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Through the lens of the Jesuit tradition, the student builds on a previously earned master’s degree to achieve the highest level of academic preparation that incorporates scientific, philosophical, ethical, and historical perspectives of nursing practice along with a perspective of the complexities of present and future global and holistic health care. Additionally, organizational and systems leadership, population focused healthcare, health policy that includes advocacy in health care, and interprofessional collaboration to address health care outcomes will be considered. The design, implementation, and evaluation of delivery methods that address outcomes to improve the health of the nation will be the focus of the final DNP scholarly project. Xavier DNP graduates will be well positioned for translating the science of population health nursing as nurse leaders in an ever-changing global health care environment.
Intense immersion experiences in a variety of environments occur throughout the curriculum and focus on integration and application of credible research findings within the evidence base. Innovation and involvement in macrosystems that will ultimately allow students to influence health care outcomes for individuals and populations is also part of the immersion experience. Using conceptual and analytical skills, students will provide leadership in clinical scholarship and synthesize relationships among practice, organizations, diverse populations, fiscal resources and policy concerns to advance the delivery of quality, safe, efficient and effective health care for diverse populations.
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Xavier’s 40 credit-hour DNP program is fully online, with students moving through the 8-semester program (approximately 32 months) taking 3 to 7 credits per semester for our full-time track. We also offer a part-time option for students who are seeking a slower pace.
A total of 1000 clinical immersion hours are required as students progress through the program. Up to 500 hours of clinical immersion from a master’s program and/or advanced certification may be accepted toward the 1,000 immersion hours.
Fall and spring semester courses are offered over 16 weeks. Summer courses are shorter and offered in variable lengths depending upon the specific course.
Part time and transfer opportunitites also exist. For more information contact Dr. Miranda Knapp.
This course provides an opportunity for students to apply population health leadership skills in a practice setting by planning the implementation and evaluation of a scholarly DNP project. Students develop a project proposal in collaboration with organizational stakeholders and a faculty mentor. The practice based project proposal builds upon foundations in evidence translation and implementation science acquired from previous coursework.
Doctoral candidates for the DNP in population health leadership degree implement an approved project plan in a clinical immersion setting in this second of three scholarly project courses. This course focuses on ethical principles in data collection, data security, and privacy. Continued collaboration with organizational stakeholders provides an opportunity for leadership of clinical scholarship initiatives. The scholarly project plan is implemented after completion of the institutional review board process. Students begin the collection and analysis of data for evaluation of the project plan in this course.
Implementation and evaluation of an approved project plan is completed in the third of three scholarly project courses. Candidates for the DNP in population health leadership degree continue immersion in a clinical practice setting to complete the collection and analysis of data and to report results to organizational stakeholders. Reporting and dissemination of clinical scholarship is the focus of this course.
This course is designed to enhance leadership skills to strengthen practice and health care delivery to individuals and populations. Care delivery models in complex healthcare systems are explored from a framework of contemporary nursing science that is consistent with ethical, holistic nursing and healthcare goals to eliminate health disparities and lead changes that promote safety and quality outcomes. The course encompasses in-depth analysis of select concepts or topics using an analytic framework, including advanced communication and collaboration skills, innovation and quality.
This course builds upon knowledge of healthcare technologies and the management of individual and aggregate level data. Leadership, knowledge and technical skills are applied within the interprofessional healthcare environment to select, use and evaluate population-based healthcare information systems. Programs that evaluate and monitor outcomes of care, quality improvement, consumer use of healthcare information systems, and patient care technology are analyzed. Legal, ethical, global, holistic and interprofessional considerations are emphasized.
This course is designed to provide a framework with which to examine health policy issues and better comprehend the policy-making process at all levels, including institutional, local, state, regional, federal and international levels. Health policy issues related to ethics, social determinants as well as healthcare delivery regulation and financing are addressed. The leadership role as an advocate influencing health policy formation is explored. Emphasized are skills for analyzing policy processes and engaging in politically competent actions for the transformation of a holistic and ethical healthcare system which meets the needs of the public and the nursing profession.
Candidates must have:
Applicants interested in applying to Xavier University’s online DNP program should submit the following:
Requirements for Admission:
Requirements for Admission:
Applicants outside of the State of Ohio: State authorization of distance education is complex and dynamic. Applicants should review the link below regarding regulations for the delivery of distance education.
View the complete list of approved states on the State Authorization page.
Miranda Knapp, PhD, DNP, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CNE, EBP-C earned her DNP from the University of Alabama and her second doctoral degree, her PhD in Nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Dr. Knapp earned a MS from Mount Carmel College of Nursing, a BS in Health Care Administration and a BSN from the University of Toledo, and an AS from Sinclair Community College. Dr. Knapp is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and APRN, a Certified Nurse Educator, and earned her certificate in EBP. These educational achievements have aided Dr. Knapp in successful involvement in DNP programs and a culmination as the DNP Program Director at Xavier University.
Dr. Knapp participates in professional organizations such as the National League for Nursing (NLN) and Sigma Theta Tau. Most recently, Dr. Knapp was awarded the Rachael Zook, RN, Memorial Faculty Innovation Scholarship and applied to a scholarship through the Rho Omicron chapter of Sigma Theta Tau to continue my research focused on nursing students’ anxieties. Dr. Knapp also received funding for projects through the Mount Carmel Foundation.
Dr. Knapp has a passion and experience with QI, EBP, and research. Dr. Knapp’s area of interests include students’ and nurses’ wellbeing including anxiety, depression, and wellness. Additional areas of interest include simulation, incivility, orthopedics, surgery, pain management, hospice, and geriatrics.
Terri Enslein EdD, MSN, RNC-OB, CNE is a Certified Nurse Educator who earned her doctoral degree from Northern Kentucky University, a MSN from Ball State University, a BSN at Wright State University, and an ADN at Miami University. Her research areas of interest are methods of promoting nursing students’ clinical judgment/reasoning, nursing informatics, infant mortality and public health nursing, and the lived experience of prelicensure nursing students. She has many years of experience as a registered nurse in the clinical setting in labor and delivery and the NICU in both Ohio and Texas. She has been in the nursing faculty role since 2012. She received the Case Competition award at the 2017 International Leadership Association annual conference in Brussels for her work in Infant Mortality. She is a member of the Beta Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Sandra Harris DNP, MSN, RN earned her doctoral degree from Ursuline College, a MSN from Case Western Reserve University, a BSN from Case Western Reserve University, and a Diploma in Nursing from Saint Alexis School of Nursing. She received the Teaching Excellence Award from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014 and the Doctoral Student Scholarship Award from the National League of Nursing in 2014. She has more than 40 years of experience in critical care nursing, medical-surgical nursing, nursing administration and nursing education. She also has experience as a research nurse at the Cleveland Clinic in the Department of Vascular Surgery for both NIH funded and sponsored research studies. During this time, she co-authored three research papers with the vascular surgery research team. Dr. Harris’s DNP project was the “Development & Implementation of a Pilot Evidence-Based Practice Program on a medical surgical unit in a Community Hospital”. Research and evidence-based practice interest are in the following areas: interprofessional education, nutrition & wellness, dissemination of evidence-based practice literature to nurses and allied healthcare partners, development of wellness assessment programs, and development of patient & family education programs. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and the Midwest Nursing Research Society.
Deborah Knapp, DNP, RN, C-eFM earned her doctoral degree, MSN and BSN from University of Mount St. Joseph and a AND from Raymond Walters (a branch of the University of Cincinnati). She is certified in fetal monitoring. Her background included Obstetrics and Women’s Health, Surgical Services and Medical Surgical Nursing. Her research areas of interest are methods of promoting nursing students’ clinical judgment/reasoning, maternal health, infant mortality, surgery and areas focusing on improving mental health in students and faculty. She has won the Daisy Award and the Ohio Teaching Excellence Award. She has been in the nursing faculty role since 2018. She is a member of AWHONN, Kappa Gamma Pi and Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society. She believes that the Xavier Mission speaks to the nursing profession and works to incorporate the mission into her teaching philosophy. She is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Angela R. Liggett, DHA, MSN, RN is currently the Coordinator and an Associate Professor in the graduate forensic tracks at Xavier University College of Nursing. She is a life-long resident of the Cincinnati area and graduated from Bethesda Hospital School of Nursing in 1985. Dr. Liggett graduated from the College of Mt. St. Joseph with her BSN in 2006. She was awarded her MSN in 2010 from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and received a certificate in Forensic Nursing from the Cyril Wecht Law School. Dr. Liggett received her Doctorate in Health Administration with a focus on Health Policy and Advocacy from Capella University in 2017.
Dr. Liggett’s capstone project at Duquesne was a training program, “Forensic Nursing in Trauma,” for ER staff. Her dissertation was titled, “Prevalence of Substance Abuse Screening in Adolescents by Pediatricians.” The methodology for this study was a qualitative survey, utilizing a modified Determinants of Implementation Behavior Questionnaire (DIBQ) survey tool and was based on the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF).
With over 36 years of nursing experience, Dr. Liggett has worked in many clinical settings, both in rural and urban hospitals, mainly in the surgical and emergency room arenas. Her roles have included Med/Surg charge nurse, Director of Surgical Services, Perioperative Care Manager, Materials/Inventory Systems Manager, and Project Coordinator for corporate nursing. She was employed by the state, surveying health care facilities and investigating complaints and claims of harm. She was the Compliance Officer focusing on Title IX and other regulatory issues at a local college of nursing.
Dr. Liggett was a member of her previous county’s first rape/violence task force. She was also a member of the Cincinnati City Council Task Force for the Prevention of Campus Gender-Based Violence. She was a member and a previous chairperson for her community’s Board of Mental Health and Recovery and also that board’s Finance Advisory Committee. She has volunteered with a battered woman’s program and is a volunteer in her community’s Smallpox Response program and with a Disaster Medical Assistance Team.
Her journey in forensic nursing started prior to any formalized specialty. Dr. Liggett trained nurses regarding domestic violence (DV) in the late 1980’s. The physicians where she worked would call on her to consult with patients who were victims of DV, now known as interpersonal violence (IPV). While working in the ER, she became certified in trauma nursing and as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).
Betsy List, Ph.D., M.P.H earned her PhD in public health with a specialization in epidemiology from Walden University and Master of Public Health degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has more than 25 years of experience in health care delivery, including maternal-newborn nursing, newborn intensive care, and evidence-based practice. She also has experience as a research nurse for NIH-funded epidemiologic research on human milk and lactation. Her most recent role supported the use of evidence-based decision making by interdisciplinary quality improvement teams working to improve health outcomes for children living with chronic disease.
Dr. List has served as a leader, mentor, and educator for clinical and professional staff, as well as, students in the medical and nursing sciences. She has co-authored several evidence-based practice reviews and served as an expert reviewer of numerous pediatric evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. She teaches primarily in the online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program at Xavier University.
Heather Moore DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, CNL is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Xavier University. Prior to arriving at Xavier University, she was an Assistant Professor at Mercy College of Ohio and Hondros College of Nursing. Preceding her full-time focus in academia, Dr. Moore began her nursing career completing a nurse residency program at Toledo Hospital, followed by many years working on the general pediatric unit, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Toledo Children’s Hospital. She also spent time as a clinical team leader at a Retina Ophthalmology practice covering the northern Ohio area. While completing her Master’s of Science in nursing and Doctor of Science in Nursing degrees, she worked as adjunct clinical faculty at various institutions such as: Lourdes University, University of Toledo, Professional Skills Institute, and Ohio Northern University.
Dr. Moore’s areas of specialty include: pediatric and family care nursing, leadership and management, and community health. As an active member of Kappa Gamma Pi and Sigma Theta Tau International Honors society, she works to improve the nursing profession in both the clinical and academic realms.
Debbie (Debra) VanKuiken, PhD, RN, AHN-BC has been at Xavier’s College of Nursing since 2010. She has taught a variety of courses at all levels including: Pathophysiology and Adv. Pathophysiology, Community Nursing, Healthcare policy, Nursing Research and has mentored DNP projects. Dr. VanKuiken has served in several leadership roles within the College and the University. Before coming to Xavier Dr. VanKuiken practiced nursing in critical care, hospice, and school nursing. She is certified in advanced holistic nursing and twice led the application for renewal of the holistic nurse endorsement for the College of Nursing. She also served as Executive Director of a shelter for families who were homeless in the 1990s and continues to be involved in community and diversity initiatives. Dr. VanKuiken’s publications include articles on guided imagery, nurse work environment, quality of life, and research methodology. Her areas of interest are in presence, self-compassion, and Holistic approaches to pain assessment and management. She is currently a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the American Holistic Nurses Association.
Xavier University is well known not only in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, but we are growing with students across the United States enrolled in our DNP program. We are currently accepting students from most states. Therefore, we are committed to growing our existing partnerships and adding additional partners. We are currently partnered with organizations in various states including California, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio including TriHealth and the VA among many others. Sarah McGrath (email@example.com) executes our partnership agreements and is happy to help establish a clinical agreement with your clinical site if we do not have an established agreement.
Candidates for the population health doctorate degree must have obtained:
No. The program is entirely online. However, if you are local to the Cincinnati area or are in town visiting, the faculty would enjoy meeting in person.
The tuition rate for the DNP degree program is $748 per credit hour. The total cost of the degree program will vary, depending upon transfer credits awarded, additional fees, and the cost of textbooks/materials.
See the Tuition page for more information about the program’s cost.
Xavier University does not have specific scholarships for incoming DNP degree program students. Any information about available Xavier scholarships will be sent to incoming students Xavier.edu email addresses as they become available. There are however scholarships and financial aid sources provided by independent organizations that are listed below:
Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP)
The Xavier College of Nursing has been a participant in the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) grant since 2017.This NFLP loan repayment program is an exciting opportunity through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Program created to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty in the U.S. NFLP DNP student participants are awarded funding to help cover the costs of tuition. Recipients may be eligible for up to 85% loan forgiveness. For additional information about this program please contact Lisa Niehaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing:
Doctors of Nursing Practice, Inc.:
Interact for Change – Deaconess Associations Advance Practice Nursing Scholarships (note: deadline is usually January 31st of each year):
Applicants will be reviewed and notified of their status as applications are submitted for the fall semester each year. Students will be notified if they are accepted into the program within 2 to 3 weeks of filing their completed application including all required material.
Students are encouraged to enroll at least 1 week before the class start date. Admission is available for the fall semester of each academic year.
Students must register one week before classes start unless given special approval by the program director. This is only after the student has completed an application and has been officially admitted into the program.
Students may be able to transfer up to 6 credit hours upon approval by the program director, department chair, and university. Students desiring to transfer credit for advanced standing must meet with the program director prior to the start of their first course to review the request.
Most students complete the program on a full-time basis. However, we do provide opportunities for a part-time track. Cohorts are formed for both durations starting each Fall to support students on their journey at their pace.
Participation expectations vary by professor. Students are not required to log in at specific times during most courses- this means the courses are ‘asynchronous’. Students’ progress through the courses together according to the scheduled course content and activities.
The courses include components such as readings, activities, video lectures, discussion boards and other peer interaction, tests, quizzes, and group projects. Most courses do not include mandatory login times (asynchronous); however, they are synchronously paced – students’ progress through the course together according to the scheduled course content and activities.
Students must have their own PC or Mac computer with a webcam, the full Microsoft Office Suite, and high-speed internet connection. A Google Chromebook or Tablet is not sufficient. Some courses may require additional software that, similar to textbooks, students must purchase for personal use and use on their computer. Generally, these software packages have academic pricing that is comparable to a textbook price.
Xavier University uses CANVAS.
Approximately 3 hours of course work for every hour of class time each week or 9 hours a week for a 3-credit hour course should be expected. Students should expect to dedicate at least 10-12 hours per class per week on average. Please note that some weeks may require more hours and others may require fewer.
Our graduates have reported a variety of outcomes upon completion of their DNP at Xavier University. Of note, job satisfaction, personal achievement, career advancement and increased wages/salary have been achieved. Although there is no way to guarantee outcomes for each student, the possibilities are endless and we want to partner with you for your succsess.