D.N.P. Careers

Change is coming. Be the one to lead it.

Quality patient care is your passion — it’s the reason you got into health care in the first place. That’s why for the past few years, you’ve worked directly with patients to understand their conditions and collaborate about solutions. Now you’re ready to take your treatment methods one step further to influence patient outcomes on a larger scale.

It’s time to earn your Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice degree online from UND and extend your reach to facilitate change in the highest level of your health care organization.

Our online D.N.P. program offers two tracks to help you develop the skills needed to provide education and lead the transformation of health care organization practices, system-wide improvements and health care policy at the local, state and national levels. Choose from:

  • Leadership
  • Advanced Practice Nursing


D.N.P. Career Opportunities

Director of Nursing

Average salary: $90,671*

In-demand skills:

  • Leadership
  • Intuition
  • Empathy
  • Solution-oriented
  • Conflict-resolution

Although directors of nursing are more focused on managerial and administrative functions, they’re still very much involved with the overall patient experience, regularly interacting with their staff and the public to ensure that patients receive the best care possible.

Since nursing directors typically have several years of experience as a nurse prior to taking on this higher-level role, they’re able to offer valuable insights when contributing to patient-centered policy decisions.

As a director of nursing, you can apply your expertise to a variety of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Other health care facilities

Hospital Chief Executive Officer

Average salary: $153,479*

In-demand skills:

  • Articulation
  • Relationship-oriented
  • Confident
  • Adaptable
  • Innovative

Planning. Direction. Coordination. These are three defining characteristics that represent a hospital CEO’s primary responsibilities. And since working in the highest level of management is no small task, you may be supported by a team of assistant executives and staff managers.

In this role, you would focus on all aspects of how your organization is performing, which means it will be important to find a balance between managing day-to-day operations and leading strategic initiatives that promote long-term success. Here are just a few duties you can expect to perform as a hospital CEO:

  • Deliver the best quality of patient care
  • Create a positive and productive culture
  • Set and follow standards for operational excellence
  • Hire and retain qualified staff
  • Implement clinical procedure and policy
  • Safeguard required compliance with state, federal and hospital policies
  • Develop a relationship with outside organizations, including the medical community, referring physicians and the media
  • Deliver strong financial performance

Chief Nursing Officer

Average salary: $131,526*

In-demand skills:

  • Interpersonal
  • Technical
  • Strategic
  • Problem-solving
  • Detail-oriented

Nurses manage patient care, but who manages nurses? The answer: chief nursing officers. As the primary spokesperson for a facility’s nursing staff, they take the lead on coordinating the daily nursing operations — from advising senior management and creating retention programs to managing nursing budgets and planning new patient services. Because of this, some CNOs tend to work more than 40 hours per week, dispersed across nights and weekends.

You would also spearhead all personnel-related tasks, like hiring, compensation and performance assessments. As a CNO, you would use your leadership expertise to help one of the following settings run smoothly:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Clinics
  • Group physician practices
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Other health systems