The University of San Francisco: School of Nursing and Health Professions
Hospital administrator with an iPad
Nursing Exec DNP

Executive Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice for the Nurse Executive (ELDNP)

As the first of its kind in the nation, USF's Executive Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice (ELDNP) program set the standard – and raised it – preparing nurse executives to take on multidimensional responsibilities in health care.

View a DNP program informational webinar

The Executive Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum is practice-based, emphasizing entrepreneurship, financial management, labor relations, risk management, information technology and health care policy. Over the course of two years, students learn to apply research to clinical nursing practice and ethical decision-making at the highest administrative levels.

Keith Dawson 175

Keith Dawson, ELDNP Alumni

Senior Medical Science Director,
US Medical Affairs – Erivedge, Genentech

My education at USF prepared me to assess data quality and generate evidence to help clinicians safely use medications when treating patients.

I was recently selected to be the medical lead for a drug that treats patients with advanced basel cell carcinoma (Erivedge). My promotion is the first time a nurse has been selected to be the US Medical Affairs lead for a medication. Historically, these roles have only been filled by physicians and PharmDs.

If I had not obtained my doctorate, I am 100% positive that I would not have been eligible for this promotion. In fact, my article that I wrote and published as part of my DNP qualifications came up several times during my interviews for this role [Dawson, K. (2013, May-June). Rituximab faster infusion for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the United States: implications for nursing practice. J Infus Nurs, 36(3), 172-8 . PMID: 23558916].


The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Each track of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, (Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, Health Care Systems Leadership, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) is included in the accreditation of the DNP program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.


The ELDNP curriculum is based on the AACN Essentials for the Doctor of Nursing Practice, and the AONE Core Competencies for Nursing Executives. The curriculum also maintains the standards and expectations set by the Council on Graduate Education for Administrative Nursing (CGEAN), the American Nurses Association, and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) Health Leadership Competency Model.

More Information

Please contact Tamara White, Graduate Enrollment Manager, in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at (415) 422-3627 or