Nursing Practice (Post-BSN)

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Degree Offered: DNP
Program Leadership:
KT Waxman, DNP, RN, FAAN: Program Director 
Admissions Inquiries:

Program Description

The UCSF School of Nursing Offers a BSN entry to DNP – Advanced Nursing Focus pathway for the profession’s highest clinical degree: the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

The Post-Baccalaureate Entry to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program will prepare nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to become Advanced Practice Nurses or Specialists in Health Policy and Public Health in addition to completing the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. This advanced graduate preparation will support the UCSF School of Nursing to implement an innovative curriculum that includes leadership, health policy and health equity as key tenets of advanced clinical practice in varied health care environments. Students can select from multiple specialties leading to four roles: Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nurse Specialist or Specialist in Health Policy and Public Health.

A core component of the degree program is the DNP Scholarly 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

The list below shows a high-level overview of the program's application requirements. For full admission requirements, please see the School of Nursing website.

  1. Applicants are required to have graduated from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in nursing, documented by an official transcript.
  2. Applicants are required to upload a transcript (unofficial or official) to the application portal for review purposes.
  3. All applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  4. Proficiency in English (both spoken and written) is mandatory for success in our programs.
  5. Applicants are required to complete and pass a statistics course within 5 years of the start of the program in June of your matriculating year. This must be a college-level course taken for credit at a regionally accredited institution. This can include online courses and/or courses from a community college or a regionally accredited institution.
  6. A résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) is required.
  7. Applicants must be licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) in California.
  8. Practice Requirements should be reviewed on the School of Nursing website.
  9. Letters of Recommendation
  10. A comprehensive well-written goal statement essay is an essential component of a successful DNP application.
  11. A well-written Personal Statement
  12. Application Fee (subject to change)

Please review our FAQs for more information and start your application. If you have questions, please contact and a member of our Student Affairs team will respond to your inquiry

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to enter advanced practice through evaluation of evidence based and theoretical knowledge to develop ethical and equitable approaches to care.
  2. Collaborate with patients and families, care team members, and healthcare delivery systems to provide holistic, individualized, respectful and empowering care guided by values and inclusive of family, community, culture, and choice.
  3. Advocate for health promotion and disease management by collaborating with governmental and non governmental entities, communities and health systems to optimize the biological, psychological, financial, social and structural determinants of population health.
  4. Advance the scholarship of nursing through implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence based and ethical innovations to improve and transform health care.
  5. Lead initiatives that minimize risk and facilitate optimal health outcomes by applying principles of safety and improvement science.
  6. Collaborate in interprofessional teams to improve professional practice and learning, with the goal of delivering high quality person centered and community level care.
  7. Develop and evaluate system wide innovations ensuring high quality, accessible, equitable, and cost effective care across diverse populations.
  8. Utilize relevant and adaptive technologies to optimize equitable person centered care that addresses practice gaps and health disparities.
  9. Cultivate a nursing identity that reflects professional nursing standards and values, including a commitment to self reflection, accountability, social justice, and ethical conduct.
  10. Identify and address gaps in professional knowledge through ongoing self reflection and self care behaviors to support lifelong learning, wellbeing, and professional service through leadership.

Additional Information

Program Core Specialty