Health Innovation and Leadership DNP

Young group of medical professionals
Primarily Online
$973.75 per credit
Total Credits
Doctorate Degree
Admission GPA
Application Deadlines
Priority: October 15; Final: February 1
Twin Cities
School of Nursing

The Health Innovation and Leadership specialty prepares nurses to be full interprofessional partners, to create innovative healing environments, and to transform health care systems locally, nationally, and internationally. Roles range from leading in formal executive positions to leadership at point-of-care delivery, from acute care to community care, and from leading individual quality and safety programs to national and international health care initiatives.

This program is accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 


Students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Health Innovation and Leadership are qualified to take the Certification for Executive Nursing Practice Exam (CENP) or the Certification for Nurse Managers and Leaders (CNML) exam upon graduation.

Program Format

The health innovation and leadership specialty of the DNP program is a three-year full-time program delivered online.

Students in this specialty are required to come to campus once each semester for a four-day session (Tuesday through Friday) that includes: core courses, enhancement programming, specialty courses and meetings with your advisor. Students also complete 1,000 hours at practicum sites arranged by the school. All other work is completed online.

Recommended 3-Year Program Plan

Sample Courses

  • NURS 6600 – Health Systems and Care Models (3 cr)
  • NURS 7600 – Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice (4 cr)
  • NURS 7202 – Moral and Ethical Positions and Actions in Nursing (2 cr)
  • NURS 7608 – Health Care Finance and Resource Management (3 cr)
  • NURS 7900 – Scholarly Teaching and Learning in Nursing (3 cr)

International Students

Applicants who are not US citizens or Permanent Residents should understand that the University of Minnesota’s DNP program does not meet the requirements for eligibility needed to obtain the appropriate F-1 student visa or status because the DNP has limited (fewer than four) face-to-face on-site classes per DNP course. During the application process, we ask that international students use ECE or WES credential services for the evaluations.

Student Profile

Julie Kennedy-Oehlert

When Julie Kennedy-Oehlert started the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program she already had a successful career as an emergency room trauma nurse and then as a speaker and consultant with the Studer Group, which works with health care organizations to assist them to achieve clinical, operational, and financial outcomes. Kennedy-Oehlert sought the DNP degree because she wanted to stay current and advance in her career, while having a stronger voice in the nursing community.

She decided to earn a DNP degree at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing because of its reputation and nationally known faculty. The online structure of the program also was appealing because she couldn’t take off a few years to obtain a degree and disrupt her career. More than anything, though, what attracted her to the School of Nursing was the curriculum.

“The health innovation and leadership track was my biggest draw because I was not looking for a clinical degree but a leadership degree still within the terminal degree in nursing,” said Kennedy-Oehlert. “The faculty and curriculum at the School of Nursing are by far the most innovative and advanced in the field. Faculty members are revolutionary and forward-thinking. Curriculum is fresh, pertinent, and cutting-edge.”

Kennedy-Oehlert still has a few semesters left to complete before she will graduate, but she recently accepted a position as the vice president of patient experience at University of Arizona Health Network in Tucson, Ariz. “I have oversight and responsibility of the patient experience at our hospitals and our clinics, as well as operational responsibility for patient relations, volunteer department, food services, security, transport, valet parking, and gift shops.”

For Kennedy-Oehlert, the education she is obtaining at the School of Nursing is preparing her to be a leader. “It has transformed me into a global, informed leader who is prepared to lead the profession of nursing to its future as important health care partners to patients, colleagues, and communities,” said Kennedy-Oehlert.