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Doctor of Nursing Practice – Professional Leadership Specialization

Enroll in a Flexible Online DNP Leadership Program​

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a Professional Leadership Specialization at Post University offers the insights and instruction you could use to make a positive impact on patient care and your leadership future. Your doctorate in nursing leadership specialization covers five key competencies—leadership, business intelligence, finance, health policy, and health services research—while providing the curriculum flexibility to customize your education to your leadership goals with multiple electives.  

As one of the few online DNPs to feature a specialization in professional leadership, this specialization is an investment in your future prospects as well as your organization’s long-term ability to provide quality patient care.  

Get Started on Your Degree!

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ACEN Programmatic Accreditation

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program with four specialization options is programmatically accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).

DNP Online Program At A Glance

Zero Residency Requirements

6 Start Dates Per Year

8-Week Courses

42 Credit Hours

Zero Residency Requirements

6 Start Dates Per Year

8-Week Courses

42 Credit Hours

* The DNP program can be completed in 28 months with no break, but the average completion time is 36 months.

Practice-Focused Curriculum for Real-World Skills 

Coursework for your online doctorate in nursing leadership specialization is designed to help you build the foundation of insights and practical skills necessary to: 

  • Appraise the needs of complex organizations as they go through strategic decision-making and change implementation 
  • Critique roles of leaders and collaborators in planning, providing, and evaluating healthcare 
  • Generate strategic plans for organizational change by utilizing theoretical knowledge, meaningful data, and evidence-based practice while being culturally and ethnically sensitive 
  • Utilize evidence-based data and analytic methods to develop, implement, and evaluate best practices to advance healthcare 
  • Engage in complex, evidence-based advanced nursing practice and evaluate innovative approaches to care delivery for individuals, communities, and populations 

Overall, coursework for this DNP nursing leadership specialization covers a wide range of issues that impact nursing, clinical settings, and effective professional nursing leadership.  

Curriculum, Course Descriptions, & Program Outcomes

Please see the University Catalog for the online DNP – Professional Leadership Specialization’s full curriculum chart with course descriptions and program outcomes.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Online Admissions Requirements

For your convenience, the DNP program offers six start dates per year. Prior to beginning your doctoral degree in nursing, you must have the following:

  • Current, active, unrestricted U.S. RN license
  • A master’s degree in nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • View the full list of the Nursing Admissions Requirements

Our online DNP admissions team is available to walk you through the application process and answer any questions on DNP program requirements. Contact us to learn more!

If you are interested in the DNP with the executive leadership or informatics leadership specializations, you are not required to have an MSN degree. However, you must hold a master’s in another discipline and complete a three-course bridge option and 400 practice hours. For more information about our bridge option please call our admissions team at 866.922.5690.

Tuition & Payment Options

View the Tuition and Fees section for information for the online DNP degree program costs.

We offer several funding options as you pursue your education. Please see the Scholarships and Other Ways to Save section to learn more about our:

  • External Scholarships
  • Nursing Tuition Reductions
  • Education Partnership Program Tuition Reduction
  • Post Eagle Program (Military)
  • Payment Plans
  • And more!


This program is not currently eligible for Title IV funding for new enrollments.

What Our Students Are Saying 

“The DNP Professional Leadership Track at Post University has exceeded all of my expectations. The program gives the student the autonomy to build their own program by selecting from a variety of DNP classes. This program is flexible, affordable, and is preparing me for the next step in my nursing career.”

Jamie Clemons MSN, RN, CEN

DNP Professional Leadership Student

Online DNP Program FAQs

Pursuing your doctorate degree in nursing online is a big step. You probably have some questions. We have answers.

What is professional leadership in nursing?

Professional leadership in nursing involves nurses taking on roles of influence and responsibility to guide, inspire, and advocate for improvements in patient care, nursing practice, and healthcare systems. These leaders leverage their clinical expertise, ethical decision-making, and communication skills to drive positive change. Professional nursing leaders can be found across various settings, including direct patient care, administration, education, and policy-making. They play a crucial role in advancing the nursing profession, promoting quality care, and fostering collaborative interdisciplinary relationships to enhance overall healthcare outcomes.

What is the difference between a DNP professional leadership and executive leadership specialization?

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a specialization in professional leadership typically focuses on preparing nurses for leadership roles within clinical and healthcare settings. This specialization emphasizes enhancing leadership skills for guiding patient care, interdisciplinary collaboration, and advocating for quality care standards. On the other hand, a DNP specialization in executive leadership is geared towards preparing nurses for high-level administrative and strategic positions within healthcare organizations. This specialization delves into advanced topics related to healthcare management, organizational leadership, and policy implementation, equipping nurses to lead and innovate at the executive level. While both specializations involve leadership, they differ in their scope and focus, with the professional leadership specialization emphasizing clinical leadership and the executive leadership specialization focusing on healthcare administration and strategic decision-making.

How long does it take to complete a DNP professional leadership specialization?

The duration to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a specialization in professional leadership can vary depending on factors such as program structure, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and any prior education or experience. Generally, DNP programs take around 2 to 4 years to complete. Post University’s DNP – Professional Leadership Specialization typically takes 28 months with no break, but the average completion time is 36 months. This includes core DNP coursework, specialized courses in professional leadership, and the completion of a DNP research project related to leadership within clinical settings. Our online DNP program have start dates every six months.

Can I get an online DNP Professional Leadership specialization?

Yes, you can pursue an online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a specialization in professional leadership. Many accredited universities offer online DNP programs that provide nursing professionals with the flexibility to enhance their leadership skills while accommodating their work and personal commitments. Post University’s online DNP – Professional Leadership Specialization offers a mix of virtual coursework, interactive discussions, and practice experiences (PE) to provide a comprehensive education in professional leadership. Our online DNP program could give students the tools to be nurses with the knowledge and competencies necessary to pursue opportunities in leadership roles within clinical and healthcare settings.

How do online DNP professional leadership programs work?

Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs with a specialization in professional leadership are designed to offer nursing professionals the opportunity to advance their leadership skills in clinical and healthcare settings through a flexible online learning format. Post University’s online DNP program includes asynchronous components, like pre-recorded lectures and discussion forums, with synchronous elements such as virtual meetings and live interactions with instructors and peers. Coursework focuses on leadership theories, communication strategies, ethical decision-making, and quality improvement within clinical practice. Students will also engage in a DNP research project related to leadership in healthcare settings. While most of the program can be completed online, some courses might require occasional practice experiences (PE) to apply leadership concepts in real-world scenarios. This combination of online learning, collaborative engagement, and practical experiences helps students build the skills to pursue leadership opportunities within clinical and healthcare environments.

Pursue Your Doctor of Nursing Practice Online at Post! 

At Post University, we are focused on your success, in and out of the classroom. A student success advisor will work with you one-on-one to answer your questions and help you address any challenges throughout the online DNP leadership program. We are here to help you achieve your Doctor of Nursing Practice – Professional Leadership Specialization career goals. 

Ready to make the healthcare industry a better, healthier place with an improved understanding of leadership that transcends health services departments? Contact us to learn more about our online Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specialization in professional leadership program. 

This program is not currently eligible for Title IV funding for new enrollments.

Note: This program is not designed to fulfill the educational requirements for any licensure or certification. Post University does not speak on behalf of any licensing board or body but does assist students in understanding licensure requirements.