Post-Master's Entry to DNP — Leadership Focus

Our Post-Master's Entry to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Leadership Focus pathway prepares innovative clinical experts and leaders to be at the top of the nursing profession in advancing patient care and policy in an increasingly complex health care environment.

During our program, students will develop skills to: 

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

The Post-Master's Entry to the DNP pathway at UCSF, the first to be established in the University of California system, offers an innovative seven-quarter hybrid program that combines online learning with select in-person immersions. Our faculty members have established clinical and teaching expertise, and hold advanced practice and leadership positions locally, regionally and nationally.


The Post-Master's Entry to the DNP pathway accepts applications from master's prepared registered nurses in two tracks. Choose the appropriate role to view our admissions requirements.

Attend a Virtual Information Session

We hold virtual information sessions so you can learn more about the Post-Master's Entry to DNP pathway. Please check back for our upcoming schedule of information sessions. In the meantime, watch a recording of a recent information session

Application Period

Applications will open in fall 2024 for entry in 2025.

Contact [email protected] for additional details.


The DNP program at the UCSF School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Applications for Fall 2025 Entry

Applications Will Open in Fall 2024

Adam Cooper

“The DNP program gave me a deeper understanding of evidence translation and evidence-based practice. The rigor of the curriculum complemented my professional experiences, expanding my understanding of implementation science and enhancing how I do my work."