Mentorship and flexibility for advanced practice and executive nurses

At the MGH Institute’s innovative Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, you’ll join a cohort of current and aspiring nurse leaders in both direct practice and indirect practice roles, preparing to shape the future of healthcare. Learn from faculty who are authorities in areas such as innovation, design and improvement science, leadership, policy, population health, and informatics. You will receive individualized one-on-one mentoring throughout the program from faculty advisors as well as recent graduates. Experience a vibrant community where alumni actively participate, creating a network of support and collaboration.

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An innovative, integrated doctorate

This intensive 30-credit program is designed for those with a master’s degree in advanced practice nursing roles and/or nurses in roles within executive leadership, policy, or informatics. You will engage in one, fully integrated course each semester, and complete a DNP project. There are two part-time enrollment options. Applicants can elect to complete the program in either 4 or 5 semesters, based on what works best for work-life balance and career trajectory. Your desired program length selection is made within the online application.

Prepare by discovering the theory and science of nursing and health care, targeting a specific area for your scholarly project.

Build the foundation you will need to assess practice environments, organizational behavior, and population health. 

Apply what you've learned to translate evidence into practice and improve outcomes (clinical) or innovate and lead (executive).

Synthesize and disseminate your DNP education into a scholarly project to improve processes, change policies, or redesign systems.

This option moves the focus on clinical application to the end of the program. It moves the remaining clinical hours to complete your project to an all-clinical application course in the fifth semester.

Engage in meaningful projects and prepare to disseminate your work. Your education will culminate in a DNP Project that will enable you to design, implement, and evaluate an effective solution to a real-life, workplace challenge. Throughout your project, a faculty mentor and experts in the field will help you implement evidence-based practices that will ultimately bring about meaningful change. 

Past projects include:

  • Leadership Behaviors of Experienced Nurse Executives: Are They Authentic?
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration Between Community Health Workers and the Primary Care Team
  • Assessment of a Professional Practice Environment at a Private Hospital in Shanghai, China
  • Moral Distress and Work Environments in Intensive Care Units


View More Student Projects

An investment in your degree will pay you back many times over the course of your career. Here are helpful resources to consult as you consider applying.

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Aid Office

Tuition Reduction for MGB Employees, Alumni and Affiliates

How to Apply

We offer two online pathways to earning the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree:

  • The DNP for Advanced Practice Nurses welcomes applications from advanced practice RNs with an MS in Nursing who want to be clinical scholars, prepared at the highest level of nursing practice. 
  • The DNP for Nurse Executives accepts those in a leadership role or aspiring to be in this role; some leadership experience prior to admissions is preferred. 

The application process is comprised of 2-steps: 

  • Step 1:  Submit the application in our online portal 
  • Step 2: Upload Required Supplemental Documents

Are you an IHP alum? If so, please admissions [at] (contact our admissions office) for an expedited application process.

Our professional staff is here to provide information and answer questions you might have and to offer ongoing information throughout the application process.


Deadlines & Fees

Rolling Applications

Application review is ongoing for Fall 2024 and will continue until the class is filled. Only completed applications will be reviewed for admission. There is no application fee required for this program. 


Apply Now

Doctor of Nursing Practice for Advanced Practice Nurses: This track accepts RNs with an MS in Nursing who are already advanced practice nurses: Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Anesthetists, and Certified Nurse Midwives. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice for Nurse Executives: Those in a leadership role with or without an advanced practice certification or those who have completed an MS in Nursing Leadership may choose to apply to the DNP for Nurse Executives track.  We also will consider applicants with a non-nursing master’s degree, but prerequisites may be required.

Nurse educators who participated in an MS for Nursing Education program may apply to our program with the understanding, that the DNP curriculum does not prepare the applicant to be a better educator.  If they can design their project to use the DNP curriculum threads in a setting other than an academic nursing setting, this DNP program can be helpful.  This may be appropriate for those in staff development roles in clinical settings.

All DNP applicants must show completion of a graduate level course in biostatistics within the last ten years prior to matriculation into the MGHIHP program.  Academic courses or certificate programs may qualify.  Prior to taking a course, the course must be approved by the DNP faculty.


All applicants must have a conferred bachelor's and master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

The GRE is not required for admission to this program.


The language of instruction and clinical education at the MGH Institute is English and a high level of proficiency in both written and spoken English is required.  Applicants who have not completed either an undergraduate or graduate program where English is the language of instruction must demonstrate English Language proficiency as part of your application to the MGH Institute of Health Professions.  If you have questions about the language requirements, please contact the Office of Admissions.

  • Applicants who are citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Guyana, an Anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.
  • Applicants who are candidates for graduation from an accredited degree-granting program in the United States or at an English-speaking school in one of the countries listed above are also not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Acceptance to the IHP will be contingent upon successful completion of this degree prior to matriculation.

Please note that in some circumstances, demonstrating English language proficiency may be required by the academic program even if you are a citizen of a country in which the (or one of the) national language(s) is English. Decisions about the need for TOEFL or IELTS scores are at the discretion of the academic program to which you are applying in coordination with the department of OES.

The IHP accepts either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The test must have been taken within two years of the application deadline and official score reports are required. The minimum TOEFL (internet-based) score accepted is 89 and the minimum IELTS score accepted is 6.5.  

  • To forward your TOEFL score please contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  The MGH Institute of Health Professions code is 3513.
  • For IELTS, a Test Report Form may be mailed to MGH Institute of Health Professions and score information will be verified by the IHP directly. You may designate up to 5 schools to receive Test Report Forms at the time you register for the test.  To request additional Test Report Forms, contact your test center.

Please contact the Office of Admissions if you have any questions about the MGH Institute’s English Language requirements. 

Applicants are required to submit a transcript from each college and/or university attended, even if a degree was not received from that institution. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted throughout the application process, and official transcripts will only be required prior to enrolling in the program. 

The Office of Admission strongly encourages the use of online electronic transcript ordering which can be sent directly via email to admissions [at] (admissions[at]mghihp[dot]edu). If this is not an option and your institution does not participate in electronic transcript delivery, please request official transcripts be sent to the mailing address listed below:

Admission Office
MGH Institute of Health Professions
36 First Avenue
Boston, MA 02129

Applicants that have earned a degree from a non-US institution are required to submit a course-by-course credential evaluation from one of the following NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) members: Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, World Education Services (WES), or the Center for Educational Documentation. If you earned your bachelor's degree outside of the U.S. this credential evaluation must document minimum equivalency of a US baccalaureate degree or higher.

Essay/Goal Statement 
All applicants are required to compose an essay that addresses the following:

  1. Describe your professional growth since completing a graduate degree. Use specific examples to highlight this process in areas of leadership, clinical innovation, and/or scholarship accomplishment
  2. Include a one- to two-page, double-spaced statement that:
  • Articulates a set of professional goals consistent with DNP preparation
  • Details how the Institute DNP curriculum can help you meet these goals
  • Provides some examples of projects you would like to pursue as part of your DNP program coursework. (Please familiarize yourself with the DNP course descriptions, particularly.)

Essays should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than three pages in total. Please make sure your full legal name is included on each page. The statement of intent should be uploaded directly to your online application.

Diversity Statement
A Diversity Statement is optional for all applicants and must be submitted directly within the online application as a supplemental item. The Diversity Statement should address the following:
MGH Institute of Health Professions is committed to an inclusive campus climate that welcomes students who will enrich the diversity of thought and perspectives, and therefore, enhance the learning experiences of all. In what ways might you personally contribute to improving the experience of the campus as a welcoming and inclusive place to learn?

Recommendation Letters
Applicants are required to provide one (1) recommendation letter. All recommendations are processed through our online application. Please provide contact information for your recommender within the online application.

A recommendation letter should come from an individual who is able to address your academic ability, character, and integrity, as well as your potential for graduate professional study. 

Resume or CV
Applicants are required to submit a current resume or CV.

A personal interview may be required for those being considered for admission. These interviews are by invitation only and can be conducted virtually.   Consultation calls can be requested about specific questions not addressed in our program materials prior to application.

The purpose of the interview/consultation is to:

  • Assess the fit between the candidate’s career goals and the program
  • Evaluate the candidate’s career goals and potential for leadership
  • Provide applicants an opportunity to ask questions

What is the difference between the two DNP tracks?

The DNP for nurse practitioners is designed for those who are not in a leadership role, but are in clinical practice settings without leadership responsibility. The DNP for Nurse Executives accepts all those in a leadership role or aspiring to be in this role; some leadership experience prior to admission is preferred. Although there are two tracks, much of the learning takes place within the cohort where students from the two tracks are combined. Some assignments and group work may be different for the executive track students to better reflect the learning needs of their increased scope of practice.

What is the curriculum plan, and can I pursue this degree either full-time or part-time?

The 30-credit program is taught online with required weekend intensives (first intensive which combines orientation to program, may occur during the week prior to the first semester start) and some synchronous seminar sessions during each course.  Generally, there are two intensive weekends (Friday and Saturday) each semester, scheduled toward the beginning and end of each semester. One will be on our Boston campus, and the other will be fully online. There are generally approximately ten synchronous seminar sessions during the first three courses (approximately five sessions in the last course of the program), done virtually during evening hours and recorded; currently, these are on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm EST, The rest of the semester allows you to study on your own time and balance a busy work/life schedule.  The program’s dedicated faculty supports you every step of the way, ensuring a personalized and interactive approach to nursing. 

What are the required clinical hours?

The DNP is a practice doctorate.  As such, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), requires students to complete 1,000 supervised clinical practice hours post their baccalaureate degree.  Five hundred (500) of those hours must be completed at the DNP level.  The other 500 hours are accrued at the Master’s level. Since MGHIHP is a postgraduate program, many have already accrued the maximum allowed 500 hours in their master’s programs.  Certification exams for nurse practitioners require a minimum number of practice hours to be eligible to sit for these exams.  Those who completed other master’s programs in nursing or those with non-nursing master’s degrees may need to accrue the additional 500 master’s hours (or the difference between hours accrued and 500) during the time they are enrolled in their educational program. Students track their own hours and work with their faculty advisers to ensure they are aligning these with course objectives and student learning outcomes. Accepted applicants will be required to obtain clinical hours accrued from their master’s programs to help determine the total number of hours needed at the DNP level.

How will I know if I have prerequisites to complete?

We do consider applicants with non-nursing master’s degrees for acceptance into our program.  Most often, these applicants have prerequisites to complete.  As required of all applicants, a graduate-level course in biostatistics within the last ten years is required.  Additionally, transcripts are evaluated to determine if there are any additional requirements.  The most common deficit assessed on gap analysis is a graduate course in research methods.  This course may be available at MGHIHP.  Otherwise, the applicant can find an outside course that would need to be pre-approved before registering.  Acceptance is granted pending completion of these prerequisites.  This is why we encourage consideration for early application to allow time for these to be completed.

Can I apply as an MGH IHP Alum?

Yes, of course! We are happy that you are interested in continuing your graduate studies with us. The Admissions Office will assist you with a streamlined application process as an IHP alum. Please admissions [at] (email us prior to applying) for more information. Please see the specific pre-requisite and eligibility requirements within the Application Requirements section.

Who do I contact for more information about the academic program, curriculum, or requirements?

Please dnp [at] (subject: DNP%20for%20Nurse%20Execs%20Question%28s%29) (contact the DNP Program) directly.

Who do I contact for more information about the application process, my application status, or what documents to submit?

Contact our admissions office

Can I defer my admission to a future term?

Though generally not permitted, deferral requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are generally approved only in extreme circumstances or military deployment. admissions [at] (subject: Requqest%20Deferral) (To request a deferral, email the admission office).

Are there other Conditions of Admission?

Yes. If applicable, final transcripts and test scores must be submitted to satisfy the conditions of admission.

I’m an international student. Can I receive an F-1 visa?

Please see General Information for Prospective International Students.


Upcoming Admissions Events


Live, online classes each semester.

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#1 Ranked Program in Boston by U.S. News and World Report


Weekend intensives each semester in Boston and online.

The IHP Advantage: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Individual Mentoring

Receive one-on-one mentoring from a dedicated advisor helping you to develop and refine your concentration focus.

Case Study Model

Learn through real-life cases from world-class healthcare organizations.

For Working Professionals

Designed for working experts, our program combines online and on-site learning, offering flexibility without compromising quality.

Access to expertise

Interact with world-renowned clinicians and nurse leaders at some of the nation’s leading hospitals and health centers, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, enhancing your leadership capacity.

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Assistant Professor Nursing

Roksolana Starodub, PhD, ACNP-BC

Assistant Professor DNP Track Coordinator Nursing

Suellen Breakey, PhD, RN

Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor Associate Director, Center for Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Health Nursing