Post-Master’s Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

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Vision, Thought-Leadership, and Action. Creating the Healthcare System of Tomorrow.

Offering a unique focus on systems leadership and policy, the Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) is designed for working nurse leaders seeking to advance their leadership trajectory in traditional and non-traditional healthcare leadership roles. 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 student professionals seek to develop scholarship, thought-leadership, business acumen, policy influence and an expanded professional network.

Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Program Projects are designed to immerse students in real-world Healthcare situations and to use the knowledge and skills gained during their coursework and practica experiences to present a solution. Working with a Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Program 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 Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Program projects, with a focus on health systems leadership and population health.   

  • Quality improvement/performance management projects 
  • Analysis of policy problems
  • Development of tools for advocacy
  • Design, evaluation and implementation of new models of care 
  • Implement and evaluate innovative uses for technology to improve population health
  • Collaborate on legislative change using evidence
  • Design, implement, 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
  • Develop programs and systems to enhance the workforce and to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion

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

For questions or more information regarding the Post-Master’s Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy DNP Program please contact: Colleen Colbert, Program Manager

Application Requirements

Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) is a 3-year program designed for mid-career nurses who wish to become innovative healthcare leaders. Building on previous education and experience students gain practical leadership skills and focus new knowledge in the areas of management, policy and leadership. The hybrid program combines online coursework with regular visits to the Yale campus. 

The part-time schedule is tailored for nurses who have major professional experience and work commitments. Students should expect to spend 12 hours a week on their doctoral studies. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants must hold a master’s degree in nursing or a related field (e.g. MPH, MBA, MHA) and a current license to practice as a registered nurse in the United States. (Connecticut licensure is not required.) If the applicant’s BS degree is not in nursing, the master’s degree MUST be in nursing. 

The application materials include:

  • Online application
  • Non-refundable application fee of $100
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume/CV
  • Transcripts of all your previous academic work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample​

Official Transcripts

All un-official transcripts should be submitted directly through the application portal. Official transcripts will be required only of those that have been offered admission into the DNP program.

International Transcripts

International transcripts must be evaluated by a credentialing agency, such as World Education Service or Educational Credential Evaluators. This includes a course-by-course evaluation, as well as a certified English translation of all non-English transcripts. International applicants should also review: International Applicants Information

Scores from either the TOEFL or the IELTS will be required of non-native speakers of English who have not received either a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S. institution of higher learning.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation submitted electronically through the online application system. They may be from clinical, academic, and/or professional references.

Writing Sample

The writing sample may be an example of academic writing (a thesis or praxis), an opinion piece or editorial, or article or research paper.   Although we are most interested in having a sense of your academic writing, you may also submit professional writing from a newsletter or professional organization.

Papers with Multiple Authors

If you submit a paper with multiple authors, please provide an explanation of your contribution to the writing (i.e., what sections you personally composed).  Likewise, if you submit a writing sample which does not clearly indicate your own authorship (such as an organizational policy statement), provide an explanation of your own contribution to the writing.

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Program of Study

Practice-focused doctoral program

The Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Program specializes in aggregates/systems and healthcare organizations. Combining Yale on-campus experiences with on-line coursework, it is tailored for nurses who already have  significant professional experience and work commitments. Through collaboration with our faculty, healthcare leaders, and policy advocates, our graduates go on to make an impact in many spheres of healthcare. Fields of study include healthcare system leadership, healthcare policy, population health and  informatics. An intense practice immersion known as a leadership immersion practicum is an essential component of the Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing program and allows work to take place with health care and public policy leaders and experts. Each course builds upon knowledge required for the leadership immersion practicum and a final Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing program project.

What are the differences between the Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing program and PhD?

The Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing program prepares nurse leaders for evidence-based practice in patient care, education, policy, and executive roles. This requires competence in translating research into practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision-making, and implementing viable innovations to change practice within and across the spectrum of health and healthcare systems.

PhD programs are designed to prepare nurses for careers as research scientists in areas such as academia and other research-intensive environments. They prepare nurse scholars to conduct research that advances theoretical foundations of nursing and health care. PhD programs provide for the knowledge and skills in theoretical, methodological and analytical approaches for the discovery of knowledge in nursing and healthcare.

Curriculum and Courses

All required coursework is completed in the first 2 years. Emphasis is placed on knowledge development consistent with the mission of YSN “better health for all” and contributes to increasing healthy life spans, reducing health disparities, improving the quality of health care, and shaping health policy.  

Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy Program Plan

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.  

Yale Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy DNP Faculty

Our expert faculty shape the world’s view of nursing, integrating evidence-based care into practice to meet our social mandate of better health for all people. They work closely with DNP students, mentoring students to develop innovative projects. DNP faculty are experienced in a range of nurse leadership roles from the clinical practice setting to the c-suite. 

program director: 

Mary Ann Camilleri, JD, BSN, RN, FACHE

faculty who teach in the healthcare leadership, systems, and policy program 

Mary Allegra, DNP, NPD-BC, NEA-BC

Ellen Andrews, PhD

Stephen Burrows, DPM, MBA, CPHIMS, FHIMSS

Joan Kearney, Chair, PhD APRN FAAN

Elizabeth Molle, PhD, RN

Anna-Rae Montano, PhD

Deborah Poerio, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Tracy Sklar, MS, MBA

David Vlahov, PhD, RN, FAAN

Ron Yolo, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, PHN

healthcare system affiliate faculty

Beth P. Beckman, DNSc

Michael Loftus, MBA, YNHH Vice President

Ena Williams, MBA, RN, CNEP