Doctor of Nursing student writing on clipboard


Doctor of Nursing (DN)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

The Doctor of Nursing 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.

Completing this program

Courses: Topics include principles of healthcare innovation, understanding the context in which innovation occurs, change management, implementation science, and use of technology in healthcare.

Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend a thesis focused on a real world problem.

Candidacy: Students will complete both oral and written candidacy exams.


The focus of this program is to prepare students for predominantly organizational leadership roles where they advance health systems through developing skills in systems innovation, program evaluation and quality assurance/quality improvement.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.

Online delivery

Time commitment

Three years; maximum completion time is six years.


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program.

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.

Virtual Tour

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Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Karen Benzies

    Karen Benzies

    Accepting Inquiries
    Parent-Child Relationships, Early Childhood Development, Family Integrated Care, Welcome to Parenthood
  2. Photo of a blond white woman standing with her arms crossed

    Merilee (Meredith) Brockway

    Accepting Inquiries
    Infant Feeding Trial, Patient Oriented-Research
  3. Cuthbert Headshot

    Colleen Cuthbert

    Accepting Inquiries
    Health Services Research, Cancer Survivorship, Mixed Methods
  4. Añiela dela Cruz

    Añiela dela Cruz

    Accepting Inquiries
    HIV Cascade of Care; Vulnerable Populations; Population Health Promotion; Social Determinants of Health
  5. In Canada, Dr. Donnelly’s research focuses on the Health and Wellness of Immigrants and Refugees which include breast cancer and cervical cancer screening practices, HIV/AIDS, mental healthcare, and support for international students. In Qatar, Dr. Donnelly’s research studies focus on Arab women’s breast cancer screening, depression among cardiovascular patients, lifestyle risk factors and promotion of healthy lifestyle among Arab adults.

    Tam Truong Donnelly

    Accepting Inquiries
    Health services research; Women’s health; Multicultural/Cross-cultural health; Population health, health promotion and disease prevention; Mental health; Cardiovascular health; Cancer prevention; Infectious diseases; Mix-methods (qualitative and quantitative) research
  6. Andrew Estefan

    Andrew Estefan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing, Gender, Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, Narrative Inquiry
  7. Kathryn King-Shier

    Kathryn King-Shier

    Accepting Inquiries
    cardiovascular health, ethno-culture, gender, access to care, secondary prevention
  8. Catherine Laing

    Catherine Laing

    Accepting Inquiries
    Pediatric and adolescent oncology; psychosocial oncology
  9. Picture of Dr. Letourneau

    Nicole Letourneau

    Accepting Inquiries
    Vulnerable children, Social support, Parent-infant/child relationships, Maternal mental health, Domestic abuse, Family environmental effects on child development, Genetics and epigenetics
  10. Candace Lind

    Candace Lind

    Accepting Inquiries
    Adolescent/youth health promotion

Admission requirements


A minimum 3.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 point system is required. 

Minimum education

A Master’s Degree in Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing or related fields, or an equivalent from a recognized institution. Applicants also need to have at least three years of healthcare or related organization experience in a mid-level to senior leadership role.  

Work samples

A current resume/curriculum vitae with examples of the applicant’s written scholarly work such as publications, research reports, course assignments, etc.


  • A two-page personal statement outlining objectives, intent and commitment to the DN program.

Reference letters

Two reference letters, one academic and one professional.

Test scores


Supervision and Funding

A letter of commitment from the identified supervisor indicating willingness to provide supervision throughout the program of study.

English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements


For admission on January 1:

Canadian and permanent resident

  • Applications open June 1.
  • September 15 application deadline. Document deadline September 30

International Students

  • Applications open June 1.
  • September 15 application deadline. Document deadline September 30

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

Doctor of Nursing (DN)

Faculty of Nursing 
Professional Faculties (PF) 2260
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Nursing

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Nursing's Website