2021-2022 University Catalog 
    Jun 24, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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Normal Program Length: 2 years 4 months

This program is offered online.
This program is not currently eligible for Title IV for new enrollments.

American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers one doctoral program with four specializations for nurse leaders seeking a practice-focused degree that will gain them the credibility, management skills and industry knowledge they need in today's rapidly changing healthcare environment. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program offers the flexibility of online learning, is taught by experienced faculty members with significant nursing leadership and educational experience and attracts a nationwide representation of students. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program has four different specializations:

American Sentinel developed the DNP student learning outcomes to align with the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses' (QSEN) Graduate Level Competencies for Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes, and the National League for Nursing's (NLN) Graduate Competencies for the Practice Doctorate. Highlights of the QSEN competencies include the emphasis on patient- centered care through collaboration and data use that examine quality and safety concerns in the healthcare environment and in nursing educational settings. Highlights of the NLN competencies include the emphasis on human flourishing within students' organizational cultures, promotion of nursing judgment through examination of common practice and educational situations, and encouragement of development of professional identity and pride in the nursing profession and a spirit of inquiry related to the advancement of the profession and its knowledge base.

In addition, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's The Essentials of Doctoral Education for the Advanced Practice Nurse (2006) was used to guide and strengthen the curricular content and the overall suggested practice hours (1,000 post- baccalaureate practice hours). Highlights include curricular content that addresses the scientific underpinnings of learning, organizational and systems leadership, evidence-based practice, information technology, health policy and advocacy, collaboration, health promotion and preventative measures, and the previously mentioned practice hours.

As articulated in the Essentials, "Practice-focused doctoral programs are designed to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. They focus heavily on practice that is innovative and evidence-based, reflecting the application of credible research findings" (2006, p. 3). American Sentinel's doctoral program is designed to facilitate the individual growth of the nursing professional to strengthen the design and delivery of healthcare to individuals, families, and communities. This focus on practice leadership will, in turn, expand the role of nurse leaders in nursing education, health policy, health informatics and health services research.

This program employs an active learning model that assumes the learner's active involvement in the learning process is essential to good practice. Adults learn best when bridges are built between new knowledge and the learner's experience. The curriculum builds upon experiences and practices that encourage reflection and application and are based on the recognition that a learner's experience provides a context through which new meanings are constructed from new information. In American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences DNP courses, students' past and current experiences are interwoven with subject matter in class discussions and in assignments and projects. Faculty members serve as facilitators of the learning process. Students can apply what is learned immediately into their work environment.

The DNP degree program with specializations is a post-licensure nursing program. This means that students must already be licensed as an RN and hold a BSN degree and a master's degree to be accepted for admission and must maintain an active and unencumbered RN license throughout their enrollment in the program. Some states may offer nursing licensure and certification opportunities beyond the RN, and individuals obtaining such licensures or certifications may be able to secure employment in a position other than RN. Our DNP degree program is not designed to enable graduates to obtain any such licensure or certification in any state, or to secure any form of employment that might require such licensure or certification. Students should check with the applicable licensing authority in the state in which they expect to work in order to ensure that our accreditation and curriculum meet the state's eligibility requirements for the specific licensure or certification sought and that successful completion of our DNP degree program will further their career interests.

Visit our State Authorization and Licensure page for more information. 

Graduates of the DNP program will be able to: 

  • Appraise the needs of complex organizations as they go through strategic decision-making and change implementation. 
  • Critique roles of leaders and collaborators in planning, providing, and evaluating healthcare. 
  • Generate strategic plans for organizational change by utilizing theoretical knowledge, meaningful, data and evidence- based practice to while being culturally and ethnically sensitive.

DNP Project 

The program requires a scholarly evidence-based quality project. The subject area is determined by the student in consultation with the DNP Project committee chair/mentor and must meet the academic standards of the College. All research is subject to the review and supervision of the American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences Institutional Review Board.

Learn more about the DNP project  .


Many courses in the DNP program require the completion of Practice Experience (PE) hours. These hours are activities replacing traditional schoolwork that students complete during their courses.

Learn more about practice experience hours.     

You may review the specialty specific curriculums by clicking on the webpage below:

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