Design and use databases to retrieve information for decision making, planning, and evaluation.

Acceptable vs. Unacceptable SoNHS DNP Projects Types of doctoral projects vary and build upon the leadership focus of Capella’s DNP. Learners begin the doctoral project with the development of a plan. They then select and defend a topic, question, design, and methodology. Selection of an appropriate topic, question, design, and method must be defensible on an academic, objective level, rather than on a personal, subjective level. All DNP projects have a methodology, are implemented, and are evaluated.

Acceptable DNP Projects Unacceptable DNP Projects

• Translate research into practice.

• Create a quality improvement project (care processes, patient outcomes).

• Implement and evaluate evidence-based practice guidelines.

• Analyze policy: Develop, implement, evaluate, or revise policy.

• Design and use databases to retrieve information for decision making, planning, and evaluation.

• Conduct financial analyses to compare care models and potential cost savings.

• Implement and evaluate innovative uses of technology to enhance/evaluate care.

• Design and evaluate new models of care.

• Design and evaluate health care programs.

• Provide leadership of interprofessional or intraprofessional collaborative projects to implement policy, evaluate care models, transitions, et cetera.

• Collaborate with stakeholders to answer clinical questions.

• Collaborate on legislative change using evidence.

• Work with lay or professional coalitions to develop, implement, or evaluate health programs, such as health promotion and disease prevention programs for vulnerable patients, groups, or communities.

• Nursing education projects, including simulation and clinical practice.

• Development of a website or smartphone/iPad app, or teaching/learning (curriculum) as the sole purpose of the project.

• Projects that cannot be measured or evaluated


Examples of Practice Inquiry Areas According to Magyary, Whitney, and Brown (2006), the following are some appropriate inquiry areas:

• Who does/does not have access to nursing services and health care programs, and why?

• How are nursing and health care programs being delivered in a timely and cost-effective way?

• What types of clinical, demographic, process, and outcome variable data need to be systematically collected and analyzed to monitor and evaluate clinical, programmatic, or policy patterns and practices over time and to monitor variance in health care outcomes that account for health disparity across subpopulations?

• How can clinical or programmatic epidemiological benchmark comparison studies yield viable quality-improvement information?

• What system, structural, and technological changes are necessary to capture relevant and critical data?

• What types of evidence-based prevention and treatment nursing clinical guidelines are/are not implemented?

• What are the issues and barriers that prevent implementation of evidence-based guidelines?

• What are successful approaches for implementing and evaluating evidence-based nursing clinical guidelines to influence clinical, administrative, program, or policy processes and outcomes?

• Who is most/least likely to benefit from certain types of nursing services and programs (differential effects)?

• What types of moderating and mediating variables are linked to intervention processes and outcomes?

• How are interventions appropriately modified for subpopulations?

• How are evidence-based guidelines modified to be culturally relevant for diverse populations?

• What types of relational partnerships with patients, families, and communities are linked to health outcomes?

• How are individuals, families, and populations motivated to engage in intergenerational patterns of healthy lifestyles?

• What types of organizational structures, financial incentives, and health care policies positively or negatively impact how nursing practice and programs are delivered?

Examples of Doctoral Projects • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

• Sigma Theta Tau International Virginia Henderson Global e-Repository (use the search bar to visit different programs).



  • Acceptable vs. Unacceptable SoNHS DNP Projects
    • Examples of Practice Inquiry Areas
    • Examples of Doctoral Projects