Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

USF students are trained to take on the complexities of a dynamic health care industry in the pursuit of a more humane and equitable world

The School of Nursing and Health Professions offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a variety of track options providing one-of-a-kind opportunities for interprofessional collaboration.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares registered nurses (RNs) to take on greater leadership roles. The curriculum combines nursing, business, informatics and health care administration coursework with advanced practice in clinical settings. Graduates join the workforce with the skills to improve 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 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.

DNP Plans of Study

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program offers registered nurses (RN) the four plans (4) of study, listed below, to pursue your DNP. Bachelor's prepared nurses can choose to earn a master's degree along the way of completing their DNP. 

  Bachelor's Degree (BSN) Master's Degree (ANY FIELD) + RN
Family Nurse Practitioner Available Available
Executive Leadership Not Available Available
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Available Available
Population Health Leadership Not Available Available
  • Executive Leadership (EL-DNP): Designed for master’s-prepared current/aspiring nurse executives at the division/department-level or above with supervisory oversight of a group of essential services or functions. It extends and enhances the knowledge, skill and performance of health care system leaders in a wide variety of clinical and administrative environments.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): Bachelor or master’s prepared RNs learn 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. BSN prepared students can opt to complete a concurrent master’s in Behavioral Health, Nursing (Master of Science in Nursing), or Public Health.
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Prepares bachelor or master’s prepared RN as psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners to provide a wide range of services to adults, children, adolescents, and their families in a primary care facility, outpatient mental health clinic, psychiatric emergency services, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, private practice, or in a hospital or community health center. Students can opt to complete a concurrent master’s in Behavioral Health.
  • Population Health Leadership: Prepares nurses who can provide leadership to analyze population health needs, provide appropriate interventions, and measure outcome

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the DNP program, the graduate will be able to:

  • 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 presented 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.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health in complex situations, incorporating diverse approaches to design, implement, and evaluate interventions.
  • Advance the mission and core values of the University of San Francisco.