Program Details

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) plan of study in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares registered nurses (RNs) with a baccalaureate or master's degree to function as Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners in the FNP role.

Students are able to complete the program in​ ​four (4) years with a BSN and ​t​hree (3) years with a Master's degree​. ​Courses are offered year round​ consisting of online and classroom learning during fall, spring and summer semesters​.​ Students with demanding career and personal commitments ​may enjoy a flexible schedule.

​As an FNP, you will be trained to conduct comprehensive health assessments, diagnose and manage acute illnesses (with appropriate referral), manage chronic conditions and serve as the primary health care providers in many settings. Students are able 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 Family Nurse Practitioner DNP focus offers more than one way to complete your degree. We have four plans of study allowing you to earn a master's degree along the way in a discipline that aligns with your interests.

Master's Degree Tracks

Nursing – master of science in nursing (MSN)

The MSN degree is focused on nursing leadership roles - to design, implement, and evaluate care by coordinating, delegating, and supervising the services provided by their team. Students are trained to implement evidence-based best practices, evaluate potential risks to patient safety, identify and monitor care outcomes, provide education to various communities, and design health-promotion and risk-reduction services for diverse populations.

  • Delivery format: MSN courses – Hybrid in-person and online formats.
  • DNP and FNP courses: Hybrid in-person and online formats.
  • Time to degree: BSN-MSN – Two (2) years (MSN earned midway through DNP FNP) ; Four (4) years. 

Public Health (MPH)

The MPH degree program is CEPH accredited and promotes community engagement, professional collaborations, evidence-based practice, and public health advocacy. This track helps nurses develop practice-oriented skills and competencies to promote population health.

  • Delivery format: MPH courses – Hybrid in-person or online; DNP and FNP courses - Hybrid in-person and online formats.
  • Time to degree: BSN-MPH – 7 semesters (MPH earned midway through DNP FNP); Four (4) years.

Second Master's Degree for Master's-prepared Nurses

Master's prepared RNs, have the option of completing a second master's degree in Behavioral Health or Public Health in conjunction with the DNP FNP. See options above for program highlights.

  • Delivery format: Master's courses - Hybrid in-person or online (depending on track); DNP and FNP courses – Hybrid in-person and online formats.
  • Time to degree: Master's degree completed along the way to DNP; Three (3) years.

Program Delivery

The nurse practitioner DNP plans of study have a variety of delivery methods due to their interprofessional nature.

  • The DNP program at USF is formatted as a hybrid program. Through direct instruction by faculty members we ensure a robust learning experience by combining in-person attendance along with online instruction. We are committed to accessible education for the working professional and continue to develop our program to ensure a quality learning and interactive experience between faculty and students.
  • You attend Teaching Weekends (Friday (8 a.m. – 9 p.m.) and Saturday (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) For dates, see our Teaching Weekend schedule. In-person requirements for courses will be confirmed by faculty.

Clinical/Practicum Hours

DNP students must complete 1,000 supervised clinical practice hours. DNP PMHNP students complete approximately 1,000–1,200 clinical hours throughout the program. The number of hours varies depending on which plan of study students choose to pursue.

Upon completion of the program, you will have completed the required coursework and clinical hours to meet the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Combine knowledge in nursing, ethics, and the medical sciences to develop and evaluate practices and models of patient care delivery.
  2. Develop and evaluate effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas present across the health care, technology, and research fields.
  3. Use analytic methods to design, implement, and evaluate best-practice models for patient care and care delivery.
  4. Effectively develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to advance the field and systems of health care delivery.
  5. Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health policy.
  6. Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies in health care.
  7. Advance the effective use of health care information systems to ensure high-quality outcomes.
  8. Effectively lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
  9. Effectively communicate and collaborate with health care teams in developing and implementing organizational and practice models, health policy, and standards of care.
  10. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health in complex situations, incorporating diverse approaches to design, implement, and evaluate interventions.
  11. Advance the mission and core values of the University of San Francisco.

Estimated Cost

Please note that tuition rates and fees are subject to change and more information can be found about tuition and graduate student fees on the university tuition and fees schedule. The current estimated tuition costs based on the 2019-20* academic year rate is $1,385 per credit. You can expect to pay about $2,000 more in books and expenses over the course of the program. In addition to tuition, there are fees for graduate students, including mandatory health insurance, a $50 per semester (Spring/Fall semesters only) Associate Graduate Students of USF (AGSUSF) fee, and a $125 fee per fieldwork course (includes malpractice insurance).

*Please note that tuition rates and fees are subject to change and more information can be found about tuition and graduate student fees on the university tuition and fees schedule.

State Authorization

Please check our State Authorization Status List for the states and territories from which we can enroll students in specific online degree programs.

Contact Info

School of Nursing & Health Professions

Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-6681