DNP students are required to complete a clinical scholarly project in order to meet the program’s requirement and be eligible for graduation.
The DNP project allows the student to demonstrate mastery of the concepts of the degree. It brings together the practice and scholarship aspects of the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The student leads an interdisciplinary team to translate scientific evidence into clinical practice. The student selects a clinical problem, finds an evidence-based solution, identifies stakeholders, then develops a plan for implementation in their clinical setting. An evaluation is then completed to determine if the implementation was effective. The final step of the project is dissemination to the nurse practitioner community.
The DNP project is not intended to be a research study (dissertation), but a research translation project. It is designed to address complex practice issues that affect groups of patients, health care organizations or health care systems utilizing informatics, technology and in-depth knowledge of the clinical and behavioral sciences. The theme of all DNP projects is the use of evidence to improve either practice or patient outcomes. The clinical scholarship required in the DNP project reflects mastery and competency in the student’s area of expertise.
Examples of the acceptable types of projects are:
- System modification for quality improvement processes
- Information technologies applied in the health care setting to improve health outcomes
- Health care delivery innovations
- Analysis and application of a health care policy
- Health education program with consumer or professional teams
- Elements of a clinical practice guideline in the health care setting