2021-2022 Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Executive Leadership, DNP

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The Executive Leadership DNP curriculum focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship, financial management, labor relations, risk management, evidence-based practice, information technology, and health care policy.

The Executive Leader DNP program is designed for master’s-prepared nurse executives at the division level or above with supervisory oversight of a group of essential services or functions. It comprises didactic and practica courses over two (2) years of study, or six (6) semesters (fall, spring, and summer). Two (2) in-person intensives are required each semester (Thursday-Saturday). A total of 42-59 credits are needed to confer the DNP degree for the EL DNP option. Clinical practice, combined with both classroom and computer-assisted coursework, allows current nurse executives to maintain their professional life while obtaining the EL DNP. It is offered at a boutique hotel in downtown San Francisco only.


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at the University of San Francisco, School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The EL DNP program is included in the accreditation of the DNP degree program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions. The EL DNP curriculum is based on the AACN Essentials for the Doctor of Nursing Practice, in addition to the AONE Core Competencies for Nursing Executives. The curriculum also maintains the standards and expectations set by the Council on Graduate Education for Administrative Nursing (CGEAN), the American Nurses Association (ANA), and the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) Health Leadership Competency Model.

State Authorization

USF is accepting applications from residents in specific U.S. states and territories for enrollment into our 100% online degree programs. Please check our State Authorization Status List for the states and territories from which we can enroll residents in our 100% online degree programs. Programs are only considered to be 100% online degree programs if they have no physical presence (classes, fieldwork, or otherwise) in those states or territories.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the DNP program the graduate will be able to:

  • Combine knowledge in nursing, ethics, and the medical sciences to develop and evaluate practices and models of patient care delivery.
  • Develop and evaluate effective strategies for managing ethical dilemmas present across the health care, technology, and research fields.
  • Use analytic methods to design, implement, and evaluate best-practice models for patient care and care delivery.
  • Effectively develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to advance the field and systems of health care delivery.
  • Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of institutional, local, state, federal, and international health policy.
  • Advocate for social justice, equity, and ethical policies in health care.
  • Advance the effective use of health care information systems to ensure high-quality outcomes.
  • Effectively lead quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with health care teams in developing and implementing organizational and practice models, health policy, and standards of care.
  • Analyze and synthesize various data related to patient health information.
  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of health in complex situations, incorporating diverse approaches to design, implement, and evaluate interventions.
  • Analyze the relationship among practical, organizational, population, fiscal, and policy issues to educate individuals and colleagues effectively.
  • Develop relationships and partnerships with patients and other professionals to facilitate optimal patient care outcomes.
  • Advance the mission and core values of the University of San Francisco.

ELDNP Program Additional Competencies for PLOs

AONL Competency Area 1: Communication and Relationship Building

Competency: Builds collaborative relationships to create a shared vision and provide an environment conducive to share opinions, explore ideas, and achieve outcomes.

AONL Competency Area 2: Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment

Competency: Uses data and other forms of evidence to inform decision making, to establish standards, practices, and patient care models; designing feedback mechanisms by which to adapt practice based on outcomes.

AONL Competency Area 3: Leadership

Competency: Uses knowledge of classic and contemporary systems thinking in problem solving and decision making, while engaging in visionary thinking on issues impacting the healthcare organization.

AONL Competency Area 4: Professionalism

Competency: Involves nurses and other staff in decisions that affect their practice and represents the perspectives of patients and families to advocate for optimal health in the community. 

Competency: Role models standards of professional practice (clinical, educational, and leadership) for colleagues and constituents.

AONL Competency Area 5: Business Skills

Competency: Uses business models for health care organizations to create operational goals, objectives, and specific strategies to achieve the strategic outcome.

Major Requirements (42-59 units)

Complete 42-59 units in Executive Leadership courses.

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