The UMass Amherst online Doctor of Nursing Practice Online Public Health Nurse Leader (DNP- PHNL) specialization prepares nurses to assume leadership positions in a variety of settings. 

Critical Need for Public Health Nurse Leaders

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for nurse leaders who are trained in population-level health assessment and intervention. The need for public health nurse leaders is expected to grow significantly in the coming decade as our society confronts the impacts of infectious diseases, natural disasters, climate change, growing concerns about health disparities and social justice issues, and an aging population with a growing number of patients with chronic and acute conditions.

BS-DNP and Master’s to DNP Pathways

Students may enter the program from the bachelor’s or master’s level.

  • The BS to DNP-PHNL is usually completed in either 4 yrs (full time) or 5 years (part-time)
  • The Master’s to DNP-PNHL plan of study is determined based on a transcript review, usually 2-3 years

Students complete approximately 69-75 course credits and 504 hours of community placements for a population health project.

See the plan of study in the Graduate Student Handbook. 


Priority admission deadline: October 15. We will continue reviewing all applications until all seats are full.  Start dates may be available in Spring, Summer or Fall terms.

Apply online through the UMass Amherst Graduate School.

Contact %20kayotte [at] umass [dot] edu (Karen Ayotte) for more information.