Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Online 

Influence the future of nursing care with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Bellarmine University

Why earn your DNP online at Bellarmine?

The healthcare field is rapidly changing and healthcare needs leaders. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice who are interested in clinical leadership and nurse executive positions.  The DNP offers an alternative to research focused doctoral programs (i.e. Ph.D. programs). The Doctor of Nursing Practice at Bellarmine is available as a post-master’s program or as a BSN-DNP.

The curriculum includes courses in research and evidence-based practice, quality improvement and patient safety, clinical informatics, advanced statistics, health care economics and financing, and domestic and global health policy. In addition, all students complete a practice immersion and residency experience, which culminates with the DNP project.

Post-Master’s DNP Program

Students who hold an MSN degree may select one of two post-master’s DNP tracks:

  • Advanced Nursing Practice, designed for advanced practice nurses and focused on the healthcare of individuals, and
  • Executive Leadership, designed for those interested in leadership at the organizational and/or system level.

Total credit hours for the program range from 35 to 38 hours, depending on the track you select. The program is fully online and is ideal for students with professional or personal obligations during the typical work week. New students will participate in a mandatory technology orientation that may be completed in-person or by recorded video. Most courses will also offer once per-semester optional class meetings which will be available by recorded video as well.

Transcript Review

We can provide feedback about your transcript(s) and coursework. Simply complete the form below by attaching unofficial copies of your transcript(s).

Areas of Focus

Advanced Nursing Practice Clinical Leadership: The Advanced Nursing Practice (ANP) focus prepares ANPs to function more effectively as a clinical leader in the increasingly complex health care system. Given the expansion of scientific knowledge required for safe nursing practice and the growing focus on the quality of patient care delivery and outcomes, this track provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills needed by today’s practitioner. Students in this track will use their existing understanding of the practice context to document practice trends, identify potential systemic changes, and make improvements in the care of particular patient populations in the systems within which they practice.

Executive Leadership: The Executive Leadership focus prepares students for advanced specialty practice at the population, organizational, and/or system level. Given the increasingly complex health care environment, this track provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills needed by today’s nursing leaders. Students in this track will use their existing understanding of the practice leadership context to identify aggregate health or system needs, work with diverse stakeholders for inter- or intra-organizational achievement of health-related goals, and design patient-centered care delivery systems.

BSN-DNP Program in Leadership

The BSN-DNP track is designed for BSN-prepared graduates seeking doctoral preparation for advanced practice as an organizational leader in a variety of health care settings. Students focus on financial and economic aspects of health care, human and resource management, and organizational leadership.

Given the increasingly complex healthcare environment, this track provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills needed by today’s nursing leaders to identify aggregate health or system needs, work with diverse stakeholders for inter- or intra-organizational achievement of health-related goals, and design patient-centered care delivery systems. Selected clinical, administrative, and evidence-based practice experiences provide the student with the opportunity to function as a nurse administrator within a healthcare organization and/or system.

This program includes a total of 68 credit hours. The program is fully online and is ideal for students with professional or personal obligations during the typical work week. New students will participate in a mandatory technology orientation that may be completed in-person or by recorded video. Most courses will also offer once per-semester optional class meetings which will be available by recorded video as well.

Alumni Story

Missi, Pam '16 Profile

“I am forever grateful to Bellarmine University for the doctoral education I experienced while obtaining a Doctorate in Nursing Executive Practice. From the moment I reached out for information on the DNP program, Bellarmine faculty and staff were extremely helpful and collaborative. The program is strategically structured and provides the doctoral student with the tool kit to be successful. Bellarmine truly sets the bar for academic excellence and achievement.”

Pamela Missi, DNP '16; Chief Nursing Officer

Program Outcomes

  • Use epidemiologic and other scientific findings from nursing and other clinical disciplines, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences, to develop practice initiatives that will improve the quality of care delivery.
  • Provide organizational and systems leadership to develop care delivery models that are fiscally responsible and demonstrate sensitivity to diverse organizational cultures and patient populations.
  • Engage in clinical scholarship to evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based efforts in the planning and practice of health care program delivery to individuals and communities.
  • Use healthcare informatics and technology to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals, consumers, and other stakeholders to influence health policy and health promotion/disease prevention endeavors at the local, state, federal, and/or international levels that improve patient and population health outcomes.

DNP Projects

2019

  • Dr. Marguerite Burch - Implementation of a Delirium Protocol in a Community Living Center
  • Dr. Julia Senn-Reeves - Early Identification of Frailty Predictors in a Vowed Religious Community of Catholic Men: A Strategy for Successful Aging in Place

2018

  • Dr. Kim Anna - World Health Organization Decision Making Tool: Can we Increase IUD Use?
  • Dr. Trena Seago - Failure-to-Rescue Simulations as a Risk Management Strategy for Registered Nurses
  • Dr. Missy Stober - Advanced Disease Management in Home Health: Palliative Care Integration
  • Dr. Brittney Welch - Changing Healthcare Policy by Utilizing Kingdon’s Policy Stream

2017

  • Dr. Mary Ellen Broaddus - Demonstration Project to Address Juvenile Drug Addiction
  • Dr. Ellee Humphrey - Implementing an Evidence-Based Education Program for Labor and Delivery Nurses in a community Hospital Setting
  • Dr. Holli Roberts - Developing a Nursing Peer Review Program for Nurse Leaders
  • Dr. Janel Willingham - Text Messaging Appointment Reminders to Increase Patient Appointment Adherence on a Mobile Unit Within a Prevention and Wellness Program

2016

  • Dr. Kelly Johnson - Sentinel Event Management Model: A Performance Improvement Project
  • Dr. Gayle Mink - Reducing Benzodiazepine Use in the Treatment of Anxiety in a Community Mental Health Setting
  • Dr. Pam Missi - Enhancing Nurse-Physician Communication and Collaboration
  • Dr. Kathy Rose - Implementation and Evaluation of a Charge Nurse Development Project Bundle
  • Dr. Anna Laura Trimbur - Telephone Follow-up for Heart Failure Patients Discharged to Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Dr. Teresa Vincent - Implementation of TeamSTEPPS in the Operating Room

2015

  • Dr. Teena Darnell - Prevalence of School Nurses in Kentucky and Student Outcomes
  • Dr. Shirl Johnson - A Pilot Study of the Impact of a Pulmonary Clinical Decision Unit on Patient Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Dr. Colleen Knoop - Gap in Patient Expectations in Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dr. Carol Payton - Use of a Peanut Ball to Decrease Length of First & Second Stages of Labor
  • Dr. Lahoma Prather - A Post Discharge Support Program for Patients Experiencing Psychological Non-Epileptic Seizures: A Pilot Project
  • Dr. Sally Sturgeon - Strangulation Assessment, Evidence Collection, and Documentation Guidelines for Forensic Nurse Examiners: A Pilot Project

2014

  • Dr. Audria Denker - Transformational Leadership in Nursing: A Pilot Nurse Leader Development Program
  • Dr. Kimberly Gambino - Effects of a Antimicrobial Stewardship Program on Healthcare Costs and Clostridium Difficile Infections
  • Dr. Charla Glover - Implementation of an Obesity Scorecard in Primary Care
  • Dr. Deloris Jacobs - Implementation of an Evidence Based Falls Management Program in a Nursing Home
  • Dr. Kristin Pickerell - A Nursing Leadership Program: A Necessity in Today’s Healthcare Environment
  • Dr. Ronnita Usher - Improving Bedside Handoff: Evaluating the Impact of a Standardized Tool

Faculty Profiles

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Heather Owens, PhD, RN

Heather Owens, PhD, RN
Interests: Nursing leadership and management; sleep health research; weight-related behavior research

Ta'Neka Vaden Lindsay, DNP, APRN, WHANP-BC

Ta'Neka Vaden Lindsay, DNP, APRN, WHANP-BC
Interests: Minority adolescent pregnancy prevention; general women’s health concerns

Linda Mefford, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, RNC-NC

Linda Mefford, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, RNC-NC
Interests: Nursing theory and philosophy; Levine’s Conservation Model of Nursing; health promotion for preterm and high-risk infants; mind/body/spirit connections in nursing and health; quantitative nursing research; health outcomes research

Admission Requirements

Admission to DNP program requires approval by the Graduate Nursing Admission, Progression, and Graduation Committee and varies by program track. For a full description, please visit our DNP Admission Requirements page.

Accreditation

The Baccalaureate degree program in nursing, Master's degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Bellarmine University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
404.679.4500 • fax: 404.679.4556

Contact Information

Heather Owens, PhD, Assistant Professor and Chair, Graduate Studies in Nursing
502.272.8101 or howens@bellarmine.edu

Julie Armstrong-Binnix, Assistant Dean of Graduate Admission
502.272.8364, 800.274.4723 x8364 or julieab@bellarmine.edu

Disclosure for Students who Reside Outside of Kentucky

Bellarmine University cannot confirm whether its courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure in states other than Kentucky. Prior to enrolling in a Bellarmine program, a student who does not reside in Kentucky should contact applicable licensing board(s) in the student’s home state to determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where the student resides.

Nursing licensure contacts: https://www.ncsbn.org/contact-bon.htm

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