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College of Nursing > Doctoral Degree and Certificate Options > Doctor of Nursing Practice; Certificate Options; & > DNP Leadership Tracks > Systems Leadership (DNP) Program Information
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The Role of the DNP Systems Leadership Graduate

The DNP program in systems leadership is designed for MSN-prepared nurses with demonstrated leadership ability who desire to enhance their skills in outcomes management, incorporating data into decision making, and affecting health care policy. The DNP student should already be in a management position and desire to advance to a senior leadership role.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and may have either:

  • a MSN in a specialty area as defined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) or 
  • a non-nursing master’s degree but have attained and currently maintain ANCC Nurse Executive Advanced Certification or AONE Certification in Executive Nursing Practice.
MSN clinical specialty educational programs need to have provided at least 500 clock hours of supervised and specialty practicum. The Rush DNP in Systems Leadership provides an additional 500 hours of supervised specialty practicum, thus meeting the national requirements of a minimum of 1000 hours of specialty practicum to earn the DNP degree. Applicants are not required to be certified in a clinical specialty.

The DNP in systems leadership is for students who wish to:

  1. Gain expertise in outcomes improvement and leading change at a systems level.
  2. Expand their knowledge of systems level leadership and apply those principles to macro system/organizational change.
  3. Expand their leadership responsibilities in policy development, clinical systems change or workforce development. 

Important Program Information

Meet Rush DNP Alumnus Jennifer Rousseau
 Program Highlights and Opportunities
  • Online, But Hands-On - This innovative program is designed for the working professional. It combines online, interactive coursework with three weekends of on-site instruction.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP): A Focus on Systems-Level Leadership - Rush University College of Nursing is one of the first colleges in the nation to award the practice doctorate, providing real-world experience in strategic planning, communication to affect change, the application of critical business concepts and systematic project planning and implementation.
  • IONL members receive a 10% tuition discount in the Systems Leadership program or Leadership to Enhance Population Health Outcomes program.

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