Population Health Leadership Doctor of Nursing Practice

As the healthcare system moves away from acute-hospital and episode-based delivery models toward the comprehensive management of patient populations, there is an increased demand for highly educated nurses who can provide leadership to analyze population health needs, provide appropriate interventions, and improve outcomes.

The drive toward value-based care provides a unique opportunity for nurses with the skills to design, implement, and evaluate new models of care delivery. The patient's transition through the continuum of services must be coordinated for maximum effectiveness.

The Population Health Leadership plan of study in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program prepares registered nurses (RNs) with a master's degree for leadership positions in a variety of settings within a rapidly evolving healthcare system. The program will give students the knowledge and skills to lead interprofessional teams and also to provide direct patient care.

We're now accepting applications for Fall 2019. Please submit your application by Wednesday, May 15th, 2019.

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Population Health

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

Ideal Candidate

Healthcare of the future, whether focused on direct care or indirect care, requires competency to manage the health of populations and to develop and manage systems of care that span the continuum.

  • Nurses with indirect care focus: Acute Care, Case Manager, Clinical Nurse Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Community and Ambulatory Care Nurse Leader, Public Health Nurse, School Nurse, or Managers with continuum of care responsibility
  • Nurses with direct care focus: Advanced Practice Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist & Nurse Practitioner

Program Features

  • COMPLETION IN SEVEN (7) SEMESTERS: The Population Health Leadership DNP program is seven (7) semesters consisting of online and classroom learning during fall, spring, and summer. This plan of study includes 33 didactic credits plus variable practicum credits. Didactic plus practicum credits range from 45-56 credits.
  • RIGOROUS CURRICULUM: 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.
  • PRACTICUM HOURS FLEXIBILITY: Practicum work to complete clinical hours can be arranged in the student’s work setting or alternative placements. Students can transfer up to 500 practicum course hours their from the MSN degree.
  • HYBRID / ONLINE DELIVERY MODEL: Students will be required to attend a one (1) day program orientation on campus. After the orientation, the expectation will be that students meet twice each semester in person, on campus.
  • FNP & PMHNP CERTIFICATE AVAILABLE: A Post-graduate Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate program is available for the doctorally prepared nurse.


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 (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

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) 422-6681