A number of societal, scientific, and professional developments have
stimulated a major paradigm change in graduate education in nursing.
The rapid expansion of knowledge underlying practice; increased
complexity of patient care; national concerns about the quality of care
and patient safety; shortages of nursing personnel; demands for a
higher level of preparation for nurses to design and evaluate best
practices; shortages of nursing faculty; and the increasing educational
expectations for the preparation of other health professionals have
lead to the establishing the standard that by 2015 all advanced
practice nursing specialty preparation should be at the doctoral level
(American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)).
The University of San Francisco, School of Nursing is the first
university in the Bay Area to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice
(DNP), admitting the first students in Fall 2007. The American
Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the professional
organization for higher education in nursing, has recommended that by
2015 all nursing specialty preparation should occur at the doctoral
MSN specialist to DNP Advanced Practice Nurse is designed for the
MSN prepared nurse who is already specialized as a Nurse Practitioner,
Nurse Midwife, CNS, or Nurse Anesthetist but would like to receive an additional certification as Family Nurse Practitioner. The program meets every
other weekend on Friday evenings and all day Saturday. The program is 64 units and can be completed in approximately 2 years. The program for the MSN specialty prepared nurse takes
into account previous academic coursework and clinical experiences and
the required number of units are adjusted accordingly. Course
schedules are designed for both full time and part time students and
are responsive to the needs of the working nurse professional. Please
contact the School of Nursing for specific schedule information.
DNP degree appeals to nurses with an MS or a BS degree in Nursing who
are interested in a practice-focused doctorate. DNP graduates will be
prepared as clinical leaders who will design models of health care
delivery, evaluate clinical outcomes, identify and manage health care
needs of populations, and use technology and information to transform
health care systems. The DNP degree has also been identified as a way
to increase the number of doctoral prepared nursing faculty.
The DNP Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
- Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the
biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational science to
develop and evaluate nursing practice and care delivery models.
- Develop and evaluate effective strategies for managing the
ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, the health care
organization, information technology, and research.
- Use analytic methods to design, implement, and evaluate best practice models for patient care and systems of care delivery
- Effectively develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based approaches to advance nursing and health care.
- Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation
of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health
- Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies within all healthcare arenas.
- Effectively lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
- Advance the effective use of health care information systems to assure high quality health care outcomes.
- Employ effective communication and collaborative skills in the
development and implementation of practice models, health policy,
standards of care, and organizational issues.
- Analyze and synthesize epidemiological, biostatical,
environmental, cultural elements related to individual, aggregate, and
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health and illness
parameters in complex situations, incorporating diverse and culturally
sensitive approaches in order to design, implement, and evaluate
- Develop and sustain therapeutic relationships and
partnerships with patients and other professionals to facilitate
optimal patient outcomes.
- Analyze the links among practice, organizational,
population, fiscal, and policy issues in order to effective education
individuals and colleagues.
- Satisfy the course and clinical requirements for specialty certification.
- Advance the mission and core values of the University of San Francisco.
Admission to the program is
based on an overall appraisal of the applicant’s ability to undertake
doctoral study and of their contributions to the discipline of nursing
as evidence by the following:
- Official transcripts from colleges/universities attended showing
that the student has completed either an baccalaureate or master’s
degree in nursing
- Grade Point Average of 3.0 (B) or higher
- 3 letters of recommendation
- Statement of professional goals
- Documentation of RN license
- A completed application form and fee; www.usfca.edu/graduate/
- TOEFL scores if needed
Highlights of the School of Nursing
- The first private university nursing program in the State
- Accredited by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Admission of DNP students occurs on a rolling admission basis for the fall, spring and summer semesters
- The Graduate School of Nursing was ranked in the top 40 best nursing programs in the nation by US News and World Report
- Financial Assistance Programs for those who qualify
DNP Department Chair
For more information, contact our program recruiter at (415) 422-2806.