DNP Executive Leadership Specialty & Certificate

Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership Specialty: Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders Today

Executives in conference room

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership Specialty (ELS) equips accomplished nurse leaders with the needed knowledge and skills to lead complex and ever-changing organizations and health care systems. This specialty is offered as a track within the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.

For those who have already received their DNP degree but would like to add to their expertise, we offer an Executive Leadership Specialty Certificate. This certificate program is comprised of three courses and can be completed in a year. Candidates must already have a DNP degree and be in a current leadership role in their health care organization.

The ideal candidate for the Executive Leadership Specialty and Certificate is a senior nurse leader who meets the requirements of our DNP applicant profile and:

  Five to ten years of progressive, professional leadership experience

  Fiscal management experience

  Completion of a graduate-level finance and advanced leadership course/training 

The curriculum of this specialty provides students the knowledge and skills to:

  • Lead complex organizations by understanding people, environments, strategic planning, and the advanced use of multiple sources of data to initiate change.

  • Forecast and monitor trends in patient care, health care legislation and more.

  • Develop skills in designing, implementing and evaluating care of populations to meet organizational goals.

  • Comfortably and authoritatively manage urgent care situations, such as illness outbreaks, organizational emergencies or workforce issues.

The courses in the Duke Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership Specialty include:

  • Advanced Decision-Making in Health Care explores financial management, and fosters understanding of the multiple sources of data used for executive decision-making in health care.

  • Planning and Evaluating Care for Populations focuses on the strategic use of population health data in planning systems of health care. Students develop advanced understanding of population health and learn to propose, plan, and evaluate models of care.

  • Advanced Topics in Health Care Leadership builds on foundational principals of leadership to prepare students for the complex issues faced by the corporate health care leaders of today.

The Duke DNP ELS Program and Certificate are designed to meet the needs of a working professional. Classes are distance-based with on-campus sessions each semester to deepen the understanding of the coursework and to create a collaborative network of nursing leaders.

Learn more about our curriculum and matriculation plan.

Embracing Diversity For An Engaged Community

Embracing diversity is a crucial component for engaging with students, faculty, and the world. We think of it as diversity with a global perspective. Creating a learning climate where creativity, robust yet respectful debate, and a genuine respect for others can flourish. Fostering international research collaborations, developing global health initiatives, and coordinating access to health care for under-served populations. Educating next-generation nurses for leadership and service in the global community.

Diversity with a global perspective assures a warm welcome—not mere tolerance—for differences in national origin, race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or veteran status.

We provide a safe haven where diversity can spawn intellectual engagement and collaborative partnerships.

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