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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Executive Track

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Executive Track

Advancing Evidence into Practice


Planning to drive healthcare innovation and influence policy? Get the analytic skills and evidence-based practice principles you need in the DNP Executive Track at Johns Hopkins. You'll forge your own intellectual path and wrap up your curriculum with an intense DNP final project experience.

Apply Your Experience

You'll address significant healthcare problems-defined by your interests and based on your experience-in real time and in your practice setting. And you'll find numerous opportunities for collaboration, challenging problems for study, and a tradition of rigorous scholarship.

Executive Mentorship

For the selected DNP Executive Track students, the Nurse Leader Executive Mentorship Program has the potential to bring life-changing experiences and learning opportunities. The experience offers avenues to share expertise, and engage and positively influence tomorrow's professional healthcare leaders. Financial support is available.

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Why Hopkins?

Those who earn a Johns Hopkins DNP Executive Track degree:

  • Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership for quality and safety in healthcare systems
  • Apply clinical scholarship, as well as information systems and technology, to provide and/or transform healthcare
  • Use strategies of risk reduction/illness prevention, health promotion, and health maintenance to improve the care of individuals, families, and populations
  • Develop, evaluate, advocate, and provide leadership for healthcare policy that shapes healthcare financing, regulation, access, and delivery

DNP Final Project

DNP graduates remain in practice, leading cross-professional teams in the improvement and provision of informed quality healthcare. The knowledge, skills, and abilities to conduct such work is developed across the program and applied in the conduct of the DNP final project.  The DNP final project is the student’s original work that establishes them as a Hopkins Nursing clinical scholar.

Additional Information

View the recording of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Executive Track virtual information session.

Watch Now


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Executive Track graduate Beth Abate talks about advanced care for geriatric patients and her role as a nurse practitioner.

DNP Capstone

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Application Deadline

Summer Entry
November 1, January 1

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Meet A Student

Take a glimpse into the life of a Hopkins Nursing doctoral student.

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Faculty Leadership

Faculty with leadership roles

Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

NLN designated Center of Excellence in Nursing Education


School of Nursing supports three community based health centers in Baltimore City

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Jemma Ayvazian
Jemma Ayvazian
Jonas Scholar 2012-2013
When I learned that Johns Hopkins matched my needs and interests, I didn’t apply for any other program.

In 2003, Jemma Ayvazian was a typical military spouse, residing on a U.S. Army base in Germany--then she saw the veterans coming back from Iraq. "That's when I set a goal to become a nurse," she says. After earning her bachelor's and master's degrees, she began the DNP program at Johns Hopkins. For her capstone project, she designed a comprehensive care program for veterans that addressed mental health, pain management, and traumatic brain injury, too.

Read Jemma's Story
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Admission Criteria

  • Master's Degree in Nursing (from a nationally accredited program)
  • Scholastic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • RN licensure (from state where the project courses will be completed)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (2 professional and 1 academic preferred)*
  • Official Transcripts (from all post-secondary schools)
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Goal statement/project proposal (demonstrating commitment to nursing practice and scholarly pursuit)
  • Faculty Interview (in person or by phone if moved forward by the admissions committee)
  • Applicants who do not have advanced practice licensure, or who earned fewer than 375 clinical hours as part of their Master’s degree, will be considered on a case by case basis (please email for an eligibility evaluation)
  • Students should have an identified clinical site for conducting scholarly project at the time of matriculation.
  • Additional Requirements for International Applicants

Admissions Application

*References should be recent, written for the purpose of your application to this program and from professors who know you as a student or employers who know you as a professional in a job setting preferably in a supervisory role. Personal references from colleagues, friends, or family members do not meet the requirement.


Graduate Level Biostatistics (3 credits): Demonstrates evidence of statistical literacy and statistical reasoning enabling students to critically read and evaluate healthcare literature. Course must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a letter grade of B or better.

State-Specific Information for Online Programs

Students currently cannot conduct clinical activities in Louisiana and Massachusetts. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of additional state-specific  information for online programs.

Student Sponsorship

This program does not qualify for F-1 or J-1 student sponsorship. Legal Permanent Residents and non-immigrants who are otherwise physically present in the U.S. and in a status that allows for full or part-time study, may pursue this program.

Transfer of Credits

Transfer of credit is granted on an individual basis. Up to 6 credits of graduate coursework taken at Johns Hopkins University or elsewhere within the last five years may be accepted for transfer.


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The program's executive session format can be completed in six semesters of full-time study, integrating approximately 5 days of on-site classes during the first year with online and virtual learning experiences.

Onsite Dates

  • Students Admitted Summer 2016 - Second Year Class SPR 18 (2017-2018)
    • Monday, May 21, 2018 - DNP Executive Track Scholarly Project Conference and Poster Session
  • Students Admitted in Summer 2017 - First Year Class SPR 19 (2017-2018)
    • May 15-19, 2017 DNP Executive Track Orientation On-Site
    • March 5-7, 2018 Synchronous Immersion (On-Site or Zoom)
  • Students Admitted in Summer 2017 - Second Year Class SPR 19 (2018-2019)
    • May, 2019 - TBD 1 day prior to University Commencement - DNP Executive Track Scholarly Project Poster Session
  • Students Admitted in Summer 2018 - First Year Class SPR 20 (2018-2019)
    • May 14-18, 2018 DNP Executive Track Orientation On-Site
    • March, 2019 - TBD Synchronous Immersion (Zoom)
  • Students Admitted in Summer 2018 -Second Year Class SPR 20 (2019-2020)
    • May, 2020 - TBD 1 day prior to University Commencement - DNP Executive Track Scholarly Project Poster Session

Course of Study (Students Admitted in Summer 2018)

First Year (21 Credits)

  • Summer (6 Credits )
    • Project Identification (1)
    • DNP Practicum (2)
    • Health Economics and Finance (3)
  • Fall (6 Credits)
    • Nursing Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice (2)
    • Advanced Nursing Health Policy (2)
    • Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care (2)
  • Spring (9 Credits)
    • Translating Evidence into Practice (3)
    • Project Development (1)
    • DNP Practicum (2)
    • Electives* (3)

Second Year (19 credits)

  • Summer (8 Credits)
    • Analysis and Evaluation of Individual and Population Health Data (3)
    • Health Information Systems and Patient Care Technologies (2)
    • Elective* (3)
  • Fall (6 Credits)
    • Project Implementation (1)
    • DNP Practicum (2)
    • Elective* (3)
  • Spring (5 Credits)
    • Project Evaluation (1)
    • DNP Practicum (2)
    • Clinical Data Management (2)


*Electives may be taken at the School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Carey Business School.

Note: A minimum of 1000 practice hours are required for the DNP program (prior MSN -552 clinical hours plus 448 DNP practicum hours).
** DNP Executive Track students are not permitted to take Electives in the first 2 semesters.  A total of 9 elective credits are required.  Course credits can range from 1 to 3 and dispersed across semesters 3 through 6


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Tuition & Other Costs

Billed Expenses

(June 2017- May 2018)

Tuition: $36,3941
Per credit cost: $1,671
Matriculation fee: $500 (one time only fee for first-time enrolled JHU students)
Total Billed Expenses: $36,894

The Cost of Attendance (COA)2

COA Statement: The costs listed represent direct costs, which are billed directly by the School of Nursing. Students can still expect to incur indirect costs such as room, board, travel expenses, personal expenses, etc. Unlike direct costs, indirect costs will vary from student to student. A full projected annual Cost of Attendance, including both direct and indirect costs can be found here.

View the Cost of Attendance

1Tuition is listed for students in the typical progression of previous students enrolled in the program according to the course sequence. Students enrolling in additional credits may be charged more and students enrolling in less credits may be charged less.
2Amounts for other expenses vary based upon student's selection of books, supplies, and living arrangements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a DNP?

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a doctoral degree for nurses at the highest level of nursing practice. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has proposed that the DNP degree will be the level of entry for all advanced practice nurses by 2015.

  • Is a DNP necessary?

    Changing demands of today's complex healthcare environment, outlined in recent reports from the Institute of Medicine, require nurses serving in specialty positions have the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise possible. Nurses are constantly working with individuals who have a high level of preparation in their respective fields - physicians, pharmacists, and other health providers. The effectiveness of nurses is directly related to the amount and type of education they receive, and recent research has established a clear link between higher levels of nursing education and better patient outcomes.

  • What knowledge, skills and abilities will a DNP provide over my previous education?

    Practice-focused doctoral programs prepare experts in specialized advanced practice nursing. Preparation includes the development of advanced competencies for increasingly complex practice and leadership roles; enhanced knowledge to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes; and enhanced leadership skills to strengthen practice and healthcare delivery.

  • What are the differences between the DNP and PhD programs?

    The DNP program prepares nurse leaders for evidence-based practice in both direct patient care and executive roles. This requires competence in translating research in practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision-making, and implementing viable clinical and organizational innovations to change practice.

    The PhD program is designed to prepare nurses for careers as research scientists, often in academic or governmental positions.  View Comparison Chart

  • I'm currently a Nurse Practitioner, will I have to return to school to get a DNP in order to practice?

    No, advanced practice nurses with master's degrees will be able to continue to practice in their current capacities.

  • Are graduates able to become nurse educators in schools of nursing?

    Yes, but the DNP degree does not prepare nurses to be educators. Graduates from all doctoral programs (DNP and PhD) who want to teach should take additional coursework in education. Expectations of faculty in terms of scholarship (i.e., research and publications) vary widely across institutions. Check out our Nurse Educator Certificate.

  • Will credits from other programs transfer?

    Up to six credits from another institution may be transferred into the DNP program with approval.

  • Is the program accredited?

    Yes, our DNP program has full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education until 2019.

  • Are GRE scores required?

    No, GRE scores are not required.

  • Is part-time study an option?

    No, currently part-time study is not an option for the DNP Executive Track.

  • Is a dissertation required?

    No, a dissertation is not required. Instead, a DNP final project will be completed by the end of the program. See the DNP final project for details.

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Funding Opportunities

Scholarships & Grants

Grants are awards based on financial need that do not have to be repaid. Many students also benefit from scholarships and awards based on merit.

Scholarships & Grants


Many students will avail themselves of loans to help finance their School of Nursing Education. If necessary, we encourage you to borrow only what is absolutely essential to cover your educational costs.


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