DNP: Educational Leadership Emphasis

Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Explore Leadership Skills for a Role in Nursing Leadership Education

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership at Grand Canyon University consists of the full DNP program plus the opportunity to take three additional courses that focus on education in nursing practice. These courses emphasize teaching strategies, curriculum development and student assessments. As you work toward becoming a nurse leader with a DNP in nursing education, you can set your sights on improving the future of healthcare delivery by inspiring and preparing the next generation of nurses.

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Earn Your DNP: Educational Leadership Emphasis From GCU

GCU’s DNP with an educational leadership emphasis is designed for MSN-prepared nurses who wish to progress to the pinnacle of education and the practice of nursing. You will have the opportunity to explore core competencies in nursing practice and nursing leadership education, including informatics, patient outcomes, sustainable change and scientific underpinnings as they pertain to education in nursing practice and healthcare research. The synthesis and application of advanced knowledge from evidence-based principles is essential in advancing education and facilitating optimal patient outcomes.

As a private Christian university, GCU encourages you to apply a Christian worldview and its concept of leadership to all that you do, including nursing. Nurse educational leaders may benefit from examining faith-integrated worldviews and their influence on patient care across different cultures. 

GCU strives to make higher education accessible to working professionals who need flexible scheduling and geographical convenience. With our interactive e-learning platform, you can earn your DNP in nursing education leadership online.1 Interact with peers and instructors from virtually anywhere while receiving the same quality of instruction as our on-campus DNP in leadership students. The competencies you will be taught online are immediately applicable to your current nursing practice. 

GCU welcomes learners to our campus in Phoenix. Explore nursing leadership education during conveniently scheduled evening classes, where you can benefit from face-to-face interactions with instructors and fellow peers. Our evening courses typically meet one night per week, one class at a time, as you work toward enhancing your career qualifications. This schedule may be ideal for those with full-time work commitments, which means you won’t need to choose between continuing education or your career. 

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 48
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 3 doctoral credits
TUITION RATE:
Online: $740 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

 

Explore Nursing Leadership Education Courses and Curriculum 

These nursing leadership education courses are designed to empower you to initiate evidence-based nursing practice strategies that enhance healthcare and improve patient outcomes. Offered by the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at GCU, the DNP in nursing education and leadership emphasizes teaching strategies, curriculum development and student assessments. You will be encouraged to collaborate with other disciplines in analyzing and conducting research to improve healthcare outcomes.

The curriculum you will encounter at GCU may also help prepare you for teaching nursing strategies and leadership at academic institutions and other educational settings.2 In a teaching role, you may work directly with the next generation of nursing leaders or inspire excellence from a nursing education administration position. 

For completion of the immersion hours and the Direct Practice Improvement (DPI) project, you must have access to a clinical site. You must additionally complete practicum hours during three education-specific courses. These practicum hours may be completed at an academic or clinical site. Practicum hours are not applied toward the DPI project and are in addition to the required immersion hours. A university counselor can provide more information.

Examine Skills at the Highest Level of Nursing Education

GCU seeks to graduate nurse leaders who possess high-level knowledge applicable to both a clinical and academic setting. You will be prompted to serve as an ethical, forward-thinking advocate for the practice of nursing. You are encouraged to keep your professional responsibility in mind as both a nurse and an educator to further the common good. The program’s goal is to equip you to work toward better healthcare systems and processes for nursing leadership and education, which in turn may improve the outcomes of patient populations.

Completion of this DNP in nursing education and leadership is designed to provide you with competencies in educational leadership for nursing and to teach core concepts and skill sets that are both broad in scope and in-depth in nature. Throughout your DNP: educational leadership emphasis courses, you will have the opportunity to explore areas such as:

  • The use of information technology to evaluate care systems, outcomes of care and programs of care in light of industry standards and ethical, regulatory and legal principles
  • The selection of content and educational strategies based on diverse student needs
  • Instructional strategies and methods grounded in evidence-based practice that facilitate learning
  • Designing, evaluating and improving educational programs with a focus on the regulatory and accrediting body requirements

Career Paths as a DNP in Nursing Education Graduate

The doctorate in nursing practice with an emphasis in educational leadership seeks to instill the advanced knowledge and clinical skills necessary for you to lead nursing teams, inspire positive change in healthcare organizations and improve patient outcomes. With a firm foundation in clinical and educational nursing competencies, you may prepare to become a nurse education leader who designs and implements programs for workforce development and centers for nursing excellence. 

GCU Offers Institutionally Accredited DNP Degrees

Since our founding in 1949, GCU has been committed to preparing graduates for their futures by providing quality education. We are proud to be institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, who has continually accredited GCU since 1968. The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions shares the university’s commitment to upholding the principles and standards established by our accrediting bodies.

For more information on the accreditation of nursing programs and other university approvals, please visit our University Accreditation and Regulations page.

Doctor of Nursing Practice: Educational Leadership Emphasis FAQs

As you look toward your future and make plans for pursuing advancement in the healthcare field, some questions may arise. GCU has compiled the following information to help address some of the most common questions of prospective DNP students.

Alumni Doctoral Degree Scholarship
Now Available

GCU alumni enrolling in a doctoral program for the first time may be eligible for a $2,000 scholarship.§

Nursing is a broad field. Although it’s largely defined by the delivery of direct patient care, nursing encompasses much more, including nursing education. In the field, an educational leader is one who works toward expanding and improving the clinical skills and nursing knowledge of other nursing professionals. Educational leadership is found not only in academic institutions but also in workforce development programs and similar quality improvement initiatives within healthcare delivery systems. Nurse educational leaders spearhead learning activities for their organizations while keeping in mind the needs of culturally diverse populations.3

Leadership is more than a title; every nurse, regardless of official job title, has the potential to step into a leadership role by inspiring and empowering others to achieve their true potential. Healthcare organizations rely on nurse leaders to encourage clear communication among team members, motivate coworkers and elevate the standards of professionalism and ethical practice. The end goals include promoting a safe, healthy work environment while prioritizing patient care excellence.4

Nurse educators may take a variety of paths to achieve a role in an academic institution or teaching hospital. In general, however, aspiring nurse educators must complete the following steps:2

  • Earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN and become a licensed nurse
  • Gain clinical nursing experience
  • Earn an advanced nursing degree, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

This DNP degree requires 48 credits for completion. Most of the online classes are eight weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to request a consultation with a university counselor who can help you better understand how long it might take to complete your DNP degree.

Pursue nursing excellence and explore best practices in education in nursing practice. Join the nursing community at GCU and earn your DNP in leadership in nursing education.

§ MOU-Alumni 2000 Doctoral-July2024: The Alumni Scholarship for Doctoral Programs is only valid for those applicants who submit a complete application and begin a Doctoral program in July 2024. This scholarship cannot be used in conjunction with any other GCU scholarship or awards and only applies to online and evening programs. Please speak to a university counselor for complete details.

1 While all courses are completed online, you will need to attend immersion hours in person locally.

2 NurseJournal. (2022, May 11). How to become a nurse educator. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2023.

3 Karaman, F., Kavagaoglu, D., Yildirim, G., Rashidi, M., Jafarov, G. U., Zahoor, H. & Kiskac, N. (2023, April 10). Development of the educational leadership scale for nursing students: a methodological study. BMC Nursing. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2023.

4 American Nurses Association. (n.d.). Leadership in nursing: qualities and why it matters. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2023.

Course List

Major:
48 credits
Degree Requirements:
48 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course introduces learners to the skills and mindset necessary for success on the doctoral journey. These skills include critical thinking and analysis, navigating resources, academic writing for the doctoral level, identifying and understanding scholarly research, and the role of the practitioner-scholar.

Course Description

This course provides the foundations for using information systems/technology to support and improve patient care and health care systems. The course is designed to provide the tools needed to manage individual and aggregate level information and use information systems/technology to evaluate programs of care, outcomes of care, and care systems using industry standards and related ethical, regulatory, and legal principles. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice. Prerequisite: DNP-801A.

Course Description

Advanced nursing practice requires practice expertise and specialized knowledge in making diagnostic and practice management decisions. This science-based course gives learners insight into emerging areas of human health to improve health outcomes and establish programs of clinical excellence and emphasizes guidance and coaching of individuals and families through developmental, health-illness, and situational transitions from a holistic perspective. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice. Prerequisite: DNP-805A.

Course Description

This course creates a base for the application of science into advanced nursing practice and includes philosophical, ethical, and historical foundations. Nursing science frames the development of theories and concepts to guide nursing practice and determine the nature and significance of health and health care delivery phenomena. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice in the DNP Practice Immersion Workspace. Practice immersion hours: Learners are required to document a minimum of 50 practice hours (25 direct and 25 indirect) in association with this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 100. Prerequisite: DNP-810A.

Course Description

This course focuses on a core set of skills and knowledge application activities related to the translation of research into practice, the evaluation of practice, and improvement of health care outcomes. Learners examine evidence to guide improvements in practice and outcomes of care. Literature reviews focus on gaps or tensions in the translation of research into practice. Ethical considerations are also examined in the context of health care research. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice. Prerequisite: DNP-815A.

Course Description

This course examines ideas that promote understanding of aggregate, community, environmental/occupational, and cultural/socioeconomic dimensions of health. Learners analyze epidemiological, biostatistical, occupational, and environmental data in the development, implementation, and evaluation of clinical prevention and population health. Evidence-based recommendations for health promotion and risk reduction for individuals and families and concepts of public health are emphasized. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice. Prerequisite: DNP-820A.

Course Description

This course prepares learners to develop effective strategies to ensure safety and quality health care for patients and populations and includes evaluation of health care outcomes. Learners engage in inquiry into the state of health care delivery, patient-centered care, sustainable change, and ethical principles surrounding practice. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice in the DNP Practice Immersion Workspace. Prerequisite: DNP-825A.

Course Description

This course explores the role of the nurse educator in higher education settings with specific emphasis on effective methods of facilitating learning and fostering critical thinking skills in diverse student populations. Learners are introduced to instructional strategies and methods grounded in evidence-based practice and learning theory and engage in the selection of appropriate strategies to facilitate learning. Learners also consider the effective integration of technology and simulation into teaching practice. Learners are expected to integrate the educational leadership competencies through completion of education practicum hours during this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 50. Prerequisite: DNP-810A.

Course Description

This course focuses on curriculum design and assessment of student learning outcomes in nursing education. Learners examine best practices for curriculum development, including performing needs assessments, writing learning objectives, and creating formative and summative assessments. Learners also consider selection of content and instructional strategies based on diverse student needs and collecting and employing assessment data to improve teaching and learning outcomes. Learners are expected to integrate the educational leadership competencies through completion of education practicum hours during this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 50. Prerequisite: DNP-836A.

Course Description

In this course, learners examine issues related to nursing program development within the complex and highly regulated environment of nursing education. With a focus on regulatory and accrediting bodies, learners determine the best methods for designing, evaluating, and improving nursing education programs in order to meet the diverse needs of industry and other stakeholders. Learners also explore leadership issues in nursing education and the professional development and scholarly obligations of the nurse educator-scholar in the academic community. Learners are expected to integrate the educational leadership competencies through completion of education practicum hours during this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 50. Prerequisite: DNP-837A.

Course Description

Advanced nursing practice requires political skills, systems thinking, and the business and financial insight needed for the analysis of practice quality and costs related to caring for the needs of a panel of patients, a target population, a set of populations, or a broad community. Learners conceptualize new interprofessional care delivery models that are based in contemporary nursing science and that are feasible within current organizational, political, cultural, and economic perspectives. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice in the DNP Practice Immersion Workspace. Practicum hours must include a minimum of 25 direct and a minimum of 25 indirect logged and approved practice hours in association with this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 100. Prerequisite: DNP-835A.

Course Description

This course focuses on the analysis of data that is grounded in clinical practice and designed to solve practice problems or to inform practice directly. It emphasizes the use of analytic methods to critically appraise gathered evidence to determine and implement the best evidence for practice. Learners also learn to disseminate findings from evidence-based practice and research to improve health care outcomes. Learners are expected to integrate and synthesize core program competencies and specialty practice requirements necessary to demonstrate proficiency in advanced nursing practice. Practicum hours must include a minimum of 25 direct and a minimum of 25 indirect logged and approved practice hours in association with this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 125. Prerequisite: DNP-840A.

Course Description

Learners finalize an issue in health care that will become the basis of an evidence-based research project to be carried out prior to completion of the doctoral program. Learners leave this course with a project goal/topic, a literature review, a proposed methodology, and a clear description of how addressing the issue presented will improve patient care. A project proposal is written in preparation for the Institutional Review Board (IRB) review. Learners are required to plan and document their learning goals and activities using the DPI Project Milestone Guide. Learners also continue work as necessary in the DNP Practice Immersion Workspace to ensure that all programmatic requirements have been met. Practicum hours must include a minimum of 75 direct and a minimum of 50 indirect logged and approved practice hours in association with this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 225. Prerequisite: DNP-830A.

Course Description

Learners submit a project for approval to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Once IRB approval is obtained, the learner conducts the project. Data are appropriately gathered for future analysis to determine if the practice investigated in the project brought about improved outcomes. Learners are required to plan and document their learning goals and activities using the DPI Project Milestone Guide. Learners also continue work as necessary in the DNP Practice Immersion Workspace to ensure that all programmatic requirements have been met. Practicum hours must include a minimum of 75 direct and a minimum of 50 indirect logged and approved practice hours in association with this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 225. Prerequisite: DNP-955A.

Course Description

Data gathered during the project is analyzed and evaluated to determine the outcomes garnered by the project. A proposal for dissemination and mass implementation is created. Learners identify areas of future research and practice change for the continued improvement of health care. Learners are required to plan and document their learning goals and activities using the DPI Project Milestone Guide. Learners also continue work as necessary in the DNP Practice Immersion Workspace to ensure that all programmatic requirements have been met. Practicum hours must include a minimum of 50 direct and a minimum of 50 indirect logged and approved practice hours in association with this course. Practicum/field experience hours: 225. Prerequisite: DNP-960A.

Locations

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.