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For RNs with a Master’s Degree or Higher

The Post-Master’s in Organizational Leadership program is a part-time, online cohort program. The amount of time and number of credits required to complete the program will vary with the student’s previous education, post-baccalaureate practicum hours, and professional experience. The post-master’s program is designed to meet our statewide demand for a highly competent nursing workforce equipped with the skills to ensure the delivery of safe, quality nursing care in Hawaii.

Special emphasis is placed on leadership and implementation of evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare. The program consists of courses that develop the skills needed to lead teams and develop systems of care that influence health outcomes. The required NURS 776 DNP Project hours will vary dependent on the student’s documented post-baccalaureate practicum hours; 1 credit hour = 3 contact hours or 45 contact hours per semester. Students may receive course credit by submitting a portfolio demonstrating achievement of the learning outcomes.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006) are integrated throughout the program. Planning is underway to transition the curriculum to address the 2021 AACN The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.

The post-baccalaureate practicum hours combined with the DNP project hours must total 1,000 supervised hours as part of the requirement for earning the DNP degree.

The post-master’s degree student is required to take a minimum of nine (9) didactic credits and a varying number of 776 DNP Project credits, depending on professional experience and practicum hours obtained in the student’s respective master’s degree program. The post-Master’s pathway requires a minimum of 5 semesters to complete.

The curriculum includes the completion of a minimum of 225 DNP project hours. However, additional DNP project hours may be required to meet the 1,000 project hours of the DNP degree.

Transcript Review

Unofficial Review

Prior to admission, for students seeking a post-master’s DNP degree, a free unofficial transcript review is available to determine their pathway of study to meet program requirements. The transcript review is unofficial and is offered as a guidance tool for prospective students.

Official Review

A formal review of their master’s degree transcript by the DNP Program Director will determine which additional course(s) each student needs to take, if any, to meet the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006). Each student’s pathway will be tailored accordingly.

Experiential Learning Portfolio for Credit

The admitted student may petition to waive coursework by submitting an electronic Experiential Learning Portfolio (E-Portfolio). The E-Portfolio is a collection of descriptions and material that provide direct evidence of an individual’s learning, mastery, and accomplishments over time. The descriptions and exemplars may be drawn from an individual’s job- and academic-related experiences. The E-Portfolio is comprised of three major components: personal narrative, documentation of the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006), and a compilation of exemplars substantiating achievement of DNP Competencies. Planning is underway to transition the portfolio to address the 2021 AACN The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.


The equivalent of six semester credits of graduate level (500 level or above) elective coursework may be required to qualify for the DNP degree and must be taken after entry into the program. Elective courses may not be used as substitutions for the required courses listed in the Post-Master’s to DNP curriculum below.

In consultation with and approval of the academic advisor, elective coursework will augment the student’s DNP Project and/or contribute to their professional development.


Note: Sequence of courses may change due to availability of courses. Enrollment in equivalent courses in other UH schools or offered by NEXus may be taken to ensure timely student progression. Students participate in a mandatory orientation during the first week of instruction each semester.

Year 1
18 or more credits
7 or more credits
NURS 662 Leadership, Identity and Organizational Change (3)
NURS 730 Principles of Evidence-Based Practice for Advanced Nursing (3)
NURS 776 DNP Project (1 cr min.)
7 or more credits
NURS 735 Effective Program Evaluation for Quality Improvement (3)
NURS 776 DNP Project (1 cr min.)
Elective #1 (3)
4 or more credits
NURS 776 DNP Project (1 cr min.)
Elective #2 (3)
Year 2
11 or more credits
7 or more credits
NURS 607 Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology for Nurses in Advanced Practice (3)
NURS 642 Healthcare Technology and Informatics (3)
NURS 776 DNP Project (1 cr min.)
4 or more credits
NURS 740 Health Policy & Economics (3)
NURS 776 DNP Project (1 cr min.)

Total Number of Credits: 29 or more credits

Curriculum effective for DNP cohorts entering: Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Current students refer to STAR for their individualized curriculum pathway.

Approved by committee: October 6, 2020

Page updated: June 1, 2022

How to Apply

Fall 2023 Applications Available: September 1, 2022

Deadline: March 1, 2023

Application Information

The DNP Program uses a rolling admissions process. Applicants must submit fully completed applications containing all requirements for both the UHM Graduate Division and the DON to be reviewed for admission to the program. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and cannot be re-submitted. Applicants can apply only once per annual admission cycle. Applicants must meet the requirements of both the UH Manoa Graduate Division and the DON for admission to the program.

Each applicant is evaluated on the merit of their individual application and placed into one of three categories: admit, alternate or deny. Notifications about decisions occur following review of the completed application by the admissions team.

We encourage applicants to apply beginning September 1 both in the NursingCAS system and the UHM Graduate Division. Please check NursingCAS and the UHM Graduate Division for a full listing of application requirements.

Two-Step Application Process

Application Requirements are found on the websites listed below.

Step 1 – Apply to UH Manoa Graduate Division

Step 2 – Apply to Nursing’s Centralized Application Service

Application deadlines for NCAS are set to Eastern Standard Time (EST) and will close at midnight EST the date of the deadline.

  • Fee: $75 (fee increase effective August 11, 2022)
  • Select “Doctor of Nursing Practice for Applicants with a Master’s Degree” for the planned course of study

Admission Requirements


Master’s degree or higher in a health-related field from an accredited college or university. Admission is contingent upon completion of the master’s degree requirements no later than the first day of class of the first semester of DNP coursework.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Graduate GPA 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale


Current unrestricted RN license in the United States or evidence of passing the NCLEX-RN exam and a current RN license in the state or jurisdiction of practice.

National Certification

Copy of national certifications held, if applicable.

English Language Proficiency

If an applicant’s native language is not English or has not obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an English speaking college, then the applicant must submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores with a minimum score of 600/100 (paper/internet) and subtest scores of 25 for listening and 25 for speaking or Grad International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score of 7.00.

International Students

Please visit the UH Manoa Office of International Student Services page, email them at, or call them at (808) 956-8613.


Picture of Aeza Hafalia, M.Ed
Aeza Hafalia, M.Ed
DNP Program Coordinator & NEXus Campus Staff Coordinator

Contact for applicants and current students in the DNP program and the NEXus Program.


Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 201
Honolulu, HI 96822
Ph: 808-956-8401
Fax: 808-956-5977

Schedule an Advising Appointment
via Star Balance
Picture of Rick Ramirez, DNP, APRN-Rx, AG-ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, ENP-C, CEN, CPEN
DNP Program Director & Assistant Professor

Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2528 McCarthy Mall, Webster Hall 440
Honolulu, HI 96822
Ph: 808-956-4865
Fax: 808-956-3257

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