Curriculum

Loyola’s MSN to DNP – Executive Leadership track consists of 39+ credit hours in core courses, as well as the option to take additional electives to strengthen your skills.

To view curriculum information for Loyola’s other DNP paths, visit the MSN to DNP – Nurse Practitioner or BSN to DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum pages.

Core Courses Executive Leader Track (39+ credit hours)

NURS 900: Philosophy of Science (3 crs.)

This course systematically analyzes epistemological and meta-theoretical perspectives in the philosophy of science and the implications for knowledge development in nursing science.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 800(PB)

NURS 905: Ethics and Social Justice (3 crs.)

This course examines the nature and practice of biomedical, administrative/organizational, and population ethics with an emphasis on the application of ethical and social justice frameworks for analysis and decision making by providers, patients, systems, and populations experiencing ethical conundrums. A conceptual analysis of social justice in healthcare allows the student to seek ethically-defensible solutions to healthcare dilemmas at these levels.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 800(PB), NURS 900(PM)

NURS 910: Epidemiology (3 crs.)

In this course the concepts, language, and principles of epidemiology will be explored. Emphasis is on description and interpretation of modes of transmission of diseases. Students will gain a critical understanding of the natural history of diseases, the evaluation of preventive interventions, and relevance of epidemiological methods in advanced nursing practice.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 800(PB)

NURS 915: Evidence-Based Practice, Research Translation & Implementation Science (3 crs.)

This course explores the science of research translation. Emphasis is on analysis, evaluation, and use of evidence-based practice models. Exploration will include examining the methods and to promoting the systematic uptake of science into routine practice to improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare by providers and organizations.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 805(PB), & NURS 835(PB)
Corequisite: NURS 920 Additionally, students must have completed at least two sets of the 800-level primary care courses (825/830, 840/845, 850/855) to enroll in this course.

NURS 920: Biostatistics (3 crs.)

This course provides the basics of statistical analysis, measurement theory, and data management. Focus includes the application of statistics to healthcare settings. Emphasis is placed on creation of data collection spreadsheets in Excel, selection of appropriate tests, data analysis using SPSS, and appropriate dissemination of results.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 835 (PB)

NURS 925: Program Planning, Evaluation, & Quality Management (3 crs.)

This course provides students with the tools to develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based clinical and administrative programs in nursing and healthcare delivery systems. Emphasis is on the synthesis of evidence for evaluating program planning frameworks, strategic implementation, and program evaluation to improve healthcare outcomes.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 915

NURS 930: DNP Advanced Practicum I (3 crs.)

This course integrates the use of evidence-based practice in the continuing development evaluation of the DNP Scholarly Project that includes evaluation of nursing phenomenon in an existing system. Students will complete 180 practicum hours. $500 practicum fee is required.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 915 & NURS 920
Corequisite: NURS 925

NURS 935: Leadership of Systems Change & Innovation (3 crs.)

This course analyzes theory and research on intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational leadership for application in leading change and innovation in a global healthcare market. Systems leadership and organizational behavior concepts are also reviewed as they relate to leadership. Implications for interprofessional team leadership, sustainability, legacy development, and renewal are emphasized.

NURS 940: Health Policy & Economics (3 crs.)

This course analyzes the economic and organizational foundations of health care. Social, economic, ethical, political, and global health factors affecting health policy will be analyzed, as well as the role of health practitioners to influence policy relative to health institutions, governmental agencies, and patients.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 800(PB)

NURS 945: DNP Advanced Practicum II (3 crs.)

In this course, the student fully implements the DNP Scholarly Project that was developed in prior DNP courses. The student will complete 180 practicum hours. $500 practicum fee is required.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 930

NURS 954: Organizational Behavior (3 crs.)

This course is designed for the investigation and analysis of theories related to healthy, efficient, and productive organizational behavior in the healthcare setting; and to evaluate and integrate evidence-based practice to effect improvements in the dynamics of the work environment to improve the delivery of healthcare. Emphasis is placed on using research to analyze the environment and to improve systems at the micro, meso, and macro systems levels. There is a 60-hour practicum associated with this course. $500 practicum fee is required.

NURS 955: Informatics & Finance (3 crs.)

This course examines the essential knowledge needed to understand information systems and technologies that are transforming healthcare. The student gains the ability to improve information literacy acquisition skills, critique informatics program proposals, understand the role of the informatics specialist in managing healthcare information for decision-making and program planning, and analyze the utility and functionality of technology. Students will explore financial and business principles as sources of information which are used to make healthcare decisions.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 800(PB)

NURS 960: DNP Scholarly Project (3 crs.)

In this course, students will complete the remaining evaluation and final work for the DNP Scholarly Project that was implemented in Advanced Practicum II. Completed synthesis of the project is required and assurance of the competencies required for the program will be accomplished. The student will complete 180 practice practicum hours. $500 practicum fee is required.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 945

NURS 965: Executive Leadership Practicum (3 crs.)

This course consists of 180 clock hours of practicum experience. Students engage in practicum activities pertinent to a nursing or healthcare management role. A preceptor-mentorship model is used in which managers in healthcare organizations play a substantial role in facilitating the practicum. This course is designed for Doctor of Nursing practice students in the Executive Leadership track to fulfill their practicum hour requirements.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 900

Note: Completion of the DNP requires completion of 1,000 hours of practicum. Every student is evaluated for up to a potential 500 contact hours in transfer, based on an assessment of practicum hours already completed and included in transcript (and sometimes syllabus request to student to enable accurate assignment of credit). For those students with a clinical master’s degree, it is likely that there are easily 500 hours to transfer. For those students with a non-clinical master’s, the number of practicum hours is generally less. This course is designed to add 180 contact hours and can be repeated as needed to meet the total number of practicum contact hours required.

NURS 967: Directed Leadership Practicum (1 crs.)

This course is a leadership-directed practicum and consists of 60 clock hours of practicum experience. Students develop a practicum plan and engage in practicum activities as approved by faculty. This course is designed for Doctor of Nursing Practice students in the Executive Leadership track to fulfill their practicum requirements.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 900

Note: Completion of the DNP requires completion of 1,000 hours of practicum. Every student is evaluated for up to a potential 500 contact hours in transfer, based reflection of practicum hours already completed and included in transcript (and sometimes syllabus request to student to enable accurate assignment of credit). For those students with a clinical master’s degree, it is likely that there are easily 500 hours to transfer. For those students with a non-clinical master’s, the number of practicum hours is generally less. This course is designed to add 60 contact hours and can be repeated as needed to meet the total number of practicum contact hours required.

 

Electives

Optional Electives to Assist in Program Coursework

A student’s success in the MSN to DNP – Executive Leader specialization is partially based upon solid skills in scientific writing as well as statistics and data management. The following electives are offered to strengthen this knowledge and skill set.


NURS 802: Advanced Statistics and Data Management (3 crs.)

This course includes an introduction to measurement concepts and theory, data management, and statistical analysis ranging from descriptive to inferential statistics. The emphasis is on practical application, thorough understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics, and data management overall. Commonly used data management and analytic software will be utilized.

Note: Students entering the MSN-DNP program are required to have successfully completed an academic-based graduate statistics course within 5 years of entering the program or prior to the start of the Fall semester of Year 1 if not completed before entering program. Many students will have completed a statistics course in their master’s program, but for those who have not, this course is will satisfy the requirement for a Prerequisite statistics course. This course is also available to all other students as an elective, with a recommendation to take prior to NURS 920 Biostatistics.

NURS 817: Scientific Writing (3 crs.)

This course includes an introduction to writing philosophy, review of basic and advanced grammar, development of rhythm, voice, and purpose in writing, and understanding of appropriate attribution and structure of referencing. Development and use of figures and tables will be included.

Note: This 3-credit writing course was developed for students with a range of writing capabilities. This course teaches scientific writing. It is available to all students as an elective and is offered in Summer Session.

 

Nurse Education Electives

Students in the MSN to DNP – Executive Leader Track track have the option to pursue their Certified Nurse Educator™ (CNE) credential by completing an additional 9 credit hours in nurse educator coursework, bringing their credit hour total to 48.


NURS 970: Philosophy, Theory, & Role (3 crs.)

This course is an introduction to the role of the nurse educator, educational philosophies and theories, teaching styles, and effectiveness in the context of nursing education.

NURS 975: Teaching Methods (3 crs.)

This course is an introduction to a variety of best-practice teaching methodologies.
Prerequisite(s): NURS 970

NURS 977: Assessment of Learning Outcomes (3 crs.)

The focus of this course is the presentation of the principles for developing a systematic evaluation plan.

NURS 979: Curriculum Design & Evaluation (3 crs.)

This course introduces students to information and content related to curriculum development, design, implementation, and evaluation in nursing education. Current trends in nursing, higher education policy, and accreditation are discussed. Best practices and guidelines for the integration of quality improvement and safety education are analyzed and applied to curriculum development.

 

Sample Course Progression

Course progression plans may vary depending on start date. Your academic advisor will discuss your specific course plan with you.

Each course is 3 credit hours. Each practicum credit hour is worth 60 hours of practice.

Fall 1 (6-10 credits)
  • N955: Informatics & Finance
  • 3 credits
  • N940: Health Policy & Economics
  • 3 credits
  • **N965: DNP Practicum
  • 3 credits
  • **N967: EL Practicum (1 credit)
  • 1 credits
Spring 1 (6 credits)
  • N935: Leadership of Systems Change & Innovation
  • 3 credits
  • N954: Organizational Behavior
  • 3 credits
Summer 1 (6-9 credits)
  • N900: Philosophy of Science
  • 3 credits
  • *N802: Advanced Statistics and Data Management (Elective)
  • 3 credits
  • N817: Scientific Writing (Elective)
  • 3 credits
Fall 2 (6-10 credits)
  • N915: Evidence-Based Practice & Research Translation
  • 3 credits
  • N920: Biostatistics
  • 3 credits
  • **N965: DNP Practicum
  • 3 credits
  • **N967: EL Practicum (1 credit)
  • 1 credits
Spring 2 (6 credits)
  • N925: Program Planning
  • 3 credits
  • N930: Advanced Practicum I
  • 3 credits
Summer 2 (6 credits)
  • N905: Ethics & Social Justice
  • 3 credits
  • N910: Epidemiology
  • 3 credits
Fall 3 (3-7 credits)
  • N945: Advanced Practicum II
  • 3 credits
  • **N965: DNP Practicum
  • 3 credits
  • **N967: EL Practicum (1 credit)
  • 1 credits
Spring 3 (3 credits)
  • N960: Scholarly Project Practicum
  • 3 credits

 

*Graduate-level statistics course is a prerequisite for N920 Biostatistics and must be taken if no other graduate-level statistics course
has been taken previously.
**Depending on transcript analysis, students may need to take N965 and/or N967 Directed Leadership Practicum to fulfill total
practicum hours.