Leadership journey

Future student leaders engaged in classroom discussion

Why the Yale DNP?

Offering a unique focus on leadership and policy, the Yale DNP program is designed for mid-career nurses who wish to become innovative health care leaders. Students build on their previous education and experience, gaining knowledge and practical leadership skills both here on campus and in the field. Yale has a rich history of early leadership and innovation in nursing, through our founding Dean, Annie W. Goodrich, who described nursing as the combination of “the adventure of thought and the adventure of action.” Our students have life-changing experiences, influencing and making changes in healthcare systems, both here at Yale and beyond.

DNP Projects

DNP Projects are designed to immerse students in real-world health care situations and to use the knowledge and skills gained during their coursework and practica experiences to present a solution. Working with a DNP project advisor and project team, the student designs a project, identifies the problems, purposes and aims, and reviews relevant literature. Using a methodological approach and analytic plan, they collaborate with an onsite mentor to implement the project, analyze the results, and make recommendations for practice and, if appropriate, future research. A formal presentation and scholarly paper are due at the end of the third year.

At YSN, students are encouraged to consider a wide range of DNP projects, with a focus on health systems leadership and population health.   

  • Evidence-based practice model change initiatives  
  • Quality improvement/performance management projects 
  • Analysis of policy problems
  • Development of tools for advocacy
  • Design, evaluation and implementation of new models of care 
  • Policy/practice case report and analysis
  • Implement and evaluate innovative uses for technology to enhance or evaluate care
  • Collaborate with researchers to answer clinical questions
  • Collaborate on legislative change using evidence
  • Design and evaluate programs
  • Conduct financial analyses to compare care models and potential savings
  • Design and use databases to retrieve information for decision making, planning, and evaluation
  • Work with lay or professional coalitions to develop, implement, or evaluate health programs, such as health promotion, and disease prevention programs for vulnerable patients, groups or communities

Kirkpatrick, J. (2013). The doctor of nursing practice capstone project: consensus or confusion? Journal of Nursing Education, 52(8), 435-441.