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Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Online

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Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Online

Enroll in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies and expand your ability to be a leader in developing innovative practice in a variety of settings while advancing science. 

Focusing on the concepts of strategic organizational leadership, the DNP program educates the professional nurse in the translation of evidence-based practice results into a variety of employment and practice settings. 

The DNP requires successful completion of seven courses, a Conceptualization project, and a three-block practice-directed specialization project that focuses on designing, implementing and evaluating a quality improvement project, practice innovation or policy change. 

Whether your career goals are to advance to an executive position or to enrich your current practice, the DNP at ATSU will provide you with the foundation necessary to become an influential nursing leader. ATSU’s DNP Program seeks to prepare graduates who are:

  1. Competent leaders in a variety of healthcare organizational systems.
  2. Effective decision-makers through interprofessional collaborations.
  3. Prepared to influence positive healthcare outcomes through evidence-based practice, applying system improvement and innovation.
  4. Engaged leaders who are equipped to influence healthcare policy.

Clinical Practice Hours

The ATSU’s DNP program require's a practice component of direct clinical practice hours. Nationally, it is common for DNP students to find their own clinical sites because they are in the best position to know their own communities and the best fit for them. Think creatively, including healthcare organizations in your community or organizations, that provide healthcare services. What type of healthcare organizations are around you? All practicum experiences require a formal Clinical Affiliation agreement that we will be glad to assist you with in securing.

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Program essentials

Overview
Course list
Tuition
Faculty/Staff
ATSU
Curriculum
Requirements
Career Advancement
Learning Outcomes
Course Descriptions
Cost
Financial Aid
Administration
Faculty
University Catalog
Accreditation

Doctor of Nursing Practice Curriculum Overview

The DNP at A.T. Still University features leading-edge information and experiences contributed by faculty in various advanced practices. The goal of the DNP is to develop a specialty practice that influences healthcare outcomes for clients who range from the individual to a contained population. Benefits of earning the DNP include the acquisition of advanced competencies in leadership, quality improvement, collaborative practice, health policy, information systems and population health within an ethical framework. The clinical focus of the DNP program is that of practice specialization within the discipline. The completion of the DNP Project demonstrates growth in knowledge and skills in nursing leadership and advancement of practice and also provides documentation of the achievement of The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006). 

Courses include healthcare economics and financial management, quality improvement and performance excellence, health policy, interdisciplinary communication and collaboration, evidence-based practice, advocacy, and change management. 

Students will begin their program with an on-site or virtual residency to develop a foundational understanding of the DNP program. Students will meet with course faculty and their peers to develop their clinical practice specialty plan, which encompasses clinical hours. Depending on the number of graduate clinical hours brought into the DNP program, classroom content is supplemented and enriched with focused clinical practice hours. 

The DNP Project is the culmination of scholarly work completed in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The goal of the three-block DNP Project is threefold: 

(1) contribute to student professional and personal knowledge development so that nurses may practice at the most advanced level, 

(2) lead to sustainable quality improvement change in a healthcare setting, and 

(3) share project outcomes that enhance practice and advance the nursing profession through dissemination. 

The DNP Project can be a quality improvement, practice innovation or policy change. It is an interactive and iterative process, where students identify a particular issue or problem relevant to a healthcare practice site, resulting in a practice-application-oriented product. Students will complete a thorough scholarly review of the literature to gain a better understanding of the selected issue; apply evidence to design, implement and evaluate a quality improvement project, practice innovation or policy change; and use project findings to offer insights into how to best respond to the selected issue or problem. Findings from projects described above will be disseminated to inform and advance practice, care delivery, health outcomes, or organizational performance.

Career Advancement

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, employment of nurses is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2028.

  • Chief operating officer, president, or vice president of a healthcare system
  • Chief nursing officer or assistant chief nursing officer of a healthcare facility
  • Clinical researcher
  • Healthcare insurance or association administrator
  • University administrator or faculty
  • Healthcare consultant
  • Healthcare business owner
  • Health policy director/advisor/consultant

  1. Application:
    • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Academic:
    • An accredited master of science in nursing degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Applicants who received their qualifying degree from a university outside the United States will have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
    • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
    • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
    • A current; unencumbered RN license from the state in which the attainment of supervised clinical hours will occur.
    • Clinical hour documentation from degree granting institution.
    • Some degree programs may require experience or credentialing relevant to the field.
  3. Elements of success:
    • A current resume
    • Completion of an essay
    • English Proficiency **
    • Meet technology requirements***

*Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

  • World Education Services P.O. Box 5087 Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087 p: (212) 966-6311 f: (212) 739-6139 info@wes.org
  • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. P.O. Box 514070 Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 (414) 289-3400
  • American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135 (202) 293-9161
  • Josef Silny & Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami FL 33173 p: (305) 273 -1616 f: (305) 273 -1338 info@jsilny.com
  • Intl. Education Research Foundation, Inc. PO Box 3665 Culver City, CA 90231-3665 (310) 258-9451
  • **Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:
  • Option 1 - English is your first language.
  • Option 2 - Graduated from a regionally accredited four year college/university in the United States with a BA/BS or graduate degree.
  • Option 3 - You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • CBT - minimum total score of 213
  • iBT - minimum total score of 80
  • PBT - minimum total score of 550

The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609. 771.7100. A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet. TOEFL Educational Testing Services P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, 609.771.7100 ***ATSU technology requirements

Learning Outcomes

The DNP Program prepares the graduate to achieve the following program outcomes:

  • Integrate science and nursing-based theories and data-based concepts to develop, critically appraise, and translate scholarship into practice. (DNP Essential I)
  • Articulate organizational theories and systems thinking to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, and safety outcomes in healthcare. (DNP Essential II)
  • Correlate analytical methods and evidence to improve practice and the practice environment for the individual, aggregate and population. (DNP Essential III)
  • Apply knowledge of patient care technology to improve healthcare outcomes. (DNP Essential IV)
  • Demonstrate leadership in the assessment, implementation and evaluation of health policy that addresses the underserved population through ethical and equitable advocacy. (DNP Essential V)
  • Lead and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams using communication, consultative, and leadership skills to improve quality and safety in health care. (DNP Essential VI)
  • Analyze epidemiological data to synthesize concepts related to health promotion, socioeconomic dimensions of health, and population health to address the underserved population. (DNP Essential VII)
  • Provide leadership in the assessment, implementation and evaluation of healthcare deliverables within a quality improvement framework, addressing a variety of clinical situations that require advanced critical thinking. (DNP Essential VIII)
  • Strategic Organizational Leadership (3 credit hours)+

  • Nursing Inquiry, Evidence-Based Practice, and Change (3 Credits)+

  • Healthcare Economics and Financial Management (3 Credits)+

  • Health Policy, Law, and Advocacy (3 Credits)+

  • Quality Improvement and Performance Excellence (3 Credits)+

  • Population Health: Program Development and Evaluation (3 Credits)+

  • Clinical and Theoretical Applications (3 credits)+

  • DNP Project Design (3 credits)+

  • DNP Project Implementation (3 credits)+

  • DNP Project Evaluation (3 credits)+

Tuition

Review tuition and fees for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.

Financial Aid

Federal financial aid is available for qualifying students. For more information visit Enrollment Services or contact them at 866.626.2878 ext. 2019 or by email at enrollmentservices@atsu.edu.

Jayme Ambrose, DNP, MS, BSN, RN, CCM
Jayme Ambrose, DNP, MS, BSN, RN, CCM
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Dr. Jayme Ambrose earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Leadership from Case Western Reserve University and her Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from Arizona State University. She also holds certification in case management.

Dr. Ambrose has over 20 years’ experience in home health, complex case management, population health, transitional services, and corporate and community health. She is currently principal of Adobe Care and Wellness in Phoenix, Arizona, a provider of community-based case management using a tiered approach to services.

Dr. Ambrose has held leadership roles with several community organizations and has experience teaching at several universities at the graduate level in community health, global health, and research.

Leanna Brown, DNP, MBA, ACNP-BC
Leanna Brown, DNP, MBA, ACNP-BC
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Leanna Brown, DNP, MBA, ACNP-BC, received her doctor of nursing practice from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center specializing in acute/critical care. She also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and a master’s of strategic studies from the United States Army War College.

Dr. Brown has over 25 years’ experience in nursing and military healthcare and has spent over 15 years working with stroke patients and programs. During this time, she has also worked in her military position with wounded warriors.

Dr. Brown’s research interests focus on stroke care and survival chain. When not working or actively being involved with the military, she enjoys time with her husband, five children, and nine grandchildren.

Diane Drexler, DNP, MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE
Diane Drexler, DNP, MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE
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Dr. Drexler received a doctor of nursing practice and master of business administration degree from Arizona State University. She also holds a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She is a current Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow Alumnae (2007-10), and was selected to attend the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Nurse Executive Leadership Program in 2006.

Dr. Drexler has more than 30 years’ experience in nursing leadership in acute care and outpatient settings. She is a strong proponent of Shared Leadership and has a passion for developing emerging leaders. Her current position is at Community Memorial Health System in Ventura County, California as the Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer. Community Memorial Health System is a community-owned, not-for-profit organization consisting of two hospitals and 20+ community clinics including family-practice, urgent care, a residency program, and several specialties.

Helen Ewing, DHSc, MN, BN, RN
Helen Ewing, DHSc, MN, BN, RN
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Dr. Helen Ewing received her doctor of health science degree from Nova Southeastern University specializing in international healthcare; proposing a model for the delivery of primary healthcare in rural India. She also holds diplomas in nursing and business management and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from University of Calgary, specializing in management and quality improvement.

Dr. Ewing has over 35 years’ experience in healthcare and has spent the past 30 years in health profession education, academic administration, and healthcare leadership. Her experiences range from various leadership, academic, and clinical roles in Canada and the United States to working in resource-poor countries (Liberia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Kenya, Bangladesh, and India).

Dr. Ewing’s research interests include issues affecting global health, quality of life of nurses, healthcare leadership, promoting evidence-based healthcare, online education, and academic integrity. Dr. Ewing has a passion for quality, student-centered education and advancing healthcare professions locally and internationally.

Clair Lunt, DHSc, MEd, MN, RN
Clair Lunt, DHSc, MEd, MN, RN
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Dr. Clair Lunt received her doctor of health sciences degree from ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. She also holds a master of education (in higher education) and a master of nursing (in critical care) from Queensland University of Technology.

Dr. Lunt has more than 25 years in nursing practice and is currently working as the director of nursing informatics at a major hospital system in New York. She is involved in professional organizations serving on various committees, is a published author, and a journal reviewer for an international informatics journal.

Lisa Palucci, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CPHQ, CSSGB
Lisa Palucci, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CPHQ, CSSGB
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Lisa Palucci, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CPHQ, CSSGB, received her doctor of nursing practice in executive leadership from American Sentinel University, a master of science in nursing from University of Phoenix, and a bachelor of science in nursing from Arizona State University. Dr. Palucci is a board-certified nurse executive (NE-BC), certified professional in healthcare quality (CPHQ), a certified six sigma green belt (CSSGB), and a certified nurse surveyor by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Dr. Palucci began her nursing career with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps as an active-duty nurse officer working in pediatrics, maternal-child health, and public health nursing. She went on to hold leadership positions as a nurse educator consultant, quality improvement nurse consultant, chief nurse executive as well as a regional nurse consultant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Palucci separated from active-duty service in 2019. She is currently a clinical quality director for Liberty Healthcare Corporation in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Palucci has also had experience teaching online where her focus was community health.

Dr. Palucci is a board member of Uniting Nursing Homes in Tribal Excellence and is a long-standing member of the American Nurses Association. She was president and president-elect of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (2007-09; 2013-15), a benefactor of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association, and is a lifetime member of the Arizona State University alumni association and its American Indian Students United for Nursing alumni group.

Dr. Palucci’s research interests include healthcare quality, leadership, health policy, social determinants of health, health equity, and cultural diversity.

Bobbi Winter, DHSc, MBA, MSN, RN
Bobbi Winter, DHSc, MBA, MSN, RN
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Dr. Bobbi Winter received her doctor of health sciences degree from ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. She completed a master of science in nursing from Loyola University, New Orleans, with a concentration in nursing leadership, and both a master of science in health systems management and a master of business administration from New England College. Dr. Winters also has an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration from Graceland University.

Dr. Winter has more than 40 years’ healthcare experience in a variety of clinical inpatient, community, and executive management settings. She has served on numerous home/public health care policy and reimbursement committees and as chair of her state home health association. An entrepreneur, she has owned and operated businesses in home health, staffing, professional continuing education, and dentistry. In addition to teaching in both graduate nursing and MHA programs, she is president/CEO of a large dental laboratory.

Dr. Winter’s research interests focus on the learning and teaching approaches and preferences of healthcare professionals and faculty. When not working she enjoys spending time with her family downhill skiing, biking, golfing, and hiking.

Karin Polifko, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC
Karin Polifko, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC
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Dr. Polifko’s career has spanned both the academic and service fields of health care. Along with teaching experience at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, she has held leadership positions in higher education, including Department Chair, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Academic Director, Campus President and Vice President, Operations and Academic Affairs.

Dr. Polifko has extensive administrative experience in various acute care health settings, in the roles of Vice President of System Development and Research, Administrative Director for Critical Care Services, Director of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Specialist. Past consulting projects include college and program development, strategic planning and prioritization, accreditation preparation, organizational change assessment and evaluation, change management and leadership assessment. Her first textbook, Case Applications in Nursing Leadership and Management was published in 2004, Concepts of the Nursing Profession, was published in 2007 and The Practice Environment: Issues and Trends was published in 2010. Dr. Polifko has presented in a wide variety of workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Polifko received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, her PhD in Public Administration / Urban Health Services and a certificate in Advanced Policy Analysis from Old Dominion University. She is certified as Nurse Executive-Advanced through ANCC and holds a certification as a nurse educator through NLN.

Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA
Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA
Dean
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Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA LinkedIn

Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, EdD, MPH, MBA, MA, is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) at A.T. Still University (ATSU). He also serves as director of public health at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH). Dr. Altman has been with ATSU since October 2006.

Dr. Altman graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch (DDS) in 1983. He completed his Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989 and became Board Certified in Dental Public Health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his MBA at the University of Phoenix (2002) and a MA in Bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). He graduated with a Doctor in Health Science (DHSc) degree in March 2012 from the Arizona School of Health Sciences at A.T. Still University (ATSU-ASHS) and his EdD from Southern New Hampshire University in March 2016.

Dr. Altman has worked for The City of Houston, the State of Texas, the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman’s public health experience includes: serving as President of the Arizona State Board Dental Examiners; serving as President of the Arizona Public Health Association; volunteering with Health Volunteers Overseas (Cambodia and Vietnam); Director of the National Oral Health Leadership Institute; and serving as the Consumer Representative to the Dental Products Panel for the Food and Drug Administration. On May 1, 2012 he was appointed as a Director to The American Board of Dental Public Health and is currently the president.

 

Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.

Karin Polifko, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC
Karin Polifko, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC
Chair
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Dr. Polifko’s career has spanned both the academic and service fields of health care. Along with teaching experience at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, she has held leadership positions in higher education, including Department Chair, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Academic Director, Campus President and Vice President, Operations and Academic Affairs. 

Dr. Polifko has extensive administrative experience in various acute care health settings, in the roles of Vice President of System Development and Research, Administrative Director for Critical Care Services, Director of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Specialist. Past consulting projects include college and program development, strategic planning and prioritization, accreditation preparation, organizational change assessment and evaluation, change management and leadership assessment. Her first textbook, Case Applications in Nursing Leadership and Management was published in 2004, Concepts of the Nursing Profession, was published in 2007 and The Practice Environment: Issues and Trends was published in 2010.  Dr. Polifko has presented in a wide variety of workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Polifko received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, her PhD in Public Administration / Urban Health Services and a certificate in Advanced Policy Analysis from Old Dominion University. She is certified as Nurse Executive-Advanced through ANCC and holds a certification as a nurse educator through NLN. 

University Catalog

University Catalog Program guide

Review the University Catalog to learn more about the program and university. Read detailed course descriptions and obtain answers to many of your questions regarding application and tuition.

A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500,
Chicago, IL 60604

Phone: 800.621.7440 | Fax: 312.263.7462
Email: info@hlcommission.org

ncahlc.org


Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Faculty

The ATSU, faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of each health professions degree student. Our online nursing degrees offer challenging, interprofessional educational experiences that enables intellectual and practice advancement.

All ATSU nursing faculty hold doctoral degrees, bringing their diverse academic and professional backgrounds in nursing practice, leadership, and management to the online classroom and other nursing learning experiences. Their academic areas of expertise include executive administration, health policy and advocacy, community and rural health, advanced nursing practice, child and adolescent health, mental health, public and community health, palliative and end-of-life care, health information systems, and nursing research and education, among many others. ATSU’s graduate nursing faculty enjoy online teaching and are committed to providing innovative instructional opportunities and experiences.

Application

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For additional information contact an Enrollment Counselor:
877.626.5577 or cghsonlineadmissions@atsu.edu

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