Message from the Director

Hello, I am Deena Nardi, director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at USF. I would like to welcome you to the Leach College of Nursing and congratulate you for exploring the opportunities that a DNP degree can create for you. Our program prepares nurse who have MSN degrees for leadership roles as advanced practice nurses or advanced role nurses in health care practice, education and policy advocacy. Doctorally prepared nursing leaders are needed to transform health care policy and practice through nursing solutions. Our DNP faculty and preceptors work alongside our students in addressing real-life challenges to the health and well-being of diverse populations in a rapidly changing world.

In keeping with the Franciscan heritage and values of our university and college of nursing, our DNP degree program focuses on underserved and vulnerable individuals and families as our patient populations of interest. These vulnerable populations include the poorest of the poor, the displaced, the abused, the uninsured, and people with chronic mental or physical health diseases. In our work with these populations, we meet society’s need, strengthen families, and contribute to the health and wellbeing of our greater community. Our program offers full and part time study options, and our curriculum incorporates the following guidelines:


  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials for the Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty’s Core Competencies of Nurse Practitioner Practice
  • National Task Force on Quality Nurse Practitioner Education’s Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs
  • National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists Statement on Clinical Nurse Specialist Education and Practice
  • International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics


The DNP faculty and staff look forward to meeting you, and assisting you in meeting your educational and professional goals.

Deena Nardi, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Professor and Director, DNP Program