“I chose to attend Elms College for the DNP-HSIL because I had such a great experience while completing my MSN/MBA program here. I wanted to continue my education at Elms because the professors and instructors have such varied experiences, I learn something new every class, and am able to bring these concepts to my job and improve how I lead my team.”

Kelli Barrieau
Doctor of Nursing Practice student, Health Systems Innovation and Leadership track
Class of 2019
Clinical Director, Commonwealth Care Alliance

DNP in Health Systems Innovation and Leadership

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in the Health Systems Innovation and Leadership (HSIL) is designed to educate master’s prepared nurses who are practicing in advanced roles such as, advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists), nurse leaders, nurse managers, and nurse educators.

The HSIL track leverages the strengths of doctoral-level content and brings innovative approaches to students through newly acquired knowledge and skills needed to guarantee a quality education. The track will afford opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary collaborative seminars for peer-to-peer and student-to-faculty learning opportunities with the goal to advance health care transformation and care delivery that influences the overall patient experience.

As advanced nurses lead change, the demands for clear and convincing communication, strong analytic capabilities, and flexible leadership skills at the system level are requirements for contemporary practice today. The program aims to educate innovators for change who are equipped to meet the challenges of a complex healthcare system.

The HSIL specialty track prepares graduates to be full interdisciplinary partners across that complex system, and to create innovative healing environments while transforming healthcare systems locally, nationally, and internationally.

Graduates of the DNP-HSIL program meet requirements to sit for a variety of national certifications offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Organization of Nurse Executives, including the Certification for Executive Nursing Practice Exam (CENP), or the Certification for Nurse Managers and Leaders (CNML) exam.


Click to view course requirements for the Health Systems Innovation and Leadership (HSIL) DNP.

Course #FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
Organizational Systems and Quality Improvement3
Population Health and Epidemiology3
Research Methods and Translation for Advanced Practice3
Ethics for Advanced Practice3
Financial Management in Health Care Delivery3
Leadership and Collaboration in Health Care Organizations3
DNP Capstone Project I: Introduction to Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Foundations for Evidence-Based Practice3
DNP Capstone Project II: Program Planning, Management, and Evaluation3
Business Marketing and Communications1
DNP Capstone Project III: Population Health-Based Care and Informatics3
DNP Capstone Project IV: Advanced Management in Complex Health Care Systems for Change: Implementation2
DNP Capstone Project V: Evaluation of Project in Organizational Setting and Writing for Dissemination3