Case Study: Pace University Pace University Lienhard School of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice degree puts Pace University on the Forefront of new national movement in Nursing Education


Higher Education


Online Instructional Design and Online Program Development


Pace University, Lienhard School of Nursing


Develop new online Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program.

The Lienhard School of Nursing provides student-centered learning experiences that foster civic, social, and professional responsibility to embrace the challenges of the future of health care. Its primary mission is to prepare graduates to be nursing leaders in health care in the 21st century.

In 2007, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommended that advanced practice nursing move from master’s level preparation to that of doctor of nursing practice by 2015. The Lienhard School of Nursing committed to being one of the first Nursing Schools to transition their master’s level program to the doctorate for advanced practice nursing.


The Nursing School administration and faculty were interested in developing the DNP degree program for advanced clinical leadership in today’s primary health care settings. They wanted the doctoral curricula to include training in the areas of clinical practice administration, organizational management and leadership, and policy development.

Also, they wanted to find a way to deliver the degree online in order to remove the geographic constraints of their New York City urban campus location in order to attract the best candidates in advanced levels of direct clinical practice.

Solution: Online DNP Program Opened in Fall 2008

Working closely with the school’s administration, faculty and students, the LearningTimes Instructional Design team helped design, develop and implement the DNP program. The team first designed the core course structure, including assessment, assignments and content translation to the doctorate level. A unique feature of the program includes class projects that cross between two courses, bringing students and faculty together in ways unlike traditional face-to-face programs.

The LT team developed and added all of the courses onto the university’s Blackboard LMS system. The program is delivered 90% online with students coming to campus one day per month for in-person meetings and project work. The first cohort of 20 students began study in the fall of 2008. The LT team provided technical assistance to students and faculty to support the program.

Successful Outcomes

The DNP program has been a great success. The first two years the program recruited over 20 students per academic year, exceeding their plans. The program’s third cohort of students are slated to begin in the fall of 2010.

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