DNP – Nursing Leadership

100% Online

Earn your DNP in Nursing Leadership at Messiah University

DNP – Nursing Leadership

100% Online

Lead the future of nursing with a DNP-Nursing Leadership degree. Designed for the working nursing professional. 

Further your career as an advanced professional nurse with Messiah University’s post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Designed for nurses who have already earned a master’s degree in nursing or a related field, Messiah’s DNP degree with a track in nursing leadership offers 100% online coursework that prepares you to lead others in a variety of healthcare settings and specialties.

“I would recommend the Messiah program to any nurse who is looking to advance their degree. The program is very Christian based and I am getting strong academic coursework.”

-Rosa Sanchez

Courses & Curriculum
Tuition & Aid
How to Apply
Why Messiah?

DNP – Nursing Leadership overview

Messiah’s post-master’s DNP nursing leadership program is appropriate for nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, as well as nurse educators, nurse administrators, clinical nurse leaders and nurses working in other fields.

Program details

Doctoral preparation to enhance leadership in the advanced nursing practice roles of:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Nurse midwife
  • Clinical nurse specialist

Additional career opportunities:

  • Nursing management
  • Director of nursing
  • Chief nursing administration
  • Nursing executive
  • Nursing education
  • Health policy
  • Health informatics
  • Quality improvement
  • Organizational/professional leadership
Additional specialty options

The baccalaureate program in nursing, the master’s degree program in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Messiah University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

DNP – Nursing Leadership courses & curriculum

The curriculum and coursework for Messiah’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in nursing leadership is designed to be immediately relevant to your career.

Complete the following:

Collaboration in Inter-professional Teams

This course introduces the foundational concepts of working in interprofessional healthcare teams. Key areas of discussion include communication skills, interprofessional interactions, team dynamics, group management strategies, leadership and facilitation skills, problems posed by dysfunctional groups, and change theory.

NURS 620 / 3 Credits

Strategic Thinking, Planning & Organizational Change

This course focuses on the leader’s role in strategic thinking, planning, and organizational change. Students will examine best practices in assessing an organization’s readiness for change, change management implementation and strategies for coping with resistance to change.

LEAD 505 / 

Advanced Concepts in Health Promotion and Prevention

This course focuses on application of preventative health concepts and health promotion principles across the lifespan of specific populations. Key areas of discussion include physiological and psychological preventative health principles, counseling about personal health behaviors and lifestyle modifications, cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health, and evidence-based practice implementation of health promotion and prevention as guided by Healthy People and U.S. Preventative Services Task Force guidelines.

NURS 621 / 3 Credits

Economics of Healthcare

This course introduces microeconomic principles, laws of economics, and economic theory to address market driven issues of healthcare. Key points of discussion include economic and regulatory responses to market changes, dynamic adjustment in healthcare markets, resource use, and strategies for economic decision making.

NURS 640 / 3 Credits

Christian Philosophical & Ethical Foundations of Healthcare

This course focuses on a Christian perspective of ethical theories and principles for application to moral dilemmas within the social context of healthcare. Emphasis is placed on professional responsibility and accountability, patient’s rights, social justice, and principles of analysis used to resolve moral and spiritual dilemmas encountered in all areas of healthcare.

NURS 506 / 3 Credits

Managing Healthcare Quality & Safety

This course prepares healthcare leaders to use data to interpret and improve quality and patient safety outcomes. Key areas of focus include quality improvement models, application of theories related to quality and safety, and the use of quality improvement methods and tools. Students will apply a quality and safety lens to examine and evaluate actual problems in healthcare and consider how data can be used to inform decision-making for system level improvement.

NURS 740 / 3 Credits

Clinical Residency

This course is designed as a variable credit option to facilitate completion of the DNP Scholarly Project. Students complete clinical residency hours outside of the DNP project specific courses to fulfill the requirement of 1000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. Examples of project-related activities include, but are not limited to, attending meetings with stakeholders, collecting and analyzing data, developing project related communications, and project implementation. Students will articulate goals for the clinical hours and analyze their progress under the supervision of their DNP Project faculty mentor. 

NURS 715 / 1-5 Credits

Theoretical Foundations, DNP Role Development, & Project Planning

This course focuses on the examination of nursing theory and its application to nursing research and evidence-based practice. Theoretical and research concepts are used to identify best practices to address clinical practice problems through clinical scholarship for future translation in primary healthcare settings. This course includes beginning phases of DNP project development.

NURS 623 / 3 Credits

DNP Project Proposal

This course focuses on the role of advanced practice nurses in translating evidence-based practice into clinical practice settings. Key points include analysis of organizational culture and dynamics, and comprehensive development of a clinical scholarship DNP project for translation to a primary healthcare setting. An initial proposal for the DNP project will be developed and prepared for IRB approval.

NURS 632 / 3 Credits

Health Policy and Legal Aspects of Healthcare

This course focuses on legislative, regulatory, and private health policy that provide the framework for how healthcare is delivered in the U.S. Key points of discussion include healthcare policy translation, insurance coverage, Medicare and Medicaid, and future health policy issues.

NURS 631 / 2 Credits

DNP Project Implementation

This course focuses on the implementation and translation of clinical scholarship and practice management issues that advanced practice nurses encounter in the role transition from direct care providers to doctorally prepared advanced practice nurse leaders. Key points include benchmarking of outcome measures in clinical practice, advanced certification options, leadership in healthcare policy, negotiation of contracts, opportunities for health promotion and advocacy, and clinical scholarship responsibilities of the DNP role.

NURS 731 / 3 Credits

DNP Project Analysis and Evaluation

This course is a culmination of the doctor of nursing practice, family nurse practitioner leadership role. Key points include discussion of challenges and opportunities in implementing change in the doctor of nursing practice, family nurse practitioner role, and analysis and evaluation of the DNP project.

NURS 732 / 4 Credits

DNP – Nursing Leadership tuition cost

No-fee tuition

Know what you are paying for with Messiah’s no-fee tuition. With our doctorate programs, the cost per credit is what you pay – there are no hidden fees for labs, courses, services or technology. We put the true cost of your program upfront so that you can accurately compare and plan for your graduate education. Please note: There are additional costs to the program not billed through Messiah University (background checks, clearances, course materials, clinical expenses, etc.)

2022-2023 tuition per doctorate credit hour: $900

Students typically complete between 34 to 39 credit hours in the program depending on the number of credits they transfer.

Doctorate students are eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

Next steps for admissions

Applying for admission to a graduate program at Messiah University is the first step to making your personal and professional goals a reality.

Admissions requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or entry-level MSN from an ACEN, CCNE, or CNEA accredited program (or equivalent) and an institution that is regionally accredited by one of the following: Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Western and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Master’s degree in nursing or a related field from an institution that is regionally accredited. Examples of a related field may include: business, public health, administration, etc.
  • Completed application
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in graduate-level courses
  • All official transcripts
  • Personal Statement of Purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals in the healthcare field
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Grade of B or better in graduate-level statistics, informatics, and nursing research OR completion of these courses at Messiah prior to entry (NURS 500, 501, 502)
  • Phone, face-to-face, or video conference interview
  • Unencumbered licensure as a Registered Nurse (United States and territories)
  • Proficiency with basic computer operations (download, upload, email, website navigation), Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and PDF files.
Next course start dates


Late spring: March 13th

Early summer: May 15th

Late summer: July 3rd

Early fall: August 21st

Late fall: October 23rd

How to apply

Messiah University reviews and responds to applications on a rolling basis. Start your application today.

New to Messiah University

First-time users will need to create an account to start a new application.

Returning users

Returning users can log in to continue their pre-existing application.

Why choose Messiah University?

The benefits of earning your DNP- Nursing Leadership degree online at Messiah University are endless.

Flexible. Respected. Faith-based.

What makes our DNP Nursing Leadership Program unique?

  • One of the state’s few DNP programs taught from a Christian faith perspective
  • An online post-master’s DNP in nursing leadership with 100% online coursework
  • The academic distinction of a nationally ranked, accredited Christian university
  • The proven success and reputation of our nursing program—Messiah’s nursing graduates are well respected and in demand
  • Nursing faculty are experienced Christian educators, nursing professionals and accomplished scholars who mentor you in your education, faith and career
  • Can be completed in as little as two years
  • Flexible start dates
  • Flexible plan of study options

Request Information

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Contact Info

One University Avenue
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


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