Nursing: DNP Projects

DNP Proposal Guidelines

The specifics of how to organize the DNP Project proposal are negotiated with the DNP Project Chair and the DNP Project Team. Below are some common elements included in the organization of the DNP Project proposal:

1. Title Page

2. Introduction

  • Problem Statement: Concise overview of the practice problem and why it is important and worth exploring.
  • Purpose of the Project (or clinical question[s]): Describes the goal(s) of the DNP Project and the outcomes the project is designed to achieve.
  • Significance to Nursing or Healthcare: Describe the potential significance of the project outcomes to advanced nursing practice or the quality of healthcare in the problem area.

3. Review of the Literature (ROL)

The ROL provides the evidence base for your DNP Project and relates directly to your purpose or question(s). The review must be comprehensive and provide a logical argument to support the Project. This section may begin with background information and epidemiologic data that support the focus of the DNP Project. The student should summarize and synthesize key concepts and relevant research in the literature to answer the clinical question(s).

The literature reviewed should be no older than 5 years from the date of writing the proposal, except for landmark studies that have impacted nursing or health care in the problem area. Only primary information sources should be cited. Students will need to obtain the primary information sources to make a their own decision about the quality of the evidence and how it may apply to their question.

4. Conceptual Model and/or Theoretical Framework

Describe the conceptual or theoretical framework that will guide the design of the DNP Project and interpretation of the outcomes.

A diagram of the model may be placed in an appendix. Remember, if the student is using a pre-existing framework or one that is already published, you will need to seek copyright permission to reprint the framework in your DNP Project manuscript.

5. DNP Project Plan

The DNP Project plan may include a needs assessment, organization or systems analysis, cost-benefit analysis, major stakeholders, outcome development, and sustainability.

Some typical headings in this section may include:

  • Design
  • Methods
  • Setting and resources
  • Study population or sample (Participants)
  • Recruitment
  • Ethics and Human Subjects permissions (ethical considerations, risk-benefit)
  • Data Collection Instruments
  • Procedures for Project implementation
  • Key personnel/stakeholders
  • Evaluation (or Data Analysis)
  • Also consider
    • Barriers to implementation or sustainability
    • Anticipated resources and budget, if applicable

6. Limitations: Strengths and weaknesses of the Project

7. References (See Graduate School Format requirements)

  • A reference list includes only citations to sources used in the paper.

8. Appendices

(From the DNP Student Handbook)

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