Practice

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The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master's degree program in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Colorado Christian University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Take your nursing career to the next level at CCU with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership at CCU is designed for advanced practice nursing professionals who already have an MSN. This can be nurse practitioners, nurse administrators, nurse anesthetists, healthcare leaders, clinical nurse specialists, and/or nurse educators. The DNP is considered the final and highest-level clinical nursing practice degree.

The online DNP program at CCU is a practice-focused doctorate that will prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. Graduates will be able to apply credible research and translate evidence-based practice into improved health outcomes. The doctoral program provides the development of advanced competencies for increasingly complex practice and enhanced leadership to strengthen healthcare delivery and patient care.

The DNP degree equips graduates for career advancement and leadership roles in several areas, including Director of Nursing, CNO, leadership in a healthcare system, consulting, academia, staff and professional education, clinical practice, and nurse entrepreneurship.

CCU's online DNP program can be completed in two years of full-time study. The program includes 525 hours of clinical experience beyond the MSN.

Benefits of the DNP Nursing Program

  • Students have opportunities throughout their coursework to develop a specialized nursing competency with a biblical worldview.
  • CCU's nursing practice DNP program coursework integrates faith, learning, and living with an emphasis on biblical principles, moral leadership, and advanced nursing roles.
  • The online format enables nurses to earn their DNP in their home community while collaborating with other nurses throughout the country.

Questions About CCU's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree?

What is the DNP in Visionary Leadership?

At Colorado Christian University School of Nursing and Health Professions, a visionary leader is one who impacts the world with grace and truth by envisioning creative solutions, developing strategic initiatives, and inspiring intra/interprofessional teams. The visionary leader is transformative, leading change with advanced knowledge and skills to impact systems and organizations, healthcare policy, and national/global health outcomes. The visionary nurse leader, seeking to lead like Jesus, functions as a servant, shepherd, steward, and scholar, building on a foundation of biblical truth and nursing as both art and science.

What would I do with a DNP degree in Leadership?

The DNP is a terminal clinical degree in nursing. Nurses with a DNP may work as administrators, nurse executives, or nurse leaders in healthcare systems/organizations, health policy, or the community. For those who are currently practicing as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, this degree allows you to practice at the highest level of clinical practice and equips you to incorporate evidence-based practice, entrepreneurial thinking, and improve health outcomes. At CCU you are not just prepared for one leadership role type, but rather to live out your calling and impact the world.

Can I still work while getting my DNP?

Yes, this program is geared toward the working professional nurse.

Will I be eligible for specialty certification once I have completed this DNP program?

CCU's DNP curriculum helps to prepare graduates for the Nurse Executive (advanced) certification (NEA-BC) through ANCC. The competencies from this certification are built into the courses in this DNP program, but additional work experience may be required by the certifying body.

Can I drop out of classes for a period of time and then come back into the program without having to wait for the next cohort?

Currently, courses are offered with a Summer start, but additional start times may be added with sufficient enrollment. However, the program is meant to be done full time and sequentially.

Can I become a nurse practitioner (NP) in this program?

No. This program further prepares those who already may be NPs to assume visionary leadership positions and enhance their skills on a wider scale. This is not an APRN program, but does require students to have an MSN upon admission.

Do I need to live in Colorado to be in this program?

CCU's DNP is an online program available wherever you have internet access, so you do not need to live in Colorado. Due to state regulations, we cannot accept students who live in certain states.

Are there on-campus requirements?

No in-person residencies or travel to campus is required. A mandatory two-day online orientation is provided prior to the start of the first DNP course. Students will be provided those dates with their admission letter.

Is the DNP program accredited?

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master's degree program in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Colorado Christian University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Do I need to be a Christian to be in this program?

There is no spiritual background requirement for students in this program. We do expect students to examine a biblically based Christian worldview and explore the attributes that this brings to your life and your nursing practice. Our vision is to empower nurses to practice nursing as ministry and to prepare visionary moral leaders at the doctoral level.

How long does it take to complete the DNP?

This program is designed to be taken full time and completed in two years. There is a limit of three years for completion.

If I am an RN wanting my BSN to DNP, can I attend this program?

No, this program is for post-master's students only. There is currently no BSN to DNP option. Students must hold an MSN from an accredited program. However, CCU does offer online RN-BSN and MSN programs which provide a smooth transition into the DNP program.

Can I transfer credits into this program from another program?

Students can transfer a maximum of 6 equivalent credits from another accredited nursing program. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Can I be admitted if I don’t have 500 hours in my MSN?

Yes, there are opportunities to make up these hours during the program. Course enhancements are available within the first year of the program.

How do I make up clinical hours needed for CCU’s DNP admission requirements?

The DNP program director and your SSA will make an individualized plan with you to register for NUR 701, the advanced clinical practicum course where gap hours may be made up. There are also two courses within the DNP program that allow enhanced credits and clinical hours to complete the 500 required hours at the MSN level. Each student's situation is handled individually.

What area will the gap clinical hours need to be in, if needed?

The DNP program director and clinical coordinator work with individual students to help them find clinical preceptors and placements to enhance their skills in advanced assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced pathophysiology in an area or areas of interest as they make up these gap hours.

Can I complete the DNP clinical hours at my work?

While clinical or EBP project hours can be completed at your place of work, time spent on the job does not count for clinical time. The student must have separate and dedicated hours for the DNP program that are not occurring during regular employment, even if their project and clinical hours are done at their place of work.

Is there a team at CCU that will help find a location in my area for my DNP clinical hours?

Yes. The clinical coordinator, program director, and course instructor will all attempt to assist you by giving you input and direction as to the location of the DNP hours and the preceptor. As the student you are also an active member of this team, helping to provide potential names for nurse leaders in your area. In addition, students are matched with a faculty mentor who will help guide them through the EBP project process.

Do I have to complete an EBP (evidence-based practice) project in this program?

Yes, virtually all DNP programs require some type of final project. In this program, students complete an evidence-based quality improvement project, working with a faculty mentor and clinical preceptor to engage in a change initiative with system-wide impact. Students must successfully present (online) the final results of this project to graduate.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Colorado Christian University offers several academic programs which lead to professional licensure in the state of Colorado and, in some programs, prepare students for a national exam. All students should be aware that states vary in their educational and professional requirements depending on the profession. Some states require specific educational requirements, clinical requirements, accreditation requirements, or exam requirements. See professional licensure disclosures for details.

State Exclusions for Online Students

Colorado Christian University is required by the U.S. Department of Education to be in compliance with state laws regarding where we can offer distance and/or online education. The College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Colorado Christian University offers courses to online students in all states with some exceptions for specific academic programs.

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