Skip to content
Contact USI

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

Implementation of 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 to promote systems improvement.
  • 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 of the DNP project proposal at a professional conference
  • 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

  • Serves as the student's academic advisor
  • Guides the student's program of study
  • Reviews course selections each semester

 Role of the DNP Project Faculty Mentor

  • Engages in discussions with the student regarding DNP project goals
  • Reviews DNP project proposal draft
  • Assists the student in preparing for the DNP project poster presentation
  • Assists the student in preparing/submitting 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 project course assignments, grades assignments, and communicates with DNP project instructor
  • Meets with practice partner (teleconference/in person) as needed
  • Gives final approval of DNP project including project paper and manuscript

 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

The DNP Project Review Committee will

  1. Evaluate student’s proposed project according the DNP Project Proposal Rubric
  2. Provide timely and constructive feedback to the DNP student and their assignment faculty mentor on the proposal
  3. Effectively communicate to the student and their assigned Faculty Mentor on the due date for required resubmissions in the case of a proposal not being approved.

DNP Practice Partner

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 found in Appendix G.

Role of the DNP Project Review Committee  

* Evaluates the proposed project according to the DNP Project Proposal Rubric

* Provides timely and constructive feedback to the DNP student and their faculty mentor

*  Effectively communicates to the student and assigned faculty mentor due dates for re-submissions as needed. 

 

DNP Practice Partner Collaboration

Activity

Timeline

Responsibility

Initial email to students' practice partner with copy sent to student -contact information for mentor

-DNP project course requirements summary (elements of the DNP project and course it is completed in)

Upon receipt of signed practice partner form

Practice partner form must be submitted by the end of DNP Project I

DNP Project I faculty as practice partner forms are received

Review with student the activity and input from practice partner

Prior to beginning of DNP Project II

Faculty mentor during intensive prior to DNP Project II

Activity

Timeline

Responsibility

Send copy of proposal evaluation form to practice partner and indicate deadline for proposal sign off

Beginning of DNP Project II

DNP Project II faculty

Email to enlist practice partner’s feedback on the proposal

-has the student shared the proposal with you

-do you support the proposal

-any questions or concerns

End of DNP Project II when project proposal is being evaluated for completion

Faculty mentor during DNP Project II

Email practice partner at the completion of DNP Project III to assess implementation status, feedback, and/or concerns

-how is the implementation going

-any changes that need to be made

End of DNP Project III

Faculty mentor near end of DNP Project III

Email practice partner during DNP Project IV -data analysis for practice partner input

End of DNP Project IV

Faculty Mentor

Practice partner receives informal invitation to research conference presentation of project along with fee waiver

-email to practice partner with information on dates and arrangements

August of final year

DNP Project IV faculty

Phone/email/in person contact with practice partner to evaluate/approve project completion

-practice partner reviews and signs final project approval form

-discussion of dissemination

December of final year

Faculty Mentor/ DNP Project faculty

Practice partner receives formal invitation to research conference presentation

-formal invite is mailed

January prior to presentation in April

DNP Project VI faculty

Faculty mentor and practice partner approve manuscript of DNP project for submission

March of final year

Faculty Mentor

 Completion of the DNP Project

The content of the project report is the responsibility of the DNP student and faculty mentor. The following documentation will be completed by the faculty mentor, practice partner, and program director to ensure successful completion of the written proposal and final written report.

The proposal for the DNP project must be written and approved no later than the completion of Nursing 866: Project I, and prior to project implementation. The faculty mentor is responsible to sign the DNP Written Proposal Evaluation (Appendix C) signifying that the written proposal has met the criteria for proceeding forward with the project. The student is responsible for sharing the written proposal with the practice partner and securing their agreement and support. If the faculty mentor does not believe the written proposal has met the evaluation criteria, a meeting with the DNP student, faculty mentor, and program chair will be held to formulate a plan for successful completion of the written proposal. Progression to Nursing 867: Project II is contingent upon successful approval of the written proposal.

Upon completion of the project, the faculty mentor, practice partner, and student will sign the DNP Final Written Report Evaluation (Appendix I). The project must be completed by the end of Nursing 873: Project VI course. The program chair signature on the DNP Final Written Report Evaluation signifies successful completion of the DNP project as a requirement of the DNP program.

Incomplete Grade for students enrolled in Academic Bulletin term 2019-2020 and prior:

An "incomplete" may be used with selected DNP courses except for DNP project courses which require a ‘Pass.’ An incomplete may only be used in cases of true hardship when extenuating circumstances have resulted in the student's being unable to complete course requirements by the end of the semester. All University policies regarding incomplete are applicable to nursing courses. Refer to the USI Graduate Bulletin.

In the rare instances in which this occurs, the following policies are in effect:

  1. Incomplete will not be used to allow for remedial work; student work must be passing.
  2. The student must meet with her/his advisor to reassess plan of study.
  3. Students are required to remove the incomplete before enrolling and beginning the next DNP project course.

In Progress Grade for students enrolled in Academic Bulletin term 2019-2020 and prior:

In the event a student is unable to complete the assignments within the course semester for the DNP Project courses, assigning an Incomplete (IN) grade is not an option for these courses. The grade of In Progress (IP) will be recorded. An IP grade requires enrollment in the same class in successive semesters; an IP grade means the student cannot receive credit for the course under any circumstances without re-enrollment in the course. If a student receives an IP in a DNP project course, progression to the next project course is dependent on the faculty mentor approval. 

 Incomplete Grade: Students enrolled in Academic Bulletin term 2020-2021 and beyond:

DNP project courses NURS 874 and NURS 875 have a grade option of ‘Incomplete’ status.  The In-Progress grade option will be maintained for NURS 866.  An incomplete may only be used in cases of true hardship when extenuating circumstances have resulted in the student's being unable to complete course requirements by the end of the semester. All University policies regarding incomplete are applicable to nursing courses. Refer to the USI Graduate Bulletin.

In the rare instances in which this occurs, the following policies are in effect:

  1. Incomplete will not be used to allow for remedial work; student work must be passing.
  2. The student must meet with her/his advisor to reassess plan of study.
  3. Students are required to remove the incomplete before enrolling and beginning the next DNP project course.
  4. Students in the NP specialties must complete the DNP project prior to entering the final year of the APRN specialty courses.

 In-Progress Grade: Students enrolled in Academic Bulletin term 2020-2021 and beyond:

In the event a student is unable to complete the assignments within the course semester of NURS 866 Project Proposal, assigning an Incomplete (IN) grade is not an option. The grade of In Progress (IP) will be recorded. An IP grade requires enrollment in the same class in successive semesters; an IP grade means the student cannot receive credit for NURS 866 under any circumstances without re-enrollment in the course. If a student receives an IP, progression to the next project course is dependent on the faculty mentor approval.