Evaluating Scholarly Work Products of the DNP

Monday, 30 July 2012: 11:10 AM

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

Learning Objective 1: Discuss one approach to evaluating DNP scholarship

Learning Objective 2: Analyze core dimensions of DNP scholarship

Purpose: The nature of the work products accepted as evidence of scholarship by academic programs awarding practice doctorates is quite variable:  that includes work products of DNP programs as well.  Some require full dissertations in the model of PhD programs. Others require scholarly work in which students demonstrate mastery of the 14 essentials; and this work may involve data collection for research conducted by PhDs, collaboration in research conducted by faculty (Nykamp,  et al, 2010), secondary analysis of extant data sets, scholarly papers, case studies (Mundinger, et al, 2009), or translation projects. Still others require supervised practice.  Not all demand original scholarship.

At Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing DNP students complete an original, evidence based, scholarly project designed to address a significant practice problem. The conduct of these projects demonstrates mastery of the curriculum and the DNP essentials.  Dissemination contributes to the evidence base for practice.

The purpose of this work was to adapt a tool to consistently evaluate quality of scholarship produced by DNP students Shenhar & Dvir, 2007).

Methods:  80 capstone projects were analyzed using an instrument developed for this purpose.

Results: Over 4 years, methods and designs have increased in complexity, statistical analysis has become more robust, innovations based on evidence have derived more directly of the evidence, and fitted more precisely to the problem.

Conclusion: Instrument scales require further refinement to assure sensitivity and discrimination of performance. Data are useful to drive curriculum refinement.

Shenhar AJ, & Dvir D, (2007). Reinventing Project Management: A diamond approach to successful growth and innovation. Harvard Business School Press. Boston, MA.