Post-Master’s Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

The Post-Master’s Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) who have graduated from a MSN program and are interested in pursuing a program to enhance their clinical innovation skills and develop a clinical area of expertise in their practice area.  

The Yale Clinical DNP is designed for APNs working part or full time in a clinical role who would like to pursue doctoral education as they develop their clinical knowledge and experience. The Clinical DNP graduate will apply the knowledge gained in their course work and clinical collaborations to develop new clinical practices, processes, and roles that will contribute to better health for all people.  

Students will be enrolled in the Clinical DNP pathway as part-time students. 

For questions or more information regarding the DNP program, please contact:  YSN Admissions

The application is available through NursingCAS.
At this time, the Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice program is not accepting applications from individuals residing in the following states: New York, Oregon, Washington.
For questions or more information regarding the Post-Master’s Clinical DNP Program, please contact Colleen Colbert, Program Manager.
Career Success for Post-master’s clinical dnps

“The program is just starting out, but we can already observe how these students and graduates are applying their YSN education to improve the care of their patients,” says Joanne DeSanto Iennaco PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, Director of the Clinical DNP Program. “Students and alumni are securing grants and scholarships for their work and being saluted as innovators in their areas of clinical expertise.”

Members of the cohorts actively share the knowledge and expertise developed in the program. YSN caught up with a few current students and recent alumni to share some of their recent achievements: Post-Master’s Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice DNPs Present Research, Receive Scholarships.


Application Requirements

  • Hold a master’s degree in nursing and a current license to practice as an RN and as an Advanced Practice Nurse or Certified Nurse Midwife in the United States prior to the start of the first semester of the Clinical DNP program. Licensure and certification are required where the student will practice and complete clinical practica. 

  • Completed NursingCAS Application 

  • Non-refundable application fee 

  • Personal Statement (Essay)

  • Current resume/CV

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

  • Letters of Recommendation: from a recent faculty member and a recent supervisor or clinical preceptor (in your MSN program) 

  • Sample of scholarly writing: from a recent formal paper (written in your MSN program)

  • International Students:  see general DNP admission requirements 

For more information about the application process, please contact the YSN Admissions office

Program of Study

Details of the 3 year Part Time Program of Study:

  • The program is hybrid, requiring online coursework with scheduled in-person campus visits each semester.

  • The program requires on campus days each semester, as well as virtual class days. 

  • In each of the three years of the program, five to six credits per semester are required (although may vary based on student plan for meeting clinical focus and practicum hours). 

  • A total of 500 practicum hours are required in the Clinical DNP, students must enter with a minimum of 500 clinical hours from their MSN program.  

  •  Students work part- or full-time as an advanced practice provider or midwife while in the program and design a project to implement in their workplace. 

  • In addition to developing a project focus, in the first semester students will identify a clinical inquiry focus area and plan of study. This individualized plan will involve the development of a portfolio of clinically-focused learning in the clinical inquiry focus area.

  • To progress in the Clinical DNP program, students must be in good academic standing in the program and have their DNP Project Proposal approved to progress to Year 3. 

Courses Required in the Clinical DNP Program of Study:

  • Moving Health Care Forward: Innovation and Implementation
  • Evidence for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Quality and Safety in Health Care Organizations
  • Uses of Data: Healthcare Informatics
  • Achieving Population Health Equity
  • Clinical Leadership and Finance
  • Health Care Policy, Politics, and Process

In addition to core DNP courses with distinct content and learning experiences for Clinical DNP students, the Clinical DNP specialty courses include seminars and practica for application of theory in healthcare settings. Advising experiences provide guidance and mentoring on development and implementation of the  Clinical DNP project, and for study in an area of clinical focus & innovation (the Clinical Inquiry focus area).

Financial Aid

Students are eligible for financial aid. Students must fill out applications at and YSN financial aid. For further information, please visit the YSN Financial Aid website or contact YSN Financial Aid. 

Please review federal limits to student loans for graduate students. Depending on a student’s current balance in federal student loans, they will find they are eligible for different types of both federal and private loans.  

Clinical DNP Faculty

program director: 

Joanne DeSanto Iennaco, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN

faculty who teach in the clinical doctor of nursing practice program 

Ellen Andrews, PhD

Stephen Burrows, DPM, MBA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS

Joan Combellick, PhD, MPH, MSN, CNM

Jane K. Dixon, PhD

Deborah Poerio, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Rhoda RedullaDNP, RN, NPD-BC, FAAN

David Vlahov, PhD, RN, FAAN