Doctor ofNursing Practice (DNP)

Doctors and nurses in discussion

Become A Healthcare Leader.

Why earn your DNP online at Bellarmine?

The healthcare field is rapidly changing and healthcare needs leaders. Bellarmine's DNP programs are designed for those interested in  clinical leadership or executive nursing positions and offer an alternative to research focused doctoral programs. The Doctor of Nursing Practice at Bellarmine is available as a post-master’s program or as a BSN-DNP.

Bellarmine is also going to offer a DNP in Nurse Anesthesia in 2023.

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. Students can start any semester.


BSN to DNP Programs

BSN to DNP: Leadership

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

  • 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.


BSN to DNP: Nurse Anesthesia

Bellarmine's new DNP-NA Program is designed for post-BSN students seeking doctoral preparation for advanced practice as a Nurse Anesthetist

  • The curriculum provides students with the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to care for diverse patient populations.
  • Resident Registered Nurse Anesthetists (RRNAs) will be assigned to various anesthetizing locations within some of the region's leading hospitals, affording RRNAs the opportunity to engage in supervised administration of anesthesia care to individuals across the lifespan.

DNP Projects


  • Dr. Bonnie Hibbs – Visual Boards to Improve Compliance with Administration of Glucose Gel
  • Dr. Beverly Phillipe – Shared Governance Effect on Nursing Outcomes
  • Dr. Jessica Sumner – Evidence Based Practice Implementation of the Delirium Portion of the ABCDEF Bundle
  • Dr. Gabri Warren – The Implementation of an Open Source OMR at a Faith Based Community Clinic
  • Dr. Chris Webb – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection:  Improving Screening for Depression Among University Students


  • Dr. Marguerite Burch - Implementation of a Delirium Protocol in a Community Living Center
  • Dr. Jennifer Gordon - Treatment of Anxiety Using Massage Therapy in a NeuroRehabilitation Program
  • Dr. Britt Schloemer – Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Ketogenic Diet Clinic for the Treatment of Pediatric Refractory Epilepsy
  • Dr. Julia Senn-Reeves - Early Identification of Frailty Predictors in a Vowed Religious Community of Catholic Men: A Strategy for Successful Aging in Place


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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
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

Areas of Focus

Advanced Nursing Practice Clinical Leadership

The Advanced Nursing Practice (ANP) focus prepares ANPs to function more effectively as a clinical leader. 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 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. Studentswill 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.

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.

Deferred Payment

Bellarmine University offers a deferred payment plan (DEFR) for those students that receive tuition reimbursement from their employers and wish to defer the payment of their tuition until 30 days after grades are available each semester.

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:


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 (

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


Learn more about Bellarmine University.


Contact Information

For more information, call 502.272.7100 or email your questions to