BSN Entry to DNP — Advanced Nursing Focus

Lead innovative change in health care and health policy with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from UCSF.

DNP-prepared nurses have the expanded skills, judgment and confidence to develop innovative solutions to the most complex health issues and transform care for our diverse communities. The DNP degree catapults nurses in their careers and paves the way for additional professional opportunities.

As one of the nation’s leading academic and health care institutions, UCSF is uniquely positioned in preparing nurses to achieve the DNP degree. Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized experts whose innovation, research and advocacy have shaped health care in the United States and beyond.

The Post-Baccalaureate Pathway to the DNP prepares nurses who hold a BSN to become experts and leaders in an advanced practice specialty and health policy-public health. Choose from multiple specialties, including multiple specialties ranked among the best nationwide. Among them, our Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialties are ranked fifth in the country, and our Family Nurse Practitioner specialty ranked seventh in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Graduates will gain the knowledge and skills to sit for the national certification exam in the specialty of their choice, and attain the profession’s highest clinical degree: the DNP degree.

The pathway will welcome its first cohort in summer 2024. The in-person Prelude will be held June 12-14, and the first day of class is June 17 (see the UCSF academic calendar).

Program Structure

This 12-quarter, hybrid program combines in-person and virtual didactic courses with hands-on training at clinical sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that we arrange. Many of our nursing students receive clinical training at our UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center, which is consistently ranked among the finest hospitals in the country. We also partner with renowned hospitals and clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Stanford Health Care and Kaiser Permanente, to provide hands-on clinical training to our students.

Students will master the skills in their chosen advanced nursing specialty and pursue advanced studies in the DNP curriculum. They will complete an evidence-based quality improvement project that addresses health care practice issues.

A key component of this program is an infrastructure of student success support. The school’s Office of Student Affairs is committed to supporting students throughout their academic journey.

International students — Please note that the BSN Entry to DNP pathway is structured in a hybrid format, with the majority of courses held online. Applicants who are required to have an F-1 visa to study in the United States will not be able to meet the visa requirement for attending in-person courses. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have additional questions regarding this requirement.

Our Specialties

Choose from multiple specialties and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel in an advanced nursing role.

Advanced Nursing Role Specialties Offered
Nurse Practitioner 

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner — Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing

Family Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal Nursing 

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Nurse Specialist 

Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Neonatal Nursing

Health Policy and Public Health  Health Policy and Public Health Nursing


The anticipated in-state tuition, Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition and student services fees for this pathway is approximately $42,199 for the 2024-2025 academic year, pending approval by the University of California Board of Regents and subject to change in future years. The final approved fees are expected to be determined by the Board of Regents in March 2024. In-state tuition and fees for the 2025-2026 and 2026-2027 academic years are subject to inflationary increases.

Please be aware that there are additional campus-based fees and out-of-state tuition, which can be found on the UCSF Registrar’s website. These fees are also subject to change in future years.

Regular status UC employees in these eligible nursing titles with at least a 50% appointment and who meet our admission requirements are eligible for a two-thirds reduction in the Student Services Fee and Tuition when enrolled in regular session courses of up to 12 units or four courses per quarter, whichever provides the greater benefit to the employee. This tuition and fee reduction is available for UC employees enrolling in the BSN Entry to DNP pathway this summer and through spring 2026.

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions after reviewing the program information, please contact [email protected] and a member of our Student Affairs team will respond to your inquiry. 

You may also meet one-on-one with Recruitment Director Mimi Omoregie to ask questions about applying to our academic programs. Schedule a meeting through our online booking system

Sign up to receive announcements about this pathway, including our upcoming information sessions.

Campus and School Resources

The School of Nursing is committed to the holistic care and development of our students. Visit our school and campus resources page to learn about services to help new and continuing students thrive during their time at UCSF. 


The BSN Entry to DNP pathway of the DNP program at the UCSF School of Nursing is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Applications for Summer 2025 Entry

Applications Will Open Sept. 3, 2024

Alicia Bacchus

“The DNP program equipped me with skills to effectively translate evidence-based research to better serve patients. It made me a stronger patient advocate.”