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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Systems Leadership

Are you ready to take your career to a nursing leadership level? Pursue your Doctor of Nursing Practice online at Indiana Wesleyan University. Featuring a nursing specialty in systems leadership, our online DNP program explores what it takes to transform and improve healthcare through system-wide changes. These are the insights, skills, and credentials you need to pursue active leadership roles in hospitals, non-profits, and a wide range of healthcare organizations.

Why Pursue My DNP Degree Online at IWU?

From evidence-based practice curriculum to offering DNP degrees online, the IWU School of Nursing has been at the forefront of healthcare education for more than 40 years. Today, we are proud to offer a faculty of industry experts, a faith perspective for hope and healing, and the support you need to pursue better outcomes for your career and your patients. Our Christian faculty teach from the same biblical worldview valued on our campus, so that students can implement these principles in a fulfilling career. Additionally, we’ll lock in your tuition rates at the start so you can accurately forecast the cost of your program.

What Will I Learn in a Systems Leadership DNP Program?

Our online DNP program offers a seamless blend of theoretical knowledge and clinical application. It is designed to help you take a scholarly approach to nursing practice issues, promote better health through a broad system perspective, continuously evaluate healthcare outcomes, and transform leading research into practical career skills. You will also cover how to coach and educate others in the art and science of nursing, manage care for different people groups, and implement effective health policies throughout your organization.

What Makes IWU Different?

Education Pioneer

IWU has provided on-campus education for more than 100 years.

Rooted in Christ

Faith-integrated curriculum and a commitment to changing the world.

Superior Support

Center for Student Success for counseling, tutoring, and more!

Tuition & Aid

31 Credit Hours


$1010/ Credit Hour

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, veterans’ benefits, and employer reimbursement.

Financial AidTuition Info

Applicable fees for resources and services will be assessed throughout the program. Tuition and fees for prerequisites and required elective courses are in addition to the charges shown on the program cost sheet. Your tuition rate will remain the same as long as you remain continuously enrolled in the same program. Cost sheets may be requested from an enrollment counselor by calling 866.498.4968 or emailing
What You Will Study in This Nursing Specialty Program

Coursework for your advanced nursing program covers how to:

  • Employ organizational leadership for evidence-based quality improvement and systems thinking
  • Influence healthcare practices at local, state, and/or federal levels
  • Advance your character, scholarship, and leadership qualities and skills
  • Apply principles of cultural competence to advanced global nursing leadership

After Graduation
Potential Careers

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Healthcare leader in public health, non-profits, and hospitals and clinics

Work in Various Industries

  • Industry

Alumni Profile

Dan Lozier

Class of 2018

<p>"Enrolling in the DNP program at IWU has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have been a nurse for 33 years and a nurse educator for 17 of those years. The DNP program has given me a renewed passion for nursing and has opened my eyes to the global health care issues facing our world today &amp;#8230;"</p>

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Program Requirements
  • Submission of transcript for a completed master’s degree in nursing from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and national nursing programmatic accreditation (CCNE, ACEN, CNEA).
  • Earned graduate GPA of 3.25 based on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent.
  • GPA for conditional admission:
    • Applicants who do not meet the GPA listed in the criteria for regular admission and have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA if applying to the bachelor to DNP or graduate GPA if applying to the DNP may be conditionally admitted and allowed to take 9- credit hours of doctoral nursing courses to establish a graduate GPA.
    • Students who have earned a 3.0 GPA by the completion of 9-credit hours in doctoral nursing courses, will meet the criteria for regular admission.
    • An unsatisfactory grade (B- or lower in any DNP course) while conditionally admitted will result in administrative withdrawal from the program and denial of regular admission. 
    • Students who do not earn a 3.0 GPA by the completion of 9-credit hours in doctoral nursing courses will be denied regular admission.


  • Submit the Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) Division of Doctoral Nursing application for the DNP program.
  • $100 application fee. (Applicants will not be charged the application fee if they have previously paid the fee for enrollment at IWU.)
  • Criminal background check.
  • International/Non-English Speaking Students - Students who do not speak English as their first and primary language must submit satisfactory scores from one of the following prior to admission to the university:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For graduate students, a score of at least 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (Internet-based) is required for regular academic admission.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS). For graduate students a score of at least 6.5 is required for regular academic admission.


Professional Requirements:
  • Submit proof of a current unencumbered RN license.
  • Submit proof of a current unencumbered APRN license (if applicable).
  • Submit resume/curriculum vitae.
  • Submit a 2-3 page narrative describing practice experience and professional goals.
  • Submit a 1-2 page summary of a practice related issue that will serve as the focus of the DNP Scholarly Project; include the significance and impact of the project to nursing and health care.

The number of applicants admitted to the DNP program will be limited. Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not ensure that an applicant will be admitted to the program.

*Note: When deemed necessary by a IWU faculty or staff member, applicants may be asked to provide a letter(s) of professional reference. If requested by an IWU faculty or staff member, references should be from faculty members, professional colleagues, work supervisors, or a pastor.

  • All credits required in the program with a minimum GPA of 3.25.
  • All courses passed with a grade of “B”. B- is not a passing grade.
  • A minimum of 1000 practicum hours.
  • Successful completion, defense, and submission of the DNP Project.
  • All degree requirements within four years of matriculation.
  • All financial obligations must be settled in order to receive a diploma.


Attendance Policy:

The DNP is a blend of onsite residencies and interactive online workshops. Students are required to fully attend all onsite residencies and substantively engage in all interactive online discussions, tests, quizzes, and prescribed learning activities satisfactorily.



Onsite residencies are held on the Marion, Indiana campus three (3) separate times throughout the program. Full attendance for each residency is required. Residency dates are determined based on number of students enrolled. Residency dates are posted in advance and will not exceed four days. Transportation to and from campus, lodging and meals are at the student’s expense.


Excessive Absences:

Excessive absences will result in a failing grade.

Practicum Hours:

A minimum of 1000 graduate level practicum hours are required to be eligible for graduation. A maximum of 500 practicum hours may be transferred from a master's level clinical experience.

  • Students must maintain an active license in the state where practicum requirements are completed.
  • All RN licenses must remain unencumbered throughout the program.


Global Healthcare:
The DNP at IWU is designed with a focus on global healthcare. International travel will be required for all students. The primary cost for the travel experience has been included in the tuition to off-set the financial burden for students. The global experience will occur as part of the Global Health Care course toward the end of the program. Students will work with faculty to determine which location will be most appropriate to meet the goals. Students will travel to each location with faculty who are experienced in global travel. The expectations for travel will be addressed well in advance of the trip.
  • The cost for flights, accommodations, and meals have been incorporated into program tuition.
  • A current passport is required.
  • Some immunizations prior to the international trip may be required as mandated by the CDC.
  • Students will travel in groups with experienced faculty.


DNP Professional Project:

Students demonstrate the ability to evaluate and apply current practice approaches in a Professional Project that addresses quality improvement within nursing. In addition, the Professional Project must contribute to the science of nursing practice.

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Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC),, 312-263-0456. Other accreditations and associations of Indiana Wesleyan University are available at

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, ( IWU is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The School of Nursing is also a member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties,

Take the Next Step

Ready to jumpstart your career? Apply now! Or, if you have any questions about the program, contact us via the Request Info button.

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