Population Health Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice

As healthcare shifts its focus from individualized health to the health of populations, the demand for nurse leaders with expertise in improvement science and system creation continues to grow.

Healthcare requires skilled, quality leaders who can assess the social determinants of health across populations, provide appropriate delivery models and diverse interventions, improve outcomes, promote wellness, and prevent disease for groups and populations across the lifespan.

USF’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Population Health Leadership program prepares registered nurses (RNs) who hold a master's degree for leadership positions in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and community settings. The program will give students evidence-based knowledge and skills to lead inter-professional teams in health and healing improvement for targeted populations within a rapidly evolving healthcare system.


Why Population Health?

Population Health is defined as “community and/or clinical populations that consider the environmental, occupational, cultural, socio-economic, and other dimensions of health and derives evidence from population-level data and statistics” (Starfield, Hyde, Gervas, & Heath, 2007).

The drive toward value-based care gives qualified nurses the skills and opportunity to evaluate upstream factors and apply nursing and population care concepts and activities to make a difference in healthcare management and population health outcomes.

Ideal Candidate

Healthcare of the future, whether focused on direct care or indirect care, requires nurses who can manage the health of populations and develop and manage systems of care that span the continuum. Our ideal candidates are:

Masters prepared nurse practitioners wanting to complete their DNP and nurses with indirect and direct care focus: Case Manager, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Community and Ambulatory Care Nurse Leader, Public Health Nurse, School Nurse, Continuum of Care Manager, Infection Prevention, Nurse Faculty, Correctional Health.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master's degree program in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students who graduate from the program are also eligible to receive the California Public Health Nursing Certificate.

Each DNP degree concentration (Executive Leadership, Family Nurse Practitioner, Population Health Leadership, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) is included in the accreditation of the DNP degree program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Graduates meet the outcome competencies and practice standards of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for the DNP. In the program, students complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, complete the DNP qualifying examination, and complete an evidence-based practice project.

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) 422-4124