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Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership (DNP)

DNP - Program Requirements

Curtis Lee, Ph.D., Dean, School of Professional Studies

Sumner Campus Ministry Center

(270) 384-7322


Emiley Wyatt Button, D.N.P., Director of Nursing

Dr. Robert & Carol Goodin Nursing & Counseling Center, Room 126

(270) 384-7442


Angie Johnson, D.N.P., Program Coordinator

Dr. Robert & Carol Goodin Nursing & Counseling Center, Online Office

(270) 384-7352


Full-time program faculty: Emiley Button, D.N.P., Angie Johnson, D.N.P., Susan Vickous, Ed.D., M.S.N.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is to provide quality graduate nursing education that prepares students as change agents and as lifelong learners within the profession of nursing.


Vision Statement

With the intentional and cooperative efforts of the entire college community and through excellence in teaching, scholarship, practice, and service, the Lindsey Wilson College Doctor of Nursing Practice program aspires to:

  • Be the regional leader in providing an exceptional nursing education;
  • Create the best possible environment for the individual growth of students;
  • Graduate students who are prepared for life and professional nursing practice in a complex, rapidly-changing world and health care environment; and
  • Advance health in the local, regional, and global arenas through scientific evidence and sound professional practice.

D.N.P. Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)

Upon completion of the Lindsey Wilson College Doctor of Nursing Practice program, graduates will:

  1. Synthesize knowledge from the natural, social, and nursing sciences and apply principles of evidence-based practice to improve health outcomes for diverse populations;
  2. Apply knowledge of systems and organizational theories in order to lead effectively, to foster ongoing improvement in health outcomes, to ensure patient safety, and to increase cost-effective patient care;
  3. Apply analytic techniques to appraise evidence for best clinical practice and to design, implement, and evaluate quality improvement and patient safety methods;
  4. Integrate current and emerging health care systems technology by providing ethical leadership to analyze, promote, utilize, and evaluate a high quality health care system to improve consumer health care;
  5. Synthesize health care policy by providing critical appraisal and ethical leadership to influence all levels of organizational policies advocating for social justice within the health care arenas;
  6. Integrate interprofessional and intraprofessional collaboration by developing strong leadership and consultative skills for effective communication within the complex health care system;
  7. Analyze epidemiology, biostatistical, environmental, and other appropriate scientific data related to individualized cultural relevance, health promotion, and disease prevention; and
  8. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment and accountability by providing leadership skills to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based interventions based on nursing science and other sciences to improve patient outcomes while promoting lifelong learning.


The Lindsey Wilson College D.N.P. program is a 68 credit hour course of study that is offered in a flexible, online format. The D.N.P. program is designed to integrate academic concepts and research with leadership coursework and clinical experiences that culminates in the capstone project.


Students entering with an M.S.N. degree are required to complete the 36 hours of doctoral level nursing courses.  

A.  B.S.N. to D.N.P. Requirements:  32-35 hours

  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing (NURS 5013) – 3 hours
  • Pharmacology & Drug Therapy for Advanced Practice Nursing (NURS 5023) – 3 hours
  • Human Diversity & Health Promotion (NURS 5033) – 3 hours
  • Biostatistics (NURS 5043) – 3 hours
  • Financial Management in Health Systems (NURS 6013) – 3 hours
  • Evidence-based Practice (NURS 6023) – 3 hours
  • Human Resources in Health Management (NURS 6033) – 3 hours
  • Theoretical Foundations in Nursing Practice (NURS 6043) – 3 hours
  • Foundations of Grant Writing (NURS 6103) – 3 hours
  • Bioethics & Law (NURS 6112) – 2 hours
  • Advanced Nurse Leadership (NURS 6123) – 3 hours

Note:        After completion of the B.S.N. to D.N.P. courses and of Health Care Informatics & Technology (NURS 7033), the student may opt out of the D.N.P. curriculum to earn the M.S.N. in Nursing Leadership (32-35 total credit hours).

B. Doctorate Nursing Requirements: 36 hours

1 – Nursing Leadership: 18 hours

  • Orientation to Advanced Practice Nursing (NURS 7013) – 3 hours
  • Transformational Leadership (NURS 7023) – 3 hours
  • Health Care Informatics & Technology (NURS 7033) – 3 hours
  • Leadership in Health Policy (NURS 7043) – 3 hours
  • Quality Improvement (NURS 8013) – 3 hours
  • Organizational Leadership (NURS 8023) – 3 hours

2 – Nursing Research: 12 hours

  • Nursing Theory (NURS 7103) – 3 hours
  • Advanced Nursing Research for Evidence-based Practice (NURS 7113) – 3 hours
  • Advanced Epidemiology (NURS 7123) – 3 hours
  • Cultural Diversity (NURS 8033) – 3 hours


3 – Doctorate Nursing Capstone: 6 hours

  • Capstone Project: Problem Identification & Project Proposal (NURS 8103) – 3 hours
  • Capstone Project: D.N.P. Design & Implementation (NURS 8201) – 1 hour
  • Capstone Project: D.N.P. Analysis, Report & Dissemination (NURS 8302) – 2 hours

Note:   The student must complete a minimum of 1000 clinical hours at the completion of the D.N.P. degree.

TOTAL HOURS: 68 credit hours


Exit Assessment

The doctoral program has the same academic policies and standards as the undergraduate degrees in nursing. A minimum of 68 credit hours, 1000 clinical hours, and completion of the D.N.P. Capstone Project are required to graduate from the D.N.P. program.

Progression Criteria

Progression criteria for the D.N.P. program are outlined in the D.N.P. Handbook that is published on the nursing program web page. Students must comply with current course changes and/or degree requirements as well as with policies and procedures.

Grading Scale

The nursing program uses a grading scale different from other programs of the college. Consistent with other nursing programs, the grading scale requires students to earn 77 percent or higher to be awarded a C or better. The nursing program uses the following grading scale: A = 93-100 percent, B = 85-92 percent, C = 77-84 percent, D = 70-76 percent, F = 69 percent or lower. Grades will be rounded.


Program Application Procedure

Applicants to the D.N.P. program will need to:

  1. Be a graduate of a regionally accredited institution and a nationally accredited B.S.N. (and, when applicable, M.S.N.) program;
  2. Have a minimum grade point average  of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all previous undergraduate (and, when applicable, graduate) coursework;
  3. Complete the Graduate School Application for Admission form, which must be submitted online with non-refundable fees of USD 35.00;
  4. Complete the Lindsey Wilson College D.N.P. application form;
  5. Submit official copies of all undergraduate (and, when applicable, graduate) transcripts;
  6. Submit a current curriculum vita/resume;
  7. Send two letters of professional reference, one which must be from a current supervisor or faculty member (employment or school related);
  8. Submit a professional goal statement related to capstone project idea;
  9. Submit validation of an unencumbered license to practice (RN and/or APRN); B.S.N.-D.N.P. applicants awaiting results of examination for licensure (NCLEX-RN) may be admitted on a conditional basis for one semester until notified of licensure; and
  10. Sit for an interview with the Lindsey Wilson College Nursing program faculty (if applicable).

It is recommended, but not required, that students have completed a graduate level statistics course with a minimum grade of C within the past five years.

Application Process and Deadlines

  • Lindsey Wilson College uses a rolling admission plan for the D.N.P. program.  Applications are accepted year round. It is recommended applications be submitted by July 1 for fall admission and November 1 for spring admission.
  • Students seeking admission to the D.N.P. program must complete additional D.N.P. applications and requirements.
  • Correspondence to applicants regarding admission status will be sent to the email address on record.
  • Students are notified of admission to the program by the director of nursing or the program coordinator.
  • The entry point into the post-B.S.N. to D.N.P. program is defined by the program as enrollment in Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing (NURS 5013) on the last day to register for an online course established by the college’s academic calendar.
  • The entry point into the post-M.S.N. to D.N.P. program is defined by the program as enrollment in Orientation to Advanced Practice Nursing (NURS 7013) on the last day to register for an online course established by the college’s academic calendar.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of 12 credits from another regionally accredited university if the courses are taken as part of an accredited D.N.P. program and the courses meet the curriculum requirements for Lindsey Wilson College’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The student must be in good standing at the time of transfer and provide a letter in writing stating they are in good standing from the dean/director of nursing.


Eligibility for transfer will be determined by the D.N.P. program coordinator in consultation with the D.N.P. program faculty and the nursing program director. Eligibility will be determined based on coursework comparability via a transcript review. Students may be required to present further evidence of eligibility, such as copies of course syllabi, to support their requests. The D.N.P. program coordinator will notify students in writing regarding transfer eligibility decisions and will notify the Registrar’s Office in cases where transfer credits are approved. Faculty advisors will work with students on developing an updated plan of study in cases where transfer credits are approved.

International Students

International students applying to a graduate program must provide proof of English proficiency based on:

  • TOEFL minimum score:
  • Internet-based (iBT): 83 composite,
  • Paper-based: 550; or
  • Revised Paper-delivered: 21 writing and 19 reading;
  • IELTS minimum composite score of 6.5 (score of 6.0 may be considered);
  • Duolingo 100;
  • English is the student’s native language; or
  • Student completed undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited U.S. institution or equivalent English-speaking institution.