Nursing (BSN-DNP)

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Nursing (BSN-DNP) Overview

Chatham’s BSN to DNP Executive Track is designed for nurses holding a BSN who want to fast-track their career and lead clinical change at the executive level. This competitive program focuses on leadership excellence; advocacy and policy; health promotion; and global health.
Degrees Offered
Program School
Admission Deadlines

July 1

Deadline for applications is July 1 to start the program in the fall.

Credits Required


The BSN to DNP Executive Track allows the student to complete two graduate degrees in only 53 credits.

Cost Per Credit


Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.

Explore the BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree:

The MSN component prepares the student for nursing leadership roles and the DNP component has the student develop, complete and evaluate an executive level project to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of the terminal nursing degree. A total of 1,000 practice experience hours will be obtained.

  1. Completed free online application.
  2. Copy of official transcripts of all completed college level coursework from all schools attended with proof of completion of an BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  3. Proof of active, unencumbered RN license in your state
  4. Current résumé/curriculum vitae
  5. Admissions essay (to be mailed or emailed as a Word document):
    • Describe a potential clinical problem that you could impact as a nurse executive using evidence-based intervention(s). Include why you are interested in this problem, why it is relevant for the current society, and why it potentially warrants practice change. (500 word limit)
  6. Interviews may be requested (to be held in person, over the phone, or via Skype)
  7. Two professional letters of reference

Admissions materials may be submitted to:
Chatham University
Berry Hall/SCPS Admission
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Fax: 412-365-1609

NUR 650 Leadership & Healthcare Operations

This course provides an overview of three distinct and necessary areas of leadership knowledge with an emphasis on managerial decision-making: legal aspects of healthcare, human resource management, and health policy. Learning activities will focus on the identification of legal, ethical, and political issues related to nursing management roles within healthcare organizations and systems.

NUR703 Ethics and Public Policy in Healthcare Delivery

This course focuses on ethical issues and public policy in healthcare. Students develop strategies to manage ethical dilemmas and analyze health policy to educate, advocate and provide leadership in shaping healthcare policy.

NUR706 Communication and Collaboration for Healthcare Leadership

This course focuses on strategies to improve professional communication with peers, subordinates, and patients in the healthcare environment.

View Full Curriculum

The BSN to DNP Executive Track allows professional nurses embarking on a career in nursing administration to have a program specific to their educational needs and role development. This program allows them to fast-track their education while continuing to work on their career goals, and provides a strong complement to executive mentoring and on-the-job training.

— DIANE HUNKER, Ph.D., MBA, RN nursing programs director, professor

Our Faculty

Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.

Full Faculty
Diane Hunker
Program Director of Nursing, DNP Program Coordinator & Professor of Nursing
Emily Hopkins
Associate Professor of Nursing, MSN Program Coordinator, IRB Co-Chair
Julie Slade
Assistant Professor of Nursing, RN-BSN Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Pathways to Nursing Coordinator
Jennifer Wasco
Assistant Professor of Nursing, Practice Experience Coordinator

Two-day Residency

While the program is online, you’ll have the chance to come together with your cohort for an inspirational two-day residency at Chatham’s beautiful campus, where you’ll present scholarly posters on what your capstone evidence-based projects will be.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a DNP- and a Ph.D.-prepared nurse? What is Evidence-based Practice? I want to be a nursing faculty member; is this the right program for me? Read the answers to these and other FAQ.

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Funding Opportunities

Chatham offers a 20% tuition reduction through its partnership with selected employers, plus the AfterCollege/AACN Scholarship program supports students who are seeking a baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degree in nursing with eight $2,500 scholarships awarded throughout the year. A free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form must be completed and on file to be considered for the scholarship. 

SARA-Approved Participating Institution

Due to federal regulation, all universities offering distance education programs and practicum experiences in states other than their own must receive authorization or be a SARA-approved institution. Chatham University is a SARA-approved institution.

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In Touch Newsletters

Learn about DNP student and faculty accomplishments, alumni achievements, and various activities that occurred over the last academic year—in Pittsburgh, and all over the country.

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Nola the Nurse and Scharmaine Baker-Lawson, DNP '08

It’s a drizzly morning in Shreveport, LA, but big band jazz pours from the loudspeakers inside the Greenwood Acres Full Gospel Baptist Church, and look—a giant mascot dressed as a nurse in a white uniform with a huge afro and long felt lashes is dancing up the aisle.

Alumni Profile: Rita Armstrong, DNP '14

When Rita Armstrong started researching online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, she did not see herself in Sweden presenting work on diabetic education and self-management to a global audience. “Never in my years did I think I’d be doing that,” she laughs.

A Nursing Perspective on Climate Change

In honor of Nurses’ Week (May 6 – May 12), we asked Assistant Professor and Practice Experience Coordinator of nursing programs Jennifer Wasco, DNP, RN to discuss the impact climate change is having on healthcare and what nurses can do to help patients face a rapidly declining environment.