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Facilitating faculty knowledge of DNP quality improvement projects

Key elements to promote strong practice partnerships

Durham, Marianne L. DNP, RN, CPPS (DNP Program Director, Clinical Assistant Professor)1; Cotler, Karen DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP (Clinical Assistant Professor)1; Corbridge, Susan J. PhD, APRN, FAANP, FAAN (Associate Dean of Practice & Partnerships, Clinical Professor)1

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: November 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 11 - p 665–674
doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000308

ABSTRACT Enrollment in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs is growing rapidly. This poses a challenge to faculty because there is a gap in knowledge about evidence-based practice and quality improvement DNP projects. Challenged by the growing unavailability of preceptors and mentors in the practice setting, solutions are needed to help students meet the essentials of the degree and competencies for practice. Faculty knowledge of key DNP quality improvement project elements, measuring, monitoring, and sustaining improvement outcomes, may help students design projects to provide value to practice partners. A literature review was conducted to identify gaps in faculty knowledge of potential practice partners' value-added elements of DNP quality improvement projects (measuring, monitoring, and sustainability) to make recommendations for faculty development to improve DNP project mentoring. There is evidence in the literature that faculty feel ill-prepared to mentor DNP projects. Quality improvement content is available for faculty development in the nursing and other health sciences literature. Optimizing faculty knowledge regarding evidence-based practice, quality improvement processes, and mentoring of sustainable DNP projects that improve health care provides value to practice partners and may advance long-term partnerships. Adding structures to support faculty knowledge in these areas contributes to solutions to the challenges of rapidly expanding DNP programs.

1College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Correspondence: Marianne L. Durham DNP, RN, CPPS, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, 845 South Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612. Tel: 312-996-7979; Fax: 312-996-7725; E-mail:

Competing interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Authors' contributions: M. L. Durham conducted the review of the literature and wrote the initial draft. K. Cotler conducted the review of the literature, added content, and revised the draft. Both reviewed articles for subsequent revisions. S. J Corbridge provided additional content on practice partnerships, scaling improvements, and review from a national perspective. All authors revised the final draft to prepare for submission.

Received April 02, 2019

Received in revised form July 09, 2019

Accepted July 12, 2019

© 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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