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College of Graduate Health Studies: Student Corner

A.T. Still University - College of Graduate Health Studies

Welcome to the Nursing Student Corner

Hello, and welcome to the Nursing Program Student Corner!  Please click through the tabs to learn more about our program, as well as project and services you may find helpful.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Outcomes

The DNP Program prepares the graduate to achieve the following program outcomes: 

  • Integrate science and nursing-based theories and data-based concepts to develop, critically appraise, and translate scholarship into practice. (DNP Essential I)
  • Articulate organizational theories and systems thinking to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, and safety outcomes in healthcare. (DNP Essential II)
  • Correlate analytical methods and evidence to improve practice and the practice environment for the individual, aggregate and population. (DNP Essential III)
  • Apply knowledge of patient care technology to improve healthcare outcomes. (DNP Essential IV)
  • Demonstrate leadership in the assessment, implementation and evaluation of  health policy that addresses the underserved population through ethical and equitable advocacy. (DNP Essential V) 
  • Lead and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams using communication, consultative, and leadership skills to improve quality and safety in health care. (DNP Essential VI)
  • Analyze epidemiological data to synthesize concepts related to health promotion, socioeconomic dimensions of health, and population health to address the underserved population. (DNP Essential VII)
  • Provide leadership in the assessment, implementation and evaluation of healthcare deliverables within a quality improvement framework, addressing a variety of clinical situations that require advanced critical thinking.   (DNP Essential VIII)

Purpose of the DNP Degree and Project

The outcome of pursuing a DNP is to translate evidence into improved practice through initiatives, such as healthcare quality improvement projects, engagement in policy that impacts healthcare, practice innovations and advanced nursing leadership. Along with the use of evidence-based methods, consideration is given to quality, safety outcomes, cost-effectiveness, as well as financial impact, feasibility and sustainability. DNP project findings contribute to the profession by solving problems and providing direction for practice and leadership, which inform, focus, and guide future practice. 
Therefore, the purpose of the DNP Project is to develop and design an evidence-based project that focuses on improvement, enhancement, or advancement of practice management, organizational systems, or leadership through a quality improvement perspective. While each course in the curriculum provides content to assist in the broader understanding of advanced nursing practice, as expressed as strategic organizational leadership; the development, design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of findings will be accomplished during the following courses: 

  • DNPP7600 Clinical Applications
  • DNPP8000 DNP Project Conceptualization
  • DNPP9100 DNP Project Design
  • DNPP9200 DNP Project Implementation
  • DNPP9300 DNP Project Evaluation 

The ATSU Nursing Program coursework, student professional experience, and DNP Project expectations and guidelines provide the framework to develop the DNP Project. The framework and learning expectations of the DNP Project and DNP courses are aligned with the DNP program outcomes, DNP curricular concepts, The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006) and the mission, vision and values of A.T. Still University. 

The DNP Project Process

Completing the DNP project is a rigorous and iterative process. The steps involved are to identify a relevant and focused issue through effective gap analysis, conduct a literature search to illustrate evidence-based gaps in practice, develop a project to address the issue and finally evaluate the outcome of the project. The process includes the development of a significant problem statement based upon evidence; the review of applicable literature and evidence; the design of a quality improvement, policy development, or practice innovation project, including data collection with student interpretation of the project’s results; and dissemination of the findings. The DNP Project is not a research project, but instead is application and translation of new science through innovation of a practice change, development of policy, or implementation of a quality improvement project, occurring within a healthcare setting.  While the DNP Project generates evaluative data, which may be transferred to like contexts, it is not widely generalizable as compared to original research (AACN, 2015). 

The Final DNP Project 
(cited from ) 

“The Final DNP Project provides an opportunity for the student to integrate their new skills into practice and to demonstrate many of the principles of nursing scholarship and the competencies delineated in the DNP Essentials.  The integration of these new or refined skills improves outcomes through organizational/systems leadership, quality improvement processes, and the translation of evidence into practice. All DNP Projects should:

  • Focus on a change that impacts healthcare outcomes either through direct or indirect care.
  • Have systems (micro-, meso-, or macro- level) or population/aggregate focus.
  • Demonstrate implementation in the appropriate arena or area of practice.
  • Include a plan for sustainability (e.g. financial, systems or political realities, not only theoretical abstractions).
  • Include an evaluation of processes and/or outcomes (formative or summative). DNP Projects should be designed so that processes and/or outcomes will be evaluated to guide practice and policy. Clinical significance is as important in guiding practice as statistical significance is in evaluating research.
  • Provide a foundation for future practice scholarship.”

What is the Student Corner?

The Student Corner is a place where you can find numerous resources during your tenure as a student in the DNP program.  Other questions that you might have may be answered in the CGHS Student Resources, or you can ask your Academic Advisor (contact information below).

We encourage you to look around and check out all that we offer.  We also encourage you to remember to check back periodically as we will continually update resources and information.

Comments and suggestions may be sent to the webmaster (solicitations will be ignored).

Academic Support and Success

Jodi Gamm Jodi Gamm
Nursing Program Academic Advisor | 660-626-2998





Student Support Services Contact Information

Quick Guide to Student Support Services.
Suggestion: Print this guide, so that you can have important numbers at your fingertips in case of a computer, power, or Canvas outage.

Last updated: 9.23.19