School of Nursing Faculty Finding New Ways to Help DNP Students Better Analyze Their Scholarly Project Data
Faculty from the Touro University Nevada School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) are finding new and innovative ways to help their students better analyze and interpret their scholarly project data.
Dr. Catie Chung, Director of Graduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor; Dr. Jessica Grimm, Associate Professor; Dr. Heidi Johnston, Assistant Professor; and Dr. Julie Astrella, Assistant Professor, implemented a statistical methods algorithm for the DNP project process, which has been a helpful tool for their DNP students who are becoming healthcare leaders with the skills they learn in Touro’s DNP program.
“DNP students don’t have as much training with the quality improvement process prior to their DNP program, so we gave them this tool to help them build more confidence and feel more comfortable when analyzing their project data,” Dr. Grimm said. “This has been a quality improvement (QI) process for us as a faculty, which is a great example for our students who are learning QI. I noticed that our students were analyzing their data the same ways over and over again, so we worked with Dr. [Cheryl] Vanier to find out if our teaching of project research methods was as effective as possible.”
The team spent the next several months compiling data and finding new techniques to support their DNP students.
“The function of the DNP Program is to take research evidence and get it implemented at the bedside,” Dr. Chung said. “Dr. Grimm noticed that we weren’t teaching DNP project methods as effectively as we could be, so the team of Drs. Grimm, Astrella, and Johnston composed the needed curricular changes, then Dr. Johnston spearheaded the process of getting our research out there into publication.”
The group eventually submitted their refined DNP project methods process for publication where it was accepted by Nurse Educator, an online journal read by thousands of nurses across the country.
The group was then asked to write a more comprehensive manuscript since literature is scarce regarding DNP scholarly project methodology. Nurse Educator also asked them to record a podcast and a video abstract. The team has also presented a poster on the topic to healthcare educators and professionals throughout the country.
The success of the group’s months-long project has led to a significant revision of a specific course in Touro’s DNP curriculum. This will lead to Touro more effectively educating DNPs to provide them with the most efficient strategies to improve patient care.
“We just illustrated what DNPs do and what we operationalize,” Dr. Astrella said. “We see an issue…let’s figure it out.”