DNP Degree & Capstone Project

A Practical Guide

Edited by: Mary Bemker, Ph.D., Psy.S., MSN, RN, LPCC, CADC, Associate Professor, Nursing, Touro University, Nevada
Barb Schreiner, Ph.D., APRN, CPLP, CDE, BC-ADM, Sr. Director, Assessment Content and Research, Elsevier, Inc., Adjunct Professor, Graduate Program, School of Nursing, Capella University

ISBN: 978-1-60595-259-8, ©2016, 198 pages, 6×9, Soft cover


  • Practical guide to understanding the DNP degree and to completing a successful capstone project
  • Clinical, education, and policy exemplars of successful DNP Capstone projects illustrate the necessary components and approach.
  • Provides guidance on publicizing results and conducting projects as a DNP

This textbook focuses on enhancing understanding, and characterizing the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, and its place in the current healthcare environment. The book offers guidelines for planning and conducting all phases of a DNP capstone project. Examples of successful projects from varied areas of nursing practice are included along with practical tips for publicizing capstone project results to the wider medical community.

List of Contributors

Chapter 1. Understanding and Characterizing the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Nancyruth Leibold, EdD, RN, PHN, CNE
1.1. What Is the DNP?
1.2. Types of Doctorate Degrees for Nurses
1.3. The DNP Final Student or Capstone Project
1.4. History of the DNP (or the Prologue to the DNP)
1.5. DNP Role Emphasis in Direct Advanced Clinical Health Care
1.6. DNP Practice Settings
1.7. DNP Outcomes
1.8. The Future for the DNP Degree
1.9. References

Chapter 2. Planning and Conducting the DNP Project: A Toolkit for Success
Barb Schreiner, PhD, APRN, CPLP, CDE, BC-ADM
Mary Bemker, PhD, PsyS, MSN, RN, LPCC, CADC
2.1. Capstone, Dissertation, and Master’s Thesis
2.2. Expansion of a Thesis into a DNP Project
2.3. How to Choose a Capstone Project: An Overview
2.4. Health Care Policy for Advocacy in Health Care
2.5. The DNP Scholarly Project
2.6. Evaluation Models
2.7. Role of the Literature Review
2.8. Planning the Evaluation
2.9. Collecting and Managing the Data
2.10. Summary
2.11. References

Chapter 3. Sharing Results of the DNP Project: Practical Tips for Dissemination
Barb Schreiner, PhD, APRN, CPLP, CDE, BC-ADM
Mary Bemker, PhD, PsyS, MSN, RN, LPCC, CADC
3.1. Necessary Skills
3.2. Internal Dissemination
3.3. External Dissemination
3.4. Summary
3.5. References

Chapter 4. A Clinical Exemplar: Sleep Disturbance in the ICU: A Resource for Health Care Providers
Jessica Grimm, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC
4.1. Problem Identification
4.2. Develop Clear Objectives to Provide Project Direction
4.3. Scholarly Model Literature Review
4.4. Problem to Intervention
4.5. Intervention to Data Collection
4.6. Data Collection to Analysis and Future Directions
4.7. Disseminating Your Findings
4.8. Post-project Considerations and Sustainability
4.9. Conclusions and Reflection
4.10. References
4.11. Appendix A

Chapter 5. A Clinical Exemplar: How Does the Implementation of TeamSTEPPS Compare to Current Practice Impact Quality Indicators Over a 6 Month Period?
Christine M. Ralyea, DNP, MS-NP, MBA, NE-BC, CNL, OCN, CRRN, CCRN
5.1. Problem Statement
5.2. Description of the Problem, Environment, and Target Population
5.3. Stakeholder Analysis
5.4. Problem to Intervention
5.5. Project Design and Interventions
5.6. Capstone Project Interventions
5.7. Data Collection Tools
5.8. Measurement Tools
5.9. Data Collection to Analysis
5.10. Conclusions
5.11. References

Chapter 6. An Education Exemplar: E-Mentoring: Confidence Intervention for Senior Nursing Students Preparing for Readiness to Practice
Patrick LaRose, DNP, MSN, RN
6.1. Defining the Scholarly Question
6.2. Development of Project Focus, Design, and Project Objectives
6.3. From Design to Literature Review
6.4. DNP Capstone Project Development
6.5. Approvals
6.6. Implementation Plan
6.7. Post-project Considerations and Sustainability
6.8. Conclusions
6.9. References

Chapter 7. A Policy Exemplar: Policy Revision Regarding Item Development and Testing Delivery Methods for First and Second Semester BSN Students
Meliss Batchen, DNS, RN (Ret.), CFN
7.1. Introduction
7.2. The DNP as the Terminal Degree in the Academic Environment
7.3. The Identified Problem, Project Design, and Objectives
7.4. Capstone Project Significance
7.5. DNP Project Development and Determination
7.6. Implementation
7.7. Evaluation of the Change Process
7.8. Conclusions
7.9. References

Chapter 8. DNP Contributions to the Future of Nursing Practice, Nursing Education, and Health Care Policy
Mary Bemker, PhD, PsyS, MSN, RN, LPCC, CADC
Patrick LaRose, DNP, MSN, RN
8.1. Conducting Real World Projects as a DNP
8.2. Reference


ISBN: 978-1-60595-259-8, ©2016, 198 pages, 6×9, Soft cover



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