The University of San Francisco: School of Nursing and Health Professions
Medical professionals in a work group 150
Nursing Exec DNP

Doctor of Nursing Health Care Systems Leadership (DNP Completion)

The DNP Completion in Health Care Systems Leadership program prepares registered nurses (RNs) with a Masters degree for various roles in health care leadership and as Clinical Nurse Leaders. Graduates of the program are equipped to design models of health care delivery, evaluate clinical outcomes, identify and manage the health care needs of diverse populations, and use technology and information to transform the field.

  • The next cohort begins in Spring 2014.
  • Application deadline for Spring 2014 is Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

The program also integrates coursework in nursing, business, informatics, and health care administration, providing students with the advanced analytical and communication skills necessary to become successful leaders in health care. The curriculum is rigorous and gives students the opportunity to gain exposure to diverse perspectives, to be immersed in theory and research, and to obtain a critical understanding of professional practice issues.

Designed for the mastered-degreed nurse who is seeking professional advancement in the field of health care leadership, the program comprises 40-43 units plus practicum hours(units may be adjusted depending on previous academic and clinical work) over the course of approximately two years of study. The program is responsive to the needs of working professionals and can accommodate full- and part-time students. It’s part-time and flexible with classes held during teaching weekends plus practicum hours. The curriculum includes both advanced practice in the clinical setting and academic coursework in health care leadership. It is offered at the USF main campus only.

Program Objectives

  • Combine knowledge in nursing, ethics, and the medical sciences to develop and evaluate practices and models of patient care delivery
  • Develop and evaluate effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas present across the health care, technology, and research fields
  • Use analytic methods to design, implement, and evaluate best-practice models for patient care and care delivery
  • Effectively develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to advance the field and systems of health care delivery
  • Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health policy
  • Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies in health care
  • Advance the effective use of health care information systems to ensure high-quality outcomes
  • Effectively lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with health care teams in developing and implementing organizational and practice models, health policy, and standards of care
  • Analyze and synthesize various data related to patient health information
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health in complex situations, incorporating diverse approaches to design, implement, and evaluate interventions
  • Analyze the relationship among practical, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues to educate individuals and colleagues effectively
  • Develop relationships and partnerships with patients and other professionals to facilitate optimal patient care outcomes

More Information

Faculty Project Descriptions

For more information about the program, please contact Susana Torres in the School of Nursing and Health Professions (San Francisco main campus) at (415) 422-2806 or


Graduates meet the outcome competencies and practice standards of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. In the program, students complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, complete the DNP qualifying examination, and complete an evidence-based practice project (which replaces the dissertation). The program is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.