University of Southern Indiana

DNP Project

All students enrolled in the DNP program will complete an evidence-based project. The DNP project is a culmination of the knowledge gained in the DNP courses. This project will demonstrate identification and resolution of a practice problem through the scholarship of application. The primary objective of these projects is the improvement of healthcare outcomes in the practice setting. These evidence based projects may include changes in the healthcare delivery system, organizational changes that impact healthcare at the local, regional and national level and legislation and health care policies that reduce healthcare disparities. Students will identify their project during the first semester (see plan below) and continue project development throughout subsequent courses. The project must be completed in order for the DNP degree to be conferred.  The faculty mentor will be included as an author on all dissemination activities during the DNP program. The practice partner may also be included in dissemination activities as appropriate.  DNP course faculty should also be included in dissemination activities as content relates to course activities.  Faculty mentor inclusion in any dissemination activity is mandatory. 

To complete the DNP project, each student will be assigned to a faculty mentor. The student will also identify practice partner(s) who will collaborate with the faculty mentor and student on the project.

The practice partner will:

  • Assist the student in selecting goals that support the objectives of the DNP program
  • Guide the student in the development and acquisition of leadership skills required for the project
  • Meet with the student regularly and provide feedback
  • Support completion of the project and communicate as needed with the DNP project faculty

The DNP project plan will include:

  • Overview of the project.
  • Problem statement and background information
  • The need and feasibility of the project including market/risk analysis
  • Project objectives
  • Evaluation plan with methodology and measures included
  • Timeframe that is reasonable and comprehensive.
  • Budget (if applicable) with funding sources identified.

Types of DNP projects:

  • System modification for quality improvement processes
  • Analyze a state or national health care policy and propose a change in the model or implementation of policy
  • Develop and implement information technologies to improve outcomes
  • Compare care and teaching models in practice settings, potential cost savings, and outcomes.
  • Design and evaluate health care or health education programs.
  • Lead interprofessional collaborative projects to implement regional, state, or national policy and evaluate care models.
  • Lead consumer and professional coalition projects to develop, implement or evaluate programs

To meet graduation requirements, the DNP project will include:

  • Successful defense of DNP project proposal (poster presentation)
  • Poster presentation of the DNP project proposal at a professional conference as part of completion of the second project course
  • Podium presentation of the completed project at a regional, state, or national professional conference
  • A submitted manuscript summarizing the completed project to a peer reviewed professional journal at the completion of the final project course.

Role of the DNP Academic Advisor/Faculty Mentor

  • Serves as the student's academic advisor
  • Guides the student's program of study
  • Reviews course selections each semester
  • Engages in discussions with the student regarding project goals
  • Meets with the student during intensive and as needed to review progress
  • Reviews proposal draft
  • Assist the student in preparing for poster presentation
  • Assists the student in preparing/submitting the IRB forms if applicable
  • Assists the student with publications and serves as second author on all publications related to DNP project
  • Meets with the student during intensive and as needed to review progress
  • Reviews DNP assignments and grades assignments and communicates with DNP project instructor
  • Reviews progress and writes progress report
  • Meets with practice partner(teleconference/in person)
  • Gives final approval of DNP project

Role of the DNP Project Faculty

  • Organizes, teaches and manages the DNP project course
  • Meets with students individually as needed to discuss progress
  • Assigns the grade for the DNP project course

Each DNP student will be required to complete the DNP Project Practice Partner form and comply with all terms of the agreement at the location of the project. A copy of the form may be downloaded here.



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