Transformative Leadership: Systems (DNP) Program Details

Rush University College of Nursing was one of the first colleges in the nation to award the practice doctorate, providing real-world experience in systematic project planning and implementation:

This innovative program is designed for the working professional. It combines online, interactive course work with three, two-day visits of on-site instruction. These campus visits occur during your second, third, and fifth terms. 

The Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP program is offered part-time and takes two years (six terms) to complete*. Most students remain in their highly demanding jobs — such as chief nursing officer, program director, faculty, or APRN — while in the program. In fact, we encourage students to implement their DNP projects, if possible, 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 any nonessential activities for the duration of the two-year program. 

Sample Plan of Study

*In conjunction with the University Catalog corresponding to the student’s term of entry, the College reserves the right to modify course requirements or credits in consideration of overall curricular goals and design and accreditation and certification standards.

Previous Degree and Clinical Hours Requirements

Entry into our Transformative Leadership: Systems DNP program can be achieved through various paths. Entry requires one of the following:

  • MSN and APRN certification (NP, CNS, CRNA, CNM)
  • MSN in healthcare leadership or nursing informatics
  • BSN and a non-nursing master’s in a health related field (MBA, MPH, MHA, etc.). Additional coursework may be required.

MSN clinical specialty educational programs need to have provided at least 500 clock hours of supervised and specialty practicum. The Systems DNP provides over 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. You are not required to be certified in a clinical specialty. Applicants who do not meet the 500 clock hour minimum from their MSN program will be reviewed on an individual basis (please include the clinical hours verification form as part of your application). Applicants may also have NEA-BC or CENP certification to meet part of the master’s clock hour requirement.  Additional clinical hours may need to be completed in the Systems DNP program.

If you have a direct entry master’s degree only the clinical leadership immersion hours count toward the 500 hours. Applicants will be reviewed on an individual basis (please include the clinical hours verification form as part of your application).   A review of your transcript, the course description, or your immersion course syllabus for the listed number of hours may be required prior to admission. Additional clinical hours will need to be completed in the Systems DNP program to meet the 500 hour minimum.

Common Applicant Questions for all Nursing Programs
Admissions Contact
Elizabeth Miranda
Admissions Specialist 
in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
Attend an information session

Learn more about the Transformative Leadership: Systems program at an online information session.