Academic/Clinical Partnerships and the Team Approach to DNP Practice Improvement Projects

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 9:10 AM

Rona Levin, PhD, RN
New York University, College of Nursing, yonkers, NY, USA

This presentation will focus on the win-win situation of partnering with clinical agencies for DNP Capstone Projects and five necessary components of such an approach. First, the philosophical and academic approach to capstone projects at New York University is to mimic the evidence-based practice improvement (EBPI) culture that graduates will be expected to facilitate/lead upon graduation. There is a clear differentiation between research and EBPI, which will be delineated. Implementing this approach in practice necessitates partnering with clinical agencies for improvement efforts. Key is focusing on the themes for improvement identified by the clinical agency. Second, students are placed in clinical agencies where they are not employed in order to avoid conflicts of interest related to student vs. employee performance. Three, teams consist of 2 to 3 students, a faculty mentor from the University and clinical mentor from the agency where students are placed. Fourth, teams are configured at the beginning of the first semester of study so that there is sufficient time (2 ½ years) for students to conduct an in depth assessment and become integrated into the agency culture. Fifth, most courses in the DNP curriculum have assignments related to the capstone project so that course content is immediately applied to development, implementation, and evaluation of projects. The first cohort to experience this team approach is completing studies in December 2014 and so data on their experiences and projects will be available for presentation as well as their overall program evaluation data.