Hardwiring Scholarship and Rigor in a DNP Program

Monday, July 11, 2011: 1:45 PM

Mary Terhaar, RN
Health Systems and Outcomes, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

Learning Objective 1: Conduct criterion based evaluation of DNP scholarly workproducts

Learning Objective 2: Use data to increase the rigor and quality of DNP workproducts

The Doctor of Nursing Practice has been adopted by the profession in advance of establishing consensus about the work these nurses will do, expectations they will face, demands they will place on organizations, skills they will rely on daily, or supports that will facilitate their work. The School of Nursing has developed 3 strategies to increase the quality of the scholarship among DNP students in ways that assure graduates satisfy demands for scholarship, rigor, and impact consistently expected across this research intensive academic community and the organizations and communities they will serve. This work will be presented in a symposium format.

Purpose: To describe, evaluate and measure the characteristics of quality of scholarly work products of the DNP program

Methods:  A series of interviews was conducted with stakeholders throughout the community to identify strengths and weaknesses of the program.  A tool was developed to facilitate criterion based evaluation of all Capstone Projects. 40 projects were evaluated for novelty; complexity; pace; technologic uncertainty; connection to the business goal, customer, and strategic plan; and quality targets.

Results: Most commonly used designs, interventions, and statistics were identified using descriptive statistics and projects were evaluated with respect to the 8 critical criteria.

Conclusion: Faculty and community members engaged in discussions about these findings and expectations for DNP practice. It was concluded that 2 key performance improvement activities were needed. First, faculty need to place greater emphasis on and provide clearer direction for the planning, collection, management, and evaluation of data. Second, faculty need to teach expository writing within the context of nursing phenomena to increase discipline of thought and impact of professional communication.