Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership

The DNP in Leadership prepares nurses to be leaders in transforming practice environments, to lead change in complex systems, and to evaluate and implement strategies that optimize health outcomes.

Pamela Gehrke

Welcome! We are so pleased that you are considering our Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership Program. Our post-master’s doctoral program will prepare you to become a leader in the nursing profession and an expert in your field of nursing practice.

As a DNP student, you can anticipate the flexibility of online course work in a cohort model with other master’s prepared nurses from across the United States. Boise State University School of Nursing is CCNE accredited and an experienced provider of online education. Our leadership focused curriculum is applicable for those nurses who are practitioners, administrators, executives, educators, and public health and population nursing specialists.

Classes for our new cohort begin in August. We look forward to receiving your application and invite you to contact us with any questions!

Pamela Gehrke, EdD, RN
Associate Professor & DNP Program Coordinator

A DNP for Nurse Leaders

The DNP in Leadership prepares nurses to be leaders in transforming practice environments, to lead change in complex systems, and to evaluate and implement strategies that optimize health outcomes.


Boise State faculty are passionate about nursing practice and are experienced online educators with a wide range of policy, administrative, and academic expertise. You can anticipate support and encouragement as you work to achieve your academic and professional goals. View faculty bios.

Terry Bird. Alumna, Class of 2017


At Boise State, you can expect a high quality academic program from an esteemed, research-oriented public university. Our total tuition is $30,000 and we assess no additional fees for out-of-state residents. Other costs include books and travel costs associated with attending on campus Executive Sessions. View DNP cost information.

Cherno Bah, Alumni Class of 2016COHORT MODEL

As a student in the DNP program, you will be part of a cohort of nurses from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. You will learn from and support each other  while developing life-long relationships. Prior cohorts have included nurses practitioners, nurse executives, engineers, mental health specialists, educators and simulation experts. View Student Testimonials.

Maria-Shimizu. Alumnae, Class of 2017LEADERSHIP-FOCUSED CURRICULUM

The DNP curriculum includes all the coursework  nurse leaders need: heath care policy and advocacy, finance, information systems, project management and organizational leadership.  View curriculum.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn more about the DNP?

We invite you to complete an inquiry form and tell us a little about yourself. We will respond to any questions you have and we can also schedule an appointment with our program coordinator or another member of the DNP faculty to discuss your professional and academic goals.

What are the requirements to apply?

We seek highly motivated nurses who aspire to, or who are currently serving in leadership roles within health care or educational organizations and who seek opportunities to impact health outcomes and to improve nursing practice. View application instructions.

Do I need a master’s degree to apply to the DNP in Leadership?

Yes. The DNP in Leadership at Boise State is a post-master’s program. However, the program welcomes applicants with master degrees from various fields.  In addition to an MSN, we encourage nurses with degrees in public administration, business, education, health care administration, social work or other comparable fields to apply to the program. View all program education, licensing, GPA, and residency requirements.

Is the DNP in Leadership open to Nurse Practitioners or other APRNs?

Yes. If you are a nurse practitioner seeking to acquire the skills to implement evidence-based projects and processes to impact your patient’s health outcomes, we welcome your application to the DNP in Leadership.

What is a Scholarly Project?

The defining feature of Boise State’s DNP in Leadership is the Scholarly Project. As a student, you will be provided direction and guidance as you identify a project that will lead to directly or indirectly improving nursing practice and health outcomes. DNP students begin work on the Scholarly Project almost immediately upon enrollment. Then, every course within the program will support you in developing expertise and leadership skills that can be applied to the successful management of your project. View examples of Scholarly Projects completed by DNP Alumni.

Image of Norco Nursing BuildingAre Campus Visits Required?

While all courses are delivered online, students attend four, 2-day Executive Sessions on the Boise State campus. Executive Sessions include an orientation and the delivery of Scholarly Projector proposals and final reports. In addition, these on campus sessions provide a valuable opportunity to engage and interact with both faculty and fellow students.

Does Boise State offer a nurse practitioner or other APRN DNP degree?

Boise State offers a nurse practitioner program leading to a master of nursing degree. The Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program is practice-focused and coursework and clinicals can be completed in 3 years.  View information about the AGNP Master of Nursing Program.

What is the difference between a DNP and a PhD?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is the highest degree for nurses seeking to lead health organizations by improving nursing competencies or health outcomes through engagement in advocacy, effective management, and the application of research-based evidence into practice.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing prepares nurse scientists and scholars to conduct advanced academic research.

Review more information about the differences between PhD in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs (pdf).

Ready to Get Started?

A new cohort of students enroll each fall semester. Applications are due by July 15. Apply by April 15 to receive priority consideration.


Advancing Life-Long Health in Global Communities

College of Health Sciences

The College of Health Sciences houses the Health Services and three academic schools: the School of Allied Health Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work. With a central Student Services and Academic Advising office to support students and a central Office of Research to support faculty researchers, the college strives to make the most of its resources to provide high quality, affordable, relevant education to its students and the campus community through initiatives like BroncoFit. The college believes that students can learn even more from each other through Interprofessional Education learning opportunities

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