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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 online courses, plus four culminating practicum project courses focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating a quality improvement project, practice innovation, or policy change. There is no on-site residency required for the program, but clinical practice hours are required.

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.

Program essentials

Course list
Admission requirements
Career Advancement
Learning Outcomes
Course Descriptions
Financial Aid
University Catalog

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). 

The purpose of the DNP Project is to develop and design an evidence-based project that focuses on improvement, enhancement, or advancement of practice management, organizational systems, or leadership through a quality improvement perspective. Each course in the curriculum provides the content to assist in the broader understanding of advanced nursing practice, as expressed as strategic organizational leadership.

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

  1. Application:
    • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Academic:
    • Meet with the Program Chair to ask any questions.
    • 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 the 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
  • 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
  • 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+


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 660.626.2019 or by email at

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.

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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.

Marisa Hastie, EdD, MS, ACSM-EP, PN-1, FACSM
Marisa Hastie, EdD, MS, ACSM-EP, PN-1, FACSM
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Marisa Hastie, EdD, MS, ACSM-EP, PN-1, FACSM LinkedIn

Marisa Hastie, EdD, MS, ACSM-EP, PN-1, FACSM is the Dean of the College of Graduate Health Studies at AT Still University. Dr. Hastie received her doctor of education from George Fox University (2013), her master of science in exercise and sport science with an emphasis in biomechanics from the University of Oregon (2003), and her bachelor of science in exercise science from Gonzaga University (2001). She is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is a certified Exercise Physiologist.

Prior to joining ATSU, she was a Professor of Exercise Science and Program Chair for the Exercise Science Program at Lasell University (Newton, MA). Dr. Hastie also served as the Faculty Fellow for the Fuss Center for Research on Intergenerational Education and Aging and received the deWitt Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from Lasell University. Dr. Hastie served as Faculty Chair of the University’s governance system.

Dr. Hastie has served in several leadership roles at the regional and national level of the ACSM, which include her current roles on the Professional Education Committee at the national level and as the President-Elect for the New England chapter. Her research interests have included exploring the connection between lifelong physical activity and long-term health outcomes, the relationship between exercise training and cognition, and the effects of discrimination experiences on health-related coping behaviors.

Dr. Hastie has extensive experience in online program development, teaching, and assessment. She developed an online Master of Science in Nutrition for Human Performance program and has 18 years of experience in both synchronous and asynchronous teaching formats. She became an educator because she strongly believes in the development of the whole student as a crucial responsibility of higher education institutions.

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

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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.


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For additional information contact an Enrollment Counselor:
877.626.5577 or

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