Colorado Christian University
Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs

Doctor of Nursing Practice FAQs

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

Are you interested in earning your online doctoral degree in Nursing? Find answers to frequently asked questions about our new DNP program below.

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 the 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 Fall 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?

No, this is a 100% online program available wherever you have internet access. 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 2-day online orientation is provided prior to the start of the first DNP course. Students will be provided those dates with their admission letter. The DNP program is 100% online.

Is this program accredited?

CCNE requires all schools to have a full year of students in the program prior to applying for accreditation. CCU is seeking accreditation of the DNP program at this time. Accreditation is retroactive to the date of the CCNE site visit, so it is anticipated that all students will graduate from an accredited program.

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 a 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.

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