Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

DNP Executive Leadership Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program with an emphasis on executive leadership prepares the expert leader to bring evidence-based knowledge into the practice arena, improve health care outcomes and strengthen the executive nurse leadership role in guiding complex care delivery.

Are you ready to become a key player in today's complex health care environment? Does a scholarly role that translates evidence-based knowledge into healthcare leadership and delivery interest you? Vanderbilt's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is built upon our internationally recognized advanced nursing practice programs. With a Vanderbilt DNP degree, you will use nursing and other scientific findings to design sustainable programs of care delivery that are innovative, economically feasible and have significant impact on health care outcomes.

We offer three ways to enter the program:

  • MSN in Nursing and Health Care Leadership or in Nursing Administration
  • MSN in other advanced nursing practice specialties
  • BSN with a Masters in a non-nursing health related field (MBA, MPH, MHA, MMHC, etc.)

Applicants to the D.N.P. - EL must be certified or eligible for certification in one of the following:

The Vanderbilt School of Nursing DNP in Executive Leadership offers:

  • Practice integration tailored to each student's scholarly interests
  • Health care agencies/organizations who are practice partners and support applying knowledge and skills from coursework to their practice settings
  • Actively practicing faculty who will mentor you in evidence-based knowledge
  • Learning built upon Vanderbilt's 100-year history of leadership and excellence in nursing, teaching, practice and research

DNP Program Objectives

Central to the DNP curriculum is the application of evidence-based practice methods within practice settings throughout the program of study. Evidence-based practice is classically defined as the integration of best research evidence with practice expertise and patient values to facilitate healthcare decision making. The terminal objectives of the DNP program are to produce an executive nurse scholar who will be able to:

  1. Assess, analyze, evaluate, and manage complex health environments serving diverse populations to improve patient and population health outcomes;
  2. Apply clinical scholarship and available evidence to make clinical and system decisions incorporating professional values and ethical principles;
  3. Support and improve patient care and healthcare systems through the use of clinical practice models, health policy, informatics, and organizational leadership skills;
  4. Advocate for clinical prevention, population health initiatives, and evidence-based health policy through interprofessional and stakeholder collaboration.


Accreditation information and contacts