American Sentinel University launches a new Doctor of Nursing Practice in executive leadership degree

by Olga Deshchenko, DOTmed News Reporter | August 23, 2010
American Sentinel University
introduced an online
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
in Executive Leadership degree program
American Sentinel University introduced an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in executive leadership degree program, giving nurse executives the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills.

The two-year program welcomes nurse executives with a master's degree in non-nursing fields, such as business administration or health administration. The DNP will provide the nurses with the corporate leadership skills necessary to operate in today's complex health care environment.

Catherine Garner, provost and dean, Health Sciences and Nursing at American Sentinel University, told DOTmed News that the degree was designed when several nurse executives approached the online university and asked for a program that would address their specific needs. The result is the 42-credit program, open to nursing executives who have at least three years of senior executive experience and a master's degree.

"I think our coursework tends to be very unique," Garner said. "We're very much targeting that nursing executive who needs additional education to grow into a broader, more corporate role."

The DNP program aims to arm nurse executives with skills to analyze and interpret health policy, the growing role of technology in the industry, health services research and sophisticated financial capabilities. The degree also places a big emphasis on leadership development.

"A lot of [nurse executives] are very strong managers but had been promoted to positions of corporate leadership, which require a little bit of a different skill set in dealing with government issues," Garner said.

The program consists of a flexible online format, including eight-week-long courses and two-week breaks. The degree begins with a 10-day residency, where the small cohort of students gets together to plan ahead and get an overview of the program.

"Folks really do need to be with a group that they're comfortable with because they'll be working together for two years," said Garner.

The next cohort embarks on the path to a new degree on January 31, 2011. Registration ends by November 23, 2010.