Julie Kennedy-Oehlert

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Julie Kennedy Oehlert“It has transformed me into a global, informed leader who is prepared to lead the profession of nursing to its future as important health care partners to patients, colleagues and communities.”

When Julie Kennedy-Oehlert started the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program she already had a successful career as an emergency room trauma nurse and then as a speaker and consultant with the Studer Group, which works with health care organizations to assist them to achieve clinical, operational and financial outcomes. Kennedy-Oehlert sought the DNP degree because she wanted to stay current and advance in her career, while having a stronger voice in the nursing community.

She decided to earn a DNP degree at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing because of its reputation and nationally-known faculty. The online structure of the program also was a draw because she couldn’t take off a few years to obtain a degree and disrupt her career. More than anything, though, what attracted her to the School of Nursing was the curriculum. “The health innovation and leadership track was my biggest draw because I was not looking for a clinical degree but a leadership degree still within the terminal degree in nursing,” said Kennedy-Oehlert. “The faculty and curriculum at the School of Nursing are by far the most innovative and advanced in the field. Faculty members are revolutionary and forward-thinking. Curriculum is fresh, pertinent and cutting-edge.”

Kennedy-Oehlert still has a few semesters left to complete before she will graduate, but she recently accepted a position as the vice president of the patient experience at University of Arizona Health Network in Tucson, Ariz.“ I have oversight and responsibility of the patient experience at our hospitals and our clinics, as well as operational responsibility for patient relations, volunteer department, food services, security, transport, valet parking and gift shops.”

For Kennedy-Oehlert, the education she is obtaining at the School of Nursing is preparing her to be a leader. “It has transformed me into a global, informed leader who is prepared to lead the profession of nursing to its future as important health care partners to patients, colleagues and communities,” said Kennedy-Oehlert.


Learn about our DNP program.