Leadership is important at nearly every level of nursing. This is even truer the higher a nurse climbs professionally. Leadership skills are regularly put to use in a management or executive job, and are a key measure for any health care provider when hiring.
To improve their leadership skills, more and more nurses are pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). The terminal degree in clinical nursing, a DNP can help students learn more about cultivating leadership in themselves, as well as applying it when it matters most to patient care and safety.
Understanding the importance of leadership to modern health care, Bradley University offers an online DNP program with a specialized leadership track. Students — who enter already having completed their master’s — can use the program to gain new skills, knowledge and insight into how leadership affects nursing.
The curriculum of Bradley University’s online DNP program is structured to give students a holistic understanding of leadership in health care, as well as the tools to deploy their skills in the workplace. Here are some of the classes students can expect to encounter in their studies:
NUR 640 – Healthcare Policy
Health care policy in the United States is central to how nurses do their daily jobs. Yet for those on the ground level, policymaking can seem complex. In this class, students will gain transparency into the development and implementation of health care policy that promotes wellness of local, national and global populations. Students focus primarily on how policy impacts regulations, delivery and finance — and vice versa. Beyond that, nurses are taught to consider how providers play a role in policy. These employees are on the front lines of making positive change in care delivery and patient safety.
As the American health care system continues to face new realities of technological disruption and reform uncertainty, it’s crucial that nurses have the tools and know-how to address policy at the highest levels. Part and parcel to that preparation is enhancing leadership skills so nurses can be confident, inclusive and decisive when crafting policy.
ML 630 – Management in Health Care Organizations
Nurses in leadership positions have a clear need for management skills, and students can gain that expertise by completing this course. Beyond preparing nurses for the basic realities of managing employees or whole departments, ML 630 goes further in helping shape students to become effective leaders.
This course prepares nurses to deal with the behavioral side of management by providing an interdisciplinary approach to management in health care organizations (whether hospitals, regional systems or rural centers). Communication, motivation, group dynamics, conflict resolution, change management, and organizational and personal development are all topics that are closely covered so nurses come away with not just leadership skills, but an appreciation for diversity, social responsibility and ethics.
NUR 730 – Ethics in Advanced Practice Nursing
A thorough understanding of ethics is important to the nurse leader. When in the clinic — or the boardroom, research lab or administrative meeting — nurses may be looked to as ethical guiding lights, or otherwise be asked to apply those ethics to real-world problems. This course helps students to think critically and analyze issues to ensure they are as knowledgeable as possible.
Ethics and values go hand in hand, and instructing students on the intersection of those two concepts is central to preparing them for the ethical demands and difficulties they may face professionally. By participating in discussions on obligations, ethical literature and theory, students can explore ethics and form their own codes.
CIS 576 – Data Management
Today’s nursing leader is proficient in technology. New digital advances have impacted health care in a number of ways, from electronic health care records and telehealth to biologic drugs and Internet of Things-connected bodily implants. Understanding how technological progress affects health care is central to leadership in the modern world.
To help students gain such aptitude, the Bradley online DNP program includes this data management course. Data plays a role in a host of clinical and administrative duties, and nursing leaders must be able to gather, organize, validate, analyze, store and protect data. This course helps bring students up to speed on data governance, standards, security and privacy.
NUR 603 – Health Promotion in Populations
Another modern trend nurses need to be knowledgeable on is population health. By addressing the health and outcomes of larger patient populations, nurses can more effectively treat patients, manage costs, create policy, and implement care and safety improvements. This course has a twofold objective to:
- Give nursing students a basic grasp of population health principles and determinants through an epidemiological lens.
- Build in students a comprehensive understanding of the steps needed to develop, implement and evaluate population-based health promotion and illness prevention programs.
Because population health is at the forefront of health care thinking and policy, nurse leaders need to be fluent in its core concepts — an advantage they can gain in this course.
Talk to Bradley University for more information
These courses are just a sampling of the wide variety and high quality found in the Bradley University online DNP curriculum. Leaders need to have wide expertise, and students who enroll in the Bradley online DNP program can take advantage of knowledge-building opportunities that help them further sharpen and refine their leadership acumen.
Leadership is essential to nursing, and is reflected throughout the courses that make up this leadership-focused track. To learn more about other courses included in the curriculum, as well as general information about the Bradley University online DNP program, contact an enrollment advisor today for specifics about admissions, outcomes and other key details.