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Post-MS to DNP/Leadership

Become a Nurse Leader

Distinguish yourself as a DNP nurse leader. Influence health care systems at an executive level, direct and inform decision-making, and transform models of care. We develop health care executives and leaders that create change throughout the Intermountain West.


The Post-MS to DNP specialty track is geared toward the master's prepared nurse, including practicing APRNs and those with non-nursing master’s degrees, seeking the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

The DNP degree furthers the student's focus on leadership roles, with a particular emphasis on translational methods in evidence-based practice to drive innovation in individual patient and population health and healthcare organizations and systems. Students demonstrate their newly acquired expertise by integrating the coursework into a final DNP Scholarly Project.

  • Students take courses based on the DNP essentials and electives are chosen based on a student's previous education, experience, and specialty interests.
  • Minimum of 36 credit hours in coursework, including a minimum of 3 elective credits.
  • Full-time (completed in 5 semesters) or part-time (one additional year) programs of study available.
  • On-campus attendance is not required. Courses are taught in executive and online formats each semester. The executive format requires the student to attend class by video conference 4-5 times over the semester. 

Direct Care Pathway
(for APRNs)

  • Identify trends in practice to improve patient outcomes
  • Analyze and apply evidence to make improvements in patient care populations
  • Identify potential system changes to improve care for patient populations
  • Facilitate quality improvement projects to improve patient care
  • Understand finance and business principles for clinical providers

Organizational Leadership Pathway
(for APRNs and non-APRNs)

  • Summarize critical processes used in program planning
  • Apply organizational and systems leadership skills to eliminate health disparities and promote patient safety
  • Project the impact of regulatory, government, and policy change on health care finance, reimburse, and delivery
  • Analyze and predict strategies to positively influence system outcomes.
  • Identify need for program development based on regulatory mandates, market demands, and system-level outcomes

"The knowledge I gained during the MS to DNP Organizational Leadership DNP program helped me to develop systems-level thinking, which is ideal when leading in large health care systems and academic medical centers. I gained a greater awareness of the social determinants of health, and the importance of advocating for improved health outcomes for marginalized groups—helping me become a better-informed nurse leader and inspiring me to take my leadership to the next level."

-Rita Aguilar, DNP, MBA, RNC, NEA-BC, Senior Nursing Director at University of Utah Health

Contact Us

Shelley Kern, MPC
DNP Program Manager

Teresa Garrett, RN, DNP, APHN-BC
Specialty Track Director


Spring application deadline: November 1
(Only part-time program of study available)

Fall application deadline: December 1

Graduate Certificates