What is a DNP project? A DNP project is an evidenced-based implementation and evaluation project completed by students earning their Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. This project is required for the conferral of a DNP degree at UIC.
How should I prepare for my DNP project? Over the course of your first couple of years in the program, you will take a series of classes to prepare you for your DNP project execution. You’ll expand on your understanding of statistics and epidemiology. This course will assist you in critically analyzing existing data and determining the best methods to evaluate and display your findings. Additionally, you will take evidenced-based practice courses 1 and 2 which will prompt you to propose methods and strategies to implement evidenced-based practice and evaluate the effectiveness; these courses are preliminary and practice courses to prepare you for your actual project.
Do you have any advice for selecting a DNP project? During your “practice,” and exploratory courses (i.e., EBP 1 & 2) use these opportunities to research and understand your topic of interest to reduce the possibility of a limited amount of time reviewing literature in EBP 3. I would suggest choosing a subject that you are passionate about and are interested in learning more about. You are going to devote years to this topic, I would advise choosing one that intrigues you. If you know what subject matter you would like to pursue, review existing projects, choose based on your preference, and target your preliminary work to aid you in your project proposal and implementation. Also, your topic must be feasible and measurable. Rely on the guidance from your faculty and your coursework to determine feasible and practical projects. Your ideas and proposals must be realistic and doable in your short time frame.
Do you have any advice to prepare for my DNP proposal and implementation? Use your time wisely! You will have 1-3 years to prepare your literature and conduct an in-depth analysis of current findings and implementation strategies. Each course has an end goal, and you will not start your actual project until EBP 3. For instance, my evidence-based practice 1 and 2 coursework did not necessarily correlate with my EBP 3-5 coursework because I was not aware of the existing projects and did not tailor my baseline literature review and analysis to that information. To prevent extra time and optimize your time during these classes, try to align your “practice assignments” in EBP 1 and 2 with your proposed project that you will be conducting in EBP 3-5. Doing so will aid you in conducting a more thorough analysis of current research and devote more time to manuscript production and implementation in your final courses.
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What is an example of a completed DNP project and successful implementation? My DNP project centered a federally qualified health center and the team’s effort to improve blood pressure control via remote patient monitoring. Remote patient monitoring employs Bluetooth technology to inform providers of patients’ real-time objective data readings (for this project blood pressure was the measurement). With this information, clinicians could make informed decisions about modifying medication regimens, implementing more counseling and education, and/or connecting the patient with social support resources to improve their chronic disease management. For our project, we reviewed current literature for blood pressure RPM, devised a workflow for implementation, implemented the intervention, reviewed the results, and evaluated our downfalls. From this information, I determined barriers encountered by participants and proposed several solutions to combat these barriers.
This is a synopsis of the information that I think would be helpful when considering your project. Ultimately, I believe that having a plan and consulting your faculty and practice mentors is essential when trying to successfully propose, implement, and evaluate your DNP project. We hope this information was helpful, good luck!