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Scholarly Project and Mentorship

The DNP Leadership team facilitates early project idea development in the Spring semester of the first academic year through a series of brief asynchronous modules, preparatory to beginning the first project course, N8510 (Summer semester). Students are expected to actively engage in discussions at their project site (typically at the student’s place of employment or practice) to accurately identify practice issues/problems that are of high importance to the project site. Through these early discussions, students will also identify an institutional (i.e., site) lead in your organization as related to your project needs to comprise your DNP Project Team.  The project course faculty provides guidance and ongoing support to the project team.

For more information about the DNP Scholarly Project, please consult the  DNP Handbook .

It is not necessary to know your DNP project topic before you apply and, in fact, we expect this to be an iterative process.  As you engage in coursework and explore the literature, we encourage you to be curious and think critically about potential areas for practice change in your organization or specialty. You will be intensively guided in the development of your DNP project in the project courses.

DNP Projects address context-specific needs, problems, and/or opportunities to advance health care quality and equity, improve health outcomes, enhance health care work environments and the work life of health care workers, advance community health and wellness, improve health care economics, and sustain the culture of continuous learning requisite to the complex health care environment. DNP Projects completed by DNP students are provided to highlight the practice scholarship that exemplifies Penn DNP leadership in practice.

Past DNP Scholarly Projects

Class of 2020 

  • James Ballinghoff, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
    • Utilizing Technology for an Effective Patient Handoff at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
    • Site: Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Tracy Walker, MSN, CRNP-AC/PC, CPEN
    • Implementing a Triage Model with Nurse Practitioners to Impact Emergency Department Length of Stay
    • Site: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Michelle Lockett, MSN, RN
    • Implementation and Evaluation of a Sepsis Pathway in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility to Reduce Readmissions to Acute Care Hospitals
    • Site: The Penn Medicine Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Barbara Reale, MSN, CNM, FACNM
    • Patient Satisfaction in Provider-Patient Communication in Centering Pregnancy versus Traditional Prenatal Care
    • Site: The Dickens Center for Women/ Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Sunne Frankel, MSN, RN
    • Decreasing 1:1 Usage by Improving Nursing Knowledge to Prevent, Assess, and Intervene in Patients with Delirium
    • Site: Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Cyd Charisse Villalba, MS, RN-BC, PMP
    • Measuring Graph Literacy in Hospital Nurses
    • Site: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Beth Quigley, MSN, RN, CRNP
    • Fall Prevention and Injury Reduction Utilizing Video Monitoring in Hospitalized Patients
    • Site: Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital