Academic Programs

The Yale School of Nursing is committed to the confluence of research, practice, and education. The faculty believes in practicing what it teaches, and teaching what it practices. As a result, students have the unique opportunity to work alongside clinically active faculty members, senior nurse researchers, and experts in health care policy.

The School offers a master’s program with nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery specialties, and students may enter the master’s program without previous education in nursing. The majority of current students enroll with an educational background in a liberal arts discipline, and the diverse mix of experience is an asset to our students. The three-year Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing (GEPN) program is designed to provide graduate-level nursing education for those who hold baccalaureate degrees, but who have no previous nursing education.

Students who currently hold a license as a registered nurse can complete their master’s education in two years. An innovative curricular redesign, launched in 2017, brought renewed focus to concepts of social justice, health equity/disparity, population health, diversity/inclusiveness, and quality. For further information see Master in Nursing Specialties (under Curriculum), in the chapter Master’s Program (M.S.N.).

Post-master’s education is available in five areas: adult/gerontology acute care, family, pediatric acute care, pediatric primary care, and psychiatric–mental health. Application and curricular specifics for each offering are found in the chapter Post-Master’s Certificates.

A doctoral study program was launched in 1994 with the Doctor of Nursing Science program and was converted to a Ph.D. program in 2006, residing in the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The program’s goal is to prepare expert nurse scholars in understanding health care issues and delivery while advancing the development of nursing knowledge. Upon completion of the program, students are expected to design and conduct research relevant to nursing practice; extend the theoretical base of nursing through empirical investigation; test conceptual models and theories that are derived from the knowledge of nursing and related disciplines; assume leadership roles in the profession and health care systems; and disseminate knowledge generated by independent, collaborative, and multidisciplinary research. The doctoral program is typically completed in four to five years of full-time study. A full description of the program can be found in the chapter Doctor of Philosophy Program.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) programs, while distinct, offer opportunities for interprofessional collaboration within YSN’s unique learning environment. The two programs are: (1) Health Care Leadership, Systems, and Policy D.N.P.; and (2) Clinical D.N.P. The Health Care Leadership, Systems, and Policy D.N.P. is designed for mid-career nurses who wish to build upon their previous education and professional experience to lead organizations that determine health care practice, education, and policy. The Clinical D.N.P. program is designed for advanced practice nurses working in clinical settings and desiring knowledge and skills to translate evidence and improve quality of care and patient outcomes within health care settings. Combining the Yale on-campus experience with online course work, the part-time, post-master’s D.N.P. programs are tailored for nurses who have ongoing professional and clinical commitments. The programs are designed to be completed within two to three academic years. A full description of the programs can be found in the chapter Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) Programs.

The courses of instruction and plans of study listed in this Bulletin are the official program and degree requirements for students matriculating at the Yale School of Nursing in the 2020–2021 academic year. However, the University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction and plans of study or to change the instructors at any time.