DNP- Executive Health Systems Leadership


A DNP in Executive Health Systems Leadership (EHSL) focuses on leadership development, specifically for nurses across complex health and educational organizations. The DNP in EHSL has been explicitly developed to disseminate knowledge of the inner workings of health care systems, helping nurses advance their careers in administration and leadership through achieving learning outcomes involving human resources, finance, governance, law, business, and policy advocacy. Graduates of this DNP will be well-positioned to practice in a range of multifaceted clinical, organizational, and educational systems with diverse populations. They will also be able to influence changes in health care outcomes through evidence-based decision making and system redesign. Graduates from our EHSL track are equipped to practice in a wide variety of roles and settings, including Chief Nursing Officer, Nurse Education/Policy, Executive Director, Nursing Managerial Positions, University/College Faculty.

Our EHSL students are prepared to:

  • Serve in senior leadership roles
  • Influence positive financial fitness in healthcare settings
  • Increase patient safety
  • Mitigate organizational risks
  • Lead positive changes in workplace environments
  • Strategic planning


  • Lead evidence-based practice changes
  • Advocate and lead policy change
  • Improve healthcare outcomes
  • Influence and create paths for workforce development
  • Human Resource administration

Available Pathways

Post-Master's to Executive Health Systems Leadership DNP

*Each student’s plan of study may vary based on evaluation of transfer credits upon admission


The DNP Role

Our DNP program prepares students for progressive, executive nursing leadership roles. The DNP program’s academic (didactic) curriculum and required clinical hours provide each student with a solid foundation to become a leader within the nursing profession. Each student will have the opportunity to work with faculty who are nationally recognized for their clinical practice, research, and health advocacy. Additionally, students will gain experience within diverse organizations with expert preceptors.

The Executive Health Systems Leadership Track is offered fully online as a part-time plan of study allowing nurse leaders across the country to participate. The program is six semesters and can be completed in two years. Some examples of the content that will be covered in the program are as follows:

Year One
  • DNP Roles in Healthcare
  • Organizational Change
  • Healthcare Communities
  • Methods for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Policy and Legal Complexities
  • Practicum experience
Year Two
  • Healthcare Finance
  • Healthcare Economics and Entrepreneurship
  • Population Health
  • Health Equity
  • Continued practicum experience
  • DNP Project Planning, Application, and Implementation

In addition, students will work with faculty to complete an Evidence-Based Quality Improvement DNP Project based on AACN’s The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice in collaboration with a clinical agency or organization local to the student.

How to Apply

Complete the Florida State University Graduate application. Upload all required admissions documents and video interview to the application.


July 1st

Florida State University Graduate Application


Application Requirements

1. MSN degree from a nationally accredited program with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher; or a BSN with a master’s degree in a relevant field with a minimum grade point average of 3.2. Master’s degrees will be evaluated on an individual basis for relevancy and accreditation. Applicants that already hold an MSN degree must submit proof of clinical hours completed for the MSN program (Send summary of clinical hours from Typhon or contact the institution that awarded the MSN and have them email a letter to the College of Nursing stating the total of clinical hours completed for the program)
2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
3. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).*
4. Unencumbered and unrestricted RN license.
5. Three (3) letters of recommendation.
6. Current CV or resume.
7.Essay (Writing Sample) answering the following questions:

  • Tell us about your professional work experience as a nurse and other relevant professional experiences, including progressive leadership experience that should reflect a minimum of two years of healthcare leadership. Include all leadership activities such as serving on committees, leading projects, and involvement in professional associations.
  • What are your career goals and how will a DNP degree help you with your goals?

8. Record a video answering the questions below. The video should not be more than 5 minutes long answering all the questions. Please make sure to address all parts of each question.

  • Tell us about your previous clinical experiences. When have you had a direct impact on a patient’s life? Please include activities such as patient advocacy, involvement in professional associations or an instance you were a change agent to improve quality care delivery.
  • Tell us about your leadership experiences. Please include specific examples of projects you have completed, or were involved in, that helped to improve patient care, nurse engagement, morale, financial fitness, staff retention, and/or outcomes in a healthcare facility. How have you addressed health disparities and improved diversity, equity, and inclusion in your leadership roles?
  • What is your research interest for your Doctor of Nursing Practice evidence-based practice project?

 GRE/MAT Waiver Criteria

The GRE requirement will be waived for outstanding applicants meeting ONE of the following criteria:

  • A completed master’s degree with a 3.0 or better GPA from an accredited institution.
  • A completed BSN (60 hours of nursing or RN to BSN courses) with a 3.5 GPA from an accredited institution.

GRE/MAT waiver request form

Applicants must provide evidence to satisfy the criteria being applied.  
Applicants with a competitive GRE or MAT score will still be able to apply to the program and will not be held to these additional criteria.
For those accredited institutions that are competency-based (no GPA assigned) the applicant must submit a GRE/MAT score.

For more information on Graduate application process, contact Carlos Urrutia
For information regarding Tuition and Fees, visit



Track Coordinator

Dr. Marsha Hartline