Nursing (DNP)

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Degree Offered: DNP
Program Leadership:
KT Waxman, RN, DNP, FAAN, Program Director
Annette Carley, RN, DNP, NP, Associate Director, Post-Masters Entry to DNP
Admissions Inquiries:
BSN Entry to DNP:
Post Master's Entry to DNP: Shanna Abeloff, Program Administrator

Program Description

The UCSF School of Nursing offers two pathways for nurses to achieve the profession’s highest clinical degree: the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

  • The BSN Entry to DNP — Advanced Nursing Focus pathway enables individuals with a bachelor’s degree in nursing to become experts and leaders in health equity. Applicants will master the skills in one of 10 advanced specialties and complete their studies toward the DNP degree. The school expects to welcome its first cohort in the new pathway in June 2024, pending approval from the California Board of Registered Nursing.
  • The Post-Master’s Entry to DNP — Leadership Focus pathway prepares registered nurses who hold a master’s degree with the skills to innovate improvements and lead teams in developing approaches to care that address population needs.

A core component of the degree program is the DNP quality improvement project, in which students identify a health care practice issue and formulate a solution that improves clinical outcomes. In direct consultation with faculty mentors, students will conceive, evaluate and defend their scholarly work. They will also develop strategies to disseminate their scholarly work and to implement practices based on their conclusions.

The UCSF School of Nursing takes pride in its graduate programs, which represent a century of pioneering leadership that has produced many top influencers in the field in the U.S. and abroad. Among schools of nursing nationwide, the UCSF School of Nursing is one of the top recipients of research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The UCSF School of Nursing has a dedicated faculty of more than 150 experts who share a passion for educating the next generation of health care leaders and leading innovative research that advances health equity for all. Faculty members at the school are distinguished leaders in their areas of expertise and have led – and continue to lead – innovations and policy improvements locally, nationally and around the globe.

The Nursing DNP program is offered by the UCSF Graduate Division, administered by the UCSF School of Nursing, and delivered by faculty members in the UCSF School of Nursing.

Admission Requirements

  1. Graduate of an accredited college or university with a master’s degree in nursing. Applicants who hold a master’s degree in another health-related field will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Minimum GPA 3.4
  3. Completion of minimum 240 practice hours during prior master’s or post-master's coursework. National certification in one of the four recognized Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) roles (i.e. nurse practitioner, certified nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, and nurse-midwife ) may substitute for 500 APRN practice hours.
  4. Registered Nurse with active license in CA or state where the DNP project will occur.
  5. College level statistics course completed within three years of the start of the program.
  6. Resume or curriculum vitae
  7. Three confidential letters of recommendation
  8. Goal statement and personal history statement

Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrate nursing science, science-based theory and systems knowledge into the development and evaluation of new practice approaches to care.
  2. Apply analytic methods to the critical appraisal of literature and other evidence to develop and support best practice.
  3. Convene and lead interprofessional, collaborative stakeholder teams to create change and advance positive health outcomes.
  4. Generate, evaluate and articulate innovative solutions to complex care issues.
  5. Analyze the impact of local, national and global health policy on determinants of care decisions.
  6. Support cost and resource efficiency, quality and accessibility of healthcare for diverse client groups.
  7. Advocate for nursing and socially and ethically relevant policy in healthcare design and delivery.
  8. Support and effectively lead quality improvement initiatives that enhance safe, quality and evidence-driven care.
  9. Demonstrate leadership skill in developing approaches to care that address population needs based on science and evidence.

Additional Information

Program Core Faculty