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NOTICE: The Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership for Population Health program is not currently accepting new students.

Doctors of Nursing Practice

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Doctorate in Nursing Practice

The Lourdes Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Leadership for Population Health Program is a terminal degree that prepares experts in advanced nursing practices. Designed as a post-master’s degree program, the DNP equips graduates to apply current research to influence patient outcomes and lead at micro and macro-system levels.

100% Online Course Content Delivery

The Lourdes Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Leadership for Population Health Program offers core courses that provide foundational knowledge of population health and leadership principles and two concentration options for nurses to tailor learning to their career goals. Concentration courses will further a student’s leadership or population health knowledge and competence.

The plan of study requires 37 credit hours, which include online asynchronous courses, experiential learning, DNP project completion, and competency validation.

Two options provide flexibility in program completion. Students who wish to complete courses in six consecutive semesters can begin in the fall semester and finish the program in two years. Students wishing to have summers off can start during the spring semester and complete the program in three years. Students admitted together will progress through the program in a cohort manner.

Additionally, the program incorporates experiential learning. Students may customize that work among leaders, experts, and practice settings while meeting specific courses’ experience and competency requirements. DNP students may achieve course requirements and program outcomes through direct or indirect care in practice settings with populations of interest to the student. Note: The academic setting (teaching) is not an appropriate experiential setting for the DNP student unless the population of interest is students as a care-related group.

Each DNP student will select, develop, implement, and evaluate a DNP Project based on a practice-related need. Developed from an EBP or QI perspective, the project will occur over three semesters under the guidance of a Faculty Project Advisor and a Practice Project Mentor. A Project Guide and course syllabus will provide detailed information. Proposed projects must be approved (according to the established timeline) by the Project Mentor and then by the Project Review Panel, which consists of the Program Director, the Faculty Project Advisor, and at least one additional DNP faculty member.

Plan of Study

Core DNP Courses focus on evidence-based practice and quality improvement, leadership development and population health management.

  • Foundational Principles of Evidence-based Practice and Implementation Science for Leading Change – 3 credit
  • Population Health for Advanced Nursing Practice – 3 credit
  • Foundational Principles of Quality Improvement and Data Management for Leading Change – 3 credit
  • Epidemiology and Statistical Analysis for Population Health Management – 3 credit
  • Leadership for Excellence: Advocacy, Policy, Equity, and Ethics – 3 credit
  • Influencing Change- Leadership Skills for Planned and Unplanned Change – 3 credit
  • DNP Project Identification and Development – 3 credit
  • DNP Project Planning and Implementation – 2 credit
  • DNP Project Evaluation and Dissemination – 3 credit
  • Applications of advanced nursing concepts I – 2 credit
  • Applications of advanced nursing concepts II – 2 credit

Concentration Courses - Students will select either the Population Health or Leadership track based on career goals.  This selection will be incorporated in the student’s plan of study.

  • Health Promotion and Population-Focused Interventions – 3 credit
  • Health Disparities: Issues in Population Health for Vulnerable Populations – 3 credit
  • Leadership for Change in Population Health – 3 credit
  • Economic and Financial Concepts for Nursing – 3 credit

Learning Outcomes

Building on the core Lourdes University Student Learning Outcomes and the Graduate Level Outcomes, the DNP Student Learning Outcomes include:

Graduate Learning Outcomes DNP Program Student Learning Outcomes
Acquire and utilize specialized knowledge in their area of study.









Integrate, translate, and apply established and evolving nursing knowledge, as well as knowledge from other disciplines to assure or improve patient care or the health care system.

Strives for the improvement of equitable health outcomes through advocacy, development, and implementation of policies that impact local and global population health.

Employs established and emerging principles of safety and improvement science to enhance quality and minimize risk of harm to patients and health care providers.

Gain intellectual and practical communication, analytic inquiry, and information fluency skills appropriate to their area of study. Uses informatics processes and technologies to evaluate, manage, and improve the delivery of safe, high-quality, and efficient healthcare services.
Develop a person and professional ethic consistent with the Franciscan values of learning, reverence, and service.






Assures the provision of holistic, individualized, just, respectful, compassionate, coordinated, evidence-based and developmentally appropriate person-centered care through advanced nursing strategies.

Collaborates across professions, patients, families, communities, and other stakeholders to optimize care, enhance the healthcare experience, and strengthen outcomes.


Demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility, diversity, and the standards of their professions/disciplines. Demonstrates advanced nursing professionalism through accountability, perspective, collaborative disposition, and comportment.
Exhibit the professional development, work practices, global perspectives, and dispositions of lifelong learners. Fosters personal health, resilience, and well-being; contributes to lifelong learning; and supports the acquisition of nursing expertise and the assertion of leadership.
Integrate knowledge by engaging in meaningful graduate-level scholarly activities appropriate to their area of study.




Displays scholarship through the generation, synthesis, translation, application, and dissemination of nursing knowledge to improve health and transform health care.

Responds to and leads within complex systems of health care to effectively and proactively coordinate resources for safe, quality, and equitable care to diverse populations.


Admission Requirements


Admission to the DNP Program is open to any student without regard to race, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, or marital status. The seats for students entering the program during fall, or spring, semesters are offered to students who have met the admission criteria and submitted all required documentation. Applications for the Lourdes DNP Program will be accepted year-round for Fall and Spring admission consideration.

Registered nurses (RNs) who hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree are admitted directly into the DNP program upon satisfactory fulfillment of the following requirements.

  • Graduated from an accredited college or university with a master’s degree in nursing
  • Completed a graduate level statistics course prior to admission
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    Note: Unofficial transcripts of undergraduate courses may be reviewed by program advisor prior to application process at applicant’s request.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A current, unrestricted license as a registered nurse in attendee’s state of residence.
  • Complete a satisfactory interview (by invitation only).
  • Complete and submit the Graduate Application for Admission and pay a non-refundable application fee. For more information, please contact Student Accounts at 419-824-3714.

A completed application also includes the following:

  • Two (2) recommendations using the Lourdes University recommender form supporting the applicant’s potential success in the DNP program such as the applicant’s potential or ability for functioning in the advanced practice role (clinical skills, critical thinking, independent decision making, collaborative skills with other health professionals, and nursing leadership).  At least one recommendation must be from a graduate-prepared nurse.
    Note: Applicants currently enrolled in a nursing program must submit at least one (1) recommendation from a faculty member in that program or a current manager/supervisor.
  • Written statement of personal career goals and areas of practice interest including intended utilization of leadership and population health knowledge and competence.
  • Resume or CV that includes work experience, educational, leadership and professional organization activities, and scholarly activities including publications, presentations, research, honors and awards.
  • Documentation of post baccalaureate clinical hours completed in master’s program.
  • Note: All DNP graduates are expected to complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. Even if a candidate’s Master’s program included 1,000 hours or more, a minimum of 550 hrs. of experiential learning is required to meet the project and competency attestation requirements.  Additional hours may be required if the competency requirements are not fully met within the prescribed 550 hours.  See DNP Student Learning Outcome Section below for general competency categories.  Specific competencies will be identified in each course along with development and measurement expectations.
  • GRE is NOT required for admission

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