U of A Offers Dual Degree for Nurses Prepping for Executive Leadership Roles

U of A Offers Dual Degree for Nurses Prepping for Executive Leadership Roles
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Nurses who want to prepare for executive leadership jobs in health care can apply until April 1 to a new, dual-degree program at the University of Arkansas that combines advanced nursing practice skills with executive leadership competencies. Courses will start in summer 2023. 

The College of Education and Health Professions and the Sam M. Walton College of Business are collaborating to launch a dual-degree program that allows nurses to earn two diplomas simultaneously: a Doctor of Nursing Practice and an Executive Master of Business Administration.

The primarily online program, also referred to as a DNP-EMBA dual-degree program, is designed for master’s prepared, licensed advanced practice nurses who want to take on executive leadership positions beyond the director level.

“We are excited about collaborating with the prestigious Sam M. Walton College of Business to offer this program that is in demand nationally,” said Jessie Casida, executive director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. “This dual degree program prepares nurses for the highest leadership positions, giving them the opportunity to set policies, identify and act on patient care and the health system’s needs, and impact organizational decisions that will improve outcomes at the patient, staff/unit, department, and health care system’s levels.”

Some of those positions include chief nursing officer, chief operational officer, chief executive officer, vice president or president, Casida said. The dual degree also will benefit those who run their own health care facilities.

The doctorate nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Sam M. Walton College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


The application deadline is April 1 for the 2023-2024 academic year, with classes starting in summer 2023. Applicants must have a master’s degree in nursing and be licensed advanced practice nurses in one of four areas: certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner.

Applicants must apply to both the U of A Graduate School for the nursing doctorate program and to the Walton College Graduate School of Business for the business master’s program. 

Details and links to online applications are on the program’s website page.


Students must complete 63 credit hours to earn both diplomas. The 11 nursing courses are 100% online, and students also must complete a minimum of 1,000 nursing practice hours in person at a health-care facility approved by the nursing school. 

The 11 business courses can be completed primarily online with on-campus interaction in Fayetteville, Arkansas, one Saturday each month. Walton College blends the flexibility of online coursework with the engagement of face-to-face learning for its EMBA program.

This dual-degree program allows students to use some courses in each program to meet requirements in the other program, allowing students to complete both degrees in less time than completing each degree separately. Most courses, but not all, are three credit hours.

More than 80 other online degree, certificate and licensure programs are showcased on the University of Arkansas ONLINE website. The Global Campus supports U of A colleges and schools in the development and delivery of online, distance and workforce education programs and courses.  It provides instructional design services, technology services and assistance with registration, marketing, recruiting and strategic academic development.

About the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing: The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing in the College of Education and Health Professions is at the forefront of academic nursing. The school's programs prepare tomorrow's nurse leaders. From pre-licensure degree options to graduate degrees, the school's accredited programs help prepare students for a wide range of career pathways in nursing.

About the Sam M. Walton College of Business: The Sam M. Walton College of Business is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in business education and research. Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Walton College has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. The Walton College has been ranked as a top 30 public business college by U.S. News & World Report for more than a dozen years in a row.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the few U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.


Jerra Toms, director of marketing and communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-7656, jntoms@uark.edu

Kay Murphy, director of communications
Global Campus
479-575-6489, ksmurphy@uark.edu

Shannon Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu


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