Doctor of Nursing Practice

As you progressed in your medical career, you also had to progress academically. Now, take the next step and pursue your Doctor of Nursing Practice with ACU Online. Our DNP degree is designed to further develop your clinical and leadership skills as a medical professional through a combination of online learning and practical application in the workplace.

As you progressed in your medical career, you also had to progress academically. Now, take the next step and pursue your Doctor of Nursing Practice with ACU Online. Our DNP degree is designed to further develop your clinical and leadership skills as a medical professional through a combination of online learning and practical application in the workplace.

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Our online degree programs are designed for busy working adults just like you – intentionally structured to allow you to balance work, life and other commitments. As a student of ACU Online, you are part of a vibrant, virtual, Christ-centered community.

Could you use a $10,000 scholarship? Apply now to find out more!

New, first-time BSN to DNP or DNP students only. Must meet all admission requirements and start class on March 9, 2021.

About the Program

Nurse at desk

You have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership to proactively develop, implement, and evaluate ethical healthcare policies at all levels. By earning your DNP degree, you’ll encourage your own career development while helping guide and support colleagues in their own journey in the healthcare profession.

Program Structure

All the Details on Your Degree

ACU’s online DNP program adheres and aligns with the current trend in the education of nurses and supports recommendations set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the National Academy of Medicine, and numerous other healthcare organizations.


Advanced Practice Nurse
Executive Nursing Leadership

Required Hours

39 hours
26 month minimum timeframe

Example Coursework

Informatics to Improve Patient Outcomes
Foundations of Integrative Care
Epidemiology and Population Health
Healthcare Finance and Clinical Practice


Application Deadlines

March 9, 2021
May 4, 2021

Common Job Titles

Academic Nurse Leader
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
Director of Nursing
Director of Clinical Services
Director of Advanced Practice Nurses
Lead Clinician
Public Health Coordinator

Meet the Program Director

Dr. Linda Gibson

Dr. Linda Gibson is the program director for the BSN to DNP and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Dr. Gibson has been an associate professor within ACU’s School of Nursing for the past three years, though her teaching experience spans 30 years. Much of her clinical experience comes from a VA hospital, and her MSN specialty areas include Medical/Surgical Nursing (RNP), Teaching/Evaluation, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing (CNS).

As a lifelong learner, she went on to complete her DNP and is currently pursuing a homeopathic degree. Dr. Gibson lives in the hills of Tennessee surrounded by her children and grandchildren.


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  1. Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical and organizational sciences to enhance health and alleviate or ameliorate illness.
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate care delivery approaches based on scientific findings in nursing and other clinical sciences, as well as organizational, political, and economic sciences that meet current and future needs of patient populations.
  3. Design and implement processes to evaluate outcomes of practice, practice patterns, and systems of care within a practice setting, health care organization or community in order to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient- centered care.
  4. Use information systems/technology resources to implement quality improvement to support practice and administrative decision-making.
  5. Demonstrates leadership to proactively develop, implement and evaluate at all levels, health policies that are just, ethical, and equitable.
  6. Employ consultative and leadership skills in intra- and inter-professional teams in order to create excellence in all types of health care delivery systems.
  7. Demonstrate leadership in developing, implementing, and evaluating delivery models and/or strategies, using concepts related to community, environment, and occupation health and cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health.
  8. Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment, systems thinking and accountability as an advance practice nurse in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence based care to achieve positive outcomes to individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  9. Continue professional development throughout own career, while supporting colleagues in their professional journey.
  10. Integrate insight about their own calling with their ability to influence the health care delivery system in order to promote social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare, by (a) articulating the rich tradition of literature and practice in Christian vocation; (b) reflecting upon the concept of vocation in their own leadership development; and (c) applying new understanding of vocation in their organizational contexts.
Doctor listening to patient's heart

To be considered for admission, students must:

  • Complete the online program application accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee.
  • Have a Master’s in Nursing from an accredited school of nursing (ACEN, CCNE).
  • Submit official transcripts from the accredited colleges or universities that awarded the baccalaureate and master’s degree to the applicant sent in a registrar’s sealed and stamped/signed envelope or official electronic transcripts.
  • Have a minimum nursing cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Supply two professional recommendation letters that attest to the applicant’s character, work ethic and professional abilities.
  • Author a 500-word purpose statement outlining your interest in the Doctor of
    Nursing Practice and your intended scholarly project topic, written in APA
  • Submit a professional CV or resume.
  • Provide proof of unencumbered registered nurse licensure in the United States.
  • Have completed an undergraduate level statistics course with a “C” or better.
CCNE Accredited logo

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791