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Transforming Health Care Through Meaningful Doctor of Nursing Practice Community Partnerships

Hooshmand, Mary, PhD, MS, RN; Foronda, Cynthia, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE, ANEF; Snowden, Kenya, DNP, ANP-BC; de Tantillo, Lila, MS, BSN, RN; Williams, Jessica Roberts, PhD, MPH, PHNA-BC

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000577
Nurse Educator: PDF Only

Background A critical component of doctor of nursing practice (DNP) education is practice immersion. DNP programs require 1000 hours of clinical practice experience to obtain the DNP degree.

Problem Faculty struggle with providing meaningful clinical experiences congruent with the role of the DNP.

Approach This article describes a unique practice immersion course joining DNP students with community health care partners to provide meaningful experiences with the potential to transform health care. DNP students are assigned system-level projects designed to create organizational change.

Outcomes Over the course of 4 years, the practice immersion opportunities more than doubled from 30 to 66 live projects. Integrating collaborative practice immersion into the curriculum builds students’ leadership skills and strengthens long-standing bonds among academia, practice, and the community.

Conclusions The creation of structured, meaningful collaborations between DNP students and community partners is an approach that has the potential to facilitate transformative, sustainable change in health care.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professors of Clinical (Drs Hooshmand and Snowden), Associate Professor of Clinical (Dr Foronda), and Doctoral Candidate (Ms de Tantillo), University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, Coral Gables, Florida; Assistant Professor (Dr Williams), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Nursing.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Foronda, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, 5030 Brunson Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146 (

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Accepted for publication: June 1, 2018

Published ahead of print: July 19, 2018

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