Doctor of Nursing, three students working at a computer

Doctor of Nursing (DN)

As part of the Faculty of Nursing’s commitment to health-care leadership and innovation, a new Doctor of Nursing program was launched January 2023.

This new program is aimed at developing nurse leaders and innovators with significant leadership experience (minimum of three years) for senior roles in health care and related organizations. Students will be provided with knowledge and skills to advance health systems by designing and implementing innovations and evaluating outcomes.

The Doctor of Nursing is a graduate degree program requiring a work-integrated research project. The online structure of the program will allow students to complete the program with flexibility while continuing to work. The program may be completed in as little as three years.

If you have questions about the Doctor of Nursing program or are interested in making an application, we welcome you to email us today for more information.

Student in first cohort of DN program gives it an A+

Annjanette Ridsdale-Weddell is an Indigenous RN; she shares her experiences in UCalgary Nursing's Doctor of Nursing program

Annjanette Ridsdale-Weddell

“If you are a senior leader with challenging problems to address in your health-care environment, then the knowledge you will gain throughout the coursework in this degree is priceless!  For me, the deciding factor in applying to the DN program versus a PhD program was the focus on obtaining advanced knowledge specific to health-care leadership.” 

Annjanette Ridsdale-Weddell

Director, Health Workforce Strategy, Planning & Analytics for Alberta Health

Admission Requirements

  • At least 3 years of healthcare or related organization leadership experience in a mid-level to senior leadership role.
  • A Master’s Degree in Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing or related fields, or an equivalent from a recognized institution, with a grade point average equivalent to 3.00 or better (on the University of Calgary 4-point system).
    • Students must have successfully completed graduate-level courses in quantitative and
      qualitative research methods and statistics.
    • Degrees and grades from foreign institutions are evaluated for their equivalency to those of the University of Calgary. Prospective applicants with international degrees are encouraged to contact the Faculty of Nursing.
  • Proficiency in the English language is essential for the pursuit and successful completion of graduate programs at the University of Calgary. Applicants whose primary language is not English must fulfill the English language proficiency requirement as outlined in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar.
  • Submission/completion of the following admission processes:
    • A personal statement. Applicants may include information about their personal context, reasons for making an application to the DN program, and/or professional/personal objectives.
    • A current resume/curriculum vitae with examples of the applicant’s written work (e.g., publications, research reports/proposals, master’s thesis, etc.).
    • Two references - One academic and one professional.

Optional opportunity to meet with faculty will be available

Students will be assigned a faculty supervisor to assist with the identification and development of a work-integrated project. Students will be required to provide a workplace mentor to support their project work. If students have not identified this mentor prior to the start of program, support will be offered to meet this requirement.


Technology Requirements  

To successfully engage in learning experiences at the University of Calgary, students taking online, remote and blended courses are required to have reliable access to the following technology:

  • A computer with a supported operating system, as well as the latest security, and malware updates.
  • A current and updated web browser. 
  • Webcam (built-in or external).
  • Microphone and speaker (built-in or external), or headset with microphone.
  • Current antivirus and/or firewall software enabled.
  • Broadband internet connection.

Program Structure

  • Online delivery – synchronous and asynchronous
  • Complete 7 core courses
  • Prepare and successfully defend thesis
  • Expected completion time is 3 years
  • Tuition is charged annually 

Course Work

  • NURS 741: Leading Innovation and Transformation
  • NURS 742: Technology and Healthcare Information
  • NURS 743: The Business of Healthcare
  • NURS 744: Health Policy and Advocacy
  • NURS 745: Innovation, Improvement and Implementation Science
  • NURS 746: Seminar 1 – Project Development
  • NURS 747: Seminar 2 – Knowledge Mobilization

Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students


Still have questions? Contact the Nursing Programs Office