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Executive Leadership Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Become a transformational nursing leader and positively impact the healthcare experience with our DNP executive leadership specialization.

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information
Nurses chatting

Executive Leadership Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Ready to Get Started?

Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.

Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.

  • Current 01 Step 1: About You
  • 02 Step 2: Contact Information

Why Choose Walden?


Our didactic faculty all hold doctoral degrees. Many are practicing clinicians who bring valuable insights directly from the field.


Our DNP nurse leadership program emphasizes key topics such as evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership.


In your DNP project, you’ll build a portfolio by working directly with a local healthcare partner to solve a challenge they face.


With Practicum Pledge™, you benefit from our collaborative, dedicated process to help you find a timely, suitable practicum match.1


We are collaborating with the National League for Nurses to empower social change leaders in their professions and communities.


Personalized Practicum Support


After you register for the Walden University Practicum Pledge™ (along with other requirements), if you can’t identify a site and preceptor, our dedicated Field Placement Team partners with you to secure your site and preceptor to help you find a match. This enhanced support gives you added confidence as you start your degree journey.

Program Details


Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 45 quarter credits
    • Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
    • Foundation course (5 cr.)
    • Core courses (30 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (up to 8 cr., for students with fewer than 600 documented clinical hours)
    • Completion of DNP project
      • DNP Project Mentoring course (0 cr.)
      • Doctoral DNP Project Completion (if needed to complete DNP Project after all other coursework has been completed; 3 cr. per term, taken continuously until completion of the DNP project)


Walden students have up to eight years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Please refer to Walden’s catalog for more information about degree requirements.

The number of credits for completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for this doctoral program, you must have a current, active RN license, a Master of Science in Nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a master’s degree in a business or non-nursing health related field, or an equivalent from an accredited school, and meet the general admission requirements. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. Depending on program specialization, additional requirements may apply. More information for international applicants.

Tuition and Fees

CurriculumRequirementsCostAMOUNT *
Tuition-Coursework45–53 quarter credits (coursework credits will vary based on incoming practicum hours)$905 per quarter hour for coursework credits$40,725–$47,965^
Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project 0–78 quarter credits$905 per quarter hour for doctoral study/project creditsUp to $70,590
Program Fee $175 per quarter$1,050–$5,600*
Estimated Range:  1.5-Year Minimum8-Year Maximum
:  $41,775$124,155+

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

Based on a 1.5 -year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-768-0109.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.



Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

Program Outcomes

Influence Change in Healthcare Delivery

In our DNP executive leadership specialization, you’ll gain a top-down clinical perspective of healthcare as well as the skills to serve as a high-impact nursing leader. Learn how to analyze and evaluate data from evidence-based research to create opportunities to improve patient outcomes. Prepare to guide strategic initiatives within your healthcare system and play a bigger role in transforming patient care.

Career Outlook

Today’s healthcare climate requires adaptable, committed leaders—and you’re ready to rise to the occasion. An online DNP Executive Leadership specialization can academically prepare you to meet new and emerging healthcare demands as a nurse executive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32% through 2030.2 Reach your leadership potential and make a positive, lasting impact for both nurses and patients.

A DNP – Executive Leadership degree can academically prepare you for roles such as:

  • Chief nursing officer3
  • Clinical director4
  • Nursing manager4
  • Nursing director4

A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree can academically prepare you for career opportunities in settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Offices of physicians
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Government agencies
  • Outpatient care centers

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.


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1Additional requirements for Walden's Practicum Pledge™

2Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, SOC Code 11-9111. Retrieved September 2021. National long-term job growth projection may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee hob growth, and are subject to change.

3Source: O*Net Online. Summary Report for SOC Code 11-1011 Chief Executives. Sample of reported job titles include Chief Nursing Officer. Retrieved February 2021.

4Source: O*Net Online. Summary Report for SOC Code 11-9111 Medical and Health Services Managers. Sample of reported job titles include Clinical Director, Nursing Manager, Nursing Director. Retrieved February 2021.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), post-graduate APRN certificate program, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Note on licensure
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program and DNP Executive Leadership specialization program are not licensure programs and will not prepare students for practice as licensed nurse practitioners.

Enrollment Restrictions by State
Walden currently cannot enroll residents of the following states/districts into any DNP Nurse Practitioner specializations: Arizona, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island.

*Additional requirements for Walden's Practicum Pledge™