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Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP

Our Transformative Leadership Systems Doctor of Nursing Practice program equips master’s-prepared nurses to improve health outcomes and lead change at a systems level.

You will learn effective project planning, transformational leadership, policy advocacy and systems-level thinking. You gain the knowledge and skills to excel at the following:

  • Create and sustain change at the organization and systems level
  • Develop and evaluate new models of care delivery
  • Create positive practice environments
  • Improve health outcomes in a variety of health care settings
  • Transform health policy

Our program is ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It has been ranked in the top five in each of the last three years.

We were one of the first universities in the nation to award a practice doctorate. This is important given the growth of leadership DNP programs that do not have faculty experienced in advising students on scholarly projects.

View the curriculum

Fast Facts: Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP
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Program Type:
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Two Years

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Per Credit Hour
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Class Size:

Our Approach

All nurses are leaders, but our program prepares students in the specialty of nursing leadership.

Our students receive an education based on the following:

  • The American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials Core Competencies for Professional Education
  • The American Organization for Nursing Leadership Nurse Leader Competencies

Most of our faculty are certified nurse executives with decades of nursing leadership experience in clinical practice, education or nursing administration, policy development and informatics.

The majority of our faculty have been awarded fellow designation in one or two leadership organizations, including the following:

  • The American Academy of Nursing
  • The American Organization for Nursing Leadership
  • The American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Several clinical specialty organizations

Consistent with RUSH’S practitioner-teacher model, our faculty maintain leadership positions in professional, community, health system and service organizations.

Several influential alumni serve on an advisory committee for the program.

Program Length and Location

Our program is offered online on a part-time basis and takes two years to complete.*

The program is designed for working professionals. It combines online, interactive coursework with three two-day on-site visits.

Campus visits occur during your second, third and fifth terms.

Most students remain employed during the program. In fact, we encourage students to implement their DNP projects at their place of employment.

However, the program is rigorous and requires at least 12-18 hours of study per week. We urge you to reduce nonessential activities.

*The College of Nursing reserves the right to modify course requirements or credits in consideration of the following:

  • Certification standards
  • Design and accreditation
  • Overall curricular goals

Program Tuition

At RUSH University, we know your education is a big investment. We want to make sure you have all the information to be able to make the best financial decisions for you and your family.

Tuition for the Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP program is $1,344 per credit hour.

Learn about student financial aid options.

Virtual Information Session

Register for a virtual information session. Information sessions are held every other month at noon Central Time.

Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP Career Opportunities

Our program prepares you to lead systems-level change, including the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of its outcomes in all health care settings.

Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles, including the following:

  • Advanced practice provider lead and director roles
  • Program directors
  • Dean
  • Directors (ACNO, CNO, COO, CEO, CIO)
  • Roles in health care organizations and health departments
  • President of national professional organizations

Approximately 100,000 registered nurses left the workforce over the past several years. This created a shortage of nurses qualified to assume nursing leadership roles.

Although experienced nurse leaders started retiring prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic accelerated nurse leader retirements. This led to vacancies in all practice settings.

The outlook is excellent for nurses and advanced practice nurses seeking leadership positions. In 2021, the average nurse manager’s salary was $118,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Lead APP and CNO salaries vary by geographical location and range from $110,000 to $250,000, or more.

Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP Faculty
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Admissions Contact Information

Elizabeth Miranda
Admissions Specialist

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