Executive Health Systems Leadership (DNP)



Available Pathways: 

MSN to DNP  

BSN plus post-Master’s in a related field to DNP (Master’s degree will be evaluated on an individual basis) 

What is a DNP in 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/ leadership through achieving learning outcomes involving human resources, finance, governance, and policy advocacy. Graduates of this DNP will be well-positioned to practice in a range of multifaceted clinical, organizational, and/or educational systems with diverse populations and will be able to influence changes in health care outcomes through evidence-based decision making and system redesign. 

Why choose the Executive Health Systems Leadership Track? 

Students should choose the Health Systems Leadership track if the learner intends to hold executive and leadership roles within complex healthcare systems. Students should not choose this track if their goal is to work as an ARNP in a clinical setting.  

Our HSL students are prepared to: 

  • Serve in senior leadership roles;  
  • Lead evidence-based practice changes; 
  • Influence positive financial fitness in healthcare settings;  
  • Advocate and lead policy change; 
  • Increase patient safety; 
  • Improve healthcare outcomes;  
  • Mitigate organizational risks;  
  • Influence and create paths for workforce development;  
  • Lead positive changes in workplace environments; 
  • Human Resource administration; and 
  • Strategic planning.  


Sites of practice: 

Graduates from our EHSL track are equipped to practice in a wide variety of roles and settings, including: 

Chief Nursing Officer 

Nurse Education 

Executive Director 

Nursing Managerial Positions  

University/College Faculty  


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 nationally recognized faculty for their clinical practice, research and health advocacy. Additionally, students will gain hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical experience within diverse organizations with expert preceptors across the country. 

The Executive Health Systems Leadership Track is offered fully online as a part-time study. Dual programming with FSU College of Business for a concurrent Master of Business Administration and FSU College of Law for a concurrent Juris Master’s degrees are currently being explored-more information to come. 

Year one: 

Year one of the DNP program is offered online and requires no campus visits. Students will complete core DNP academic classwork with peers across all DNP tracks in the College of Nursing. Content of year one courses includes: 

Leadership and DNP role transition 

Health equity, health systems and policy 

Nursing theory 

Healthcare transformation and 

Practicum experience 


Year Two: 

Application of evidence-based practice 

Information Technology  

Healthcare economics and entrepreneurship 

Continued practicum experience 


Year Three: 

Population Health  

Completion of practicum experience and required hours  

In addition, students will work with faculty to complete an Evidence-based Quality Improvement DNP project/product 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.  

Appropriate Clinical Sites for Student Clinical Experiences 

For DNP students, clinical experience hours will be completed at clinical sites that provide opportunities for students to observe and participate in advancing leadership roles within a suitable healthcare organization or site. 


The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Florida State University College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). 




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