Executive Nurse Administrator

Executive Nurse Administrators (ENA) serve as leaders who represent their profession and advocate for nursing and healthcare systems that provide excellence in care and improve health, patient safety and quality.

Program Information

The Executive Nurse Administration program doctorally prepares Registered Nurses at the highest level of leadership and scientific inquiry.  Graduates gain knowledge and skill to orchestrate and influence the work of others at various levels of the healthcare environment.  The program focuses on professionalism, leadership, communication, advocacy, quality enhancement, and patient safety. Classes are online. In the last year of the program, the student will partake in a practice immersion experience to build and assimilate knowledge of the nurse administrator role at a high level of complexity.

BSN to DNP students and MSN to DNP students adding a certification in the specialty area of Executive Nurse Administration must have a minimum of one year of nursing experience prior to starting the clinical portion of their program. Management experience is not a requirement.

Executive Nurse Administrators FAQ

Clinical Orientation

Students are not required to travel to campus for orientation; orientation to the program occurs through a web conference.

Clinical Affiliations

Specialty tracks within the College of Nursing’s graduate program require a practice component. Although faculty assists students in locating appropriate practice/clinical sites, it is the student’s responsibility to secure a site and preceptor if indicated. Students who are unsuccessful in being accepted by an agency in their home community may have to travel to another area to complete practice requirements. Please review the list of Clinical Affiliations on the College of Nursing Web Site. If there is not a clinical site listed near you or you are interested in a site not listed, negotiations should be initiated as soon as you begin the program through the Track Coordinator for your specialty.

DNP Residency

The program does not require a thesis or dissertation; however, students are required to complete an evidence-based scholarly project that results in a quality improvement change and has a substantial effect on health care and patient outcomes. Residency requirements for the scholarly project can be completed in the student’s home region with an approved mentor.


BSN-DNP students complete all MSN core, MSN specialty, DNP Core, DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency courses for a total of 61 credit hours.  Both MSN and DNP degrees must be completed within seven years. The MSN portion must be completed within the first five years of the program.

MSN-DNP students Adding a New Specialty must complete the Dual Role specialty courses to complete the Post Graduate Certificate.  The MSN Core, DNP core, and DNP Project Planning & Development, and Residency courses are required for completion of the DNP degree.  This program is a total of 61 credit hours. The Post-Graduate Certificate must be completed within two calendar years. The student has seven years to complete both the Post Graduate Certificate and DNP degree for this program.

MSN-DNP for Advanced Practice Roles must only complete the MSN core, DNP core, and DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency courses to complete the DNP degree. This is a total of 36 credit hours.  The student has a total of five years to complete the degree requirements.

MSN Core Courses

NU 607 - Scientific Underpinnings of Advanced Nursing Practice 3 credits

NU 608 - Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement in Health Care 3 credits

NU 610 - Healthcare Policy and Finance 3 credits

NU 613 - Organizational & Systems Leadership 3 credits

Executive Nursing Administration Specialty Courses

NU 539 - Introduction to Nursing Informatics 3 credits

HSC 571 - Managing Health Care Personnel 3 credits

NU 561 - Nursing Administration Concepts & Theory 3 credits

NU 562 - Administrative Concepts & Resource Management Field Study - 60 Field Study Hours 3 credits

NU 565 - Nursing Administration Finance 3 credits

NU 566 - Nursing Administration Field Study - 240 Clinical Hours 4 credits

NU 567 - Nursing Administration Internship - 180 Clinical Hours 3 credits

NU 568 - Nursing Administration Seminar 3 credits

DNP Core Courses

NU 611 - Translating Evidence Into Practice Systems 3 credits

NU 612 - Clinical Prevention and Population Health 3 credits

NU 615 - Quality Improvement and Outcomes Assessment 3 credits

NU 616 - Data Management & Decision Making in Complex Health Care Systems 3 credits

Executive Nursing Administration DNP Project Planning & Development and Residency

NU 600 - DNP Project Planning & Development 3 credits

NU 662 - Nursing Administration Residency I - 180 specialty clinical hours 3 credits

NU 663 - Nursing Administration Residency II - 180 specialty clinical hours 3 credits

NU 664 - Nursing Administration Residency III – 180 specialty clinical hours 3 credits


Please feel free to contact Dr. Wilma Stuart for more information about this specialty: wstuart@southalabama.edu.