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DNP Scholarly Projects

  • Transform Nursing Practice and Improve Patient Outcomes
    Scholarly Projects

    The centerpiece of the DNP program is the Scholarly Project. Students showcase their expertise and professional skills by completing a project that impacts the practice of nursing and leads to improved organization, education and patient outcomes.

DNP Scholarly Projects Highlight Nursing Leadership

Each of our alumni completed a DNP Scholarly Project with real world implications and immediate impacts for nursing practice, health care organizations, patients and nursing education.

Lynette Marshall, DNP Class o f 2017A Nurse Practitioner Improving her Community’s Health Outcomes
Lynette Marshall, DNP, MN, NP-C RN – Class of 2017
As a nurse practitioner, Lynette’s concern about rising obesity among Hispanic preschool children under her care, motivated her to develop an education-focused Scholarly Project. By creating a program teaching parents that obesity is more than a food consumption issue, Lynette helped parents to understand and adopt techniques to improve their children’s health by decreasing screen time, increasing sleep, and increasing activity . View Dr. Marshall’s Scholarly Project.



Heidi Johnston, DNP Class of 2017A Nurse Educator Leading the Growth of a Rural Nursing Workforce
Heidi Johnston, DNP, MSN, RN, CNE – Class of 2017
Heidi is a nurse educator with a passion for addressing the healthcare needs within rural communities. At her college, she collaborated in the development and implementation of a distance education program for nursing students in rural Nevada and is actively developing innovation solutions in response to a high demand for nurse practitioners in rural communities. View Dr. Johnston’s Scholarly Project.

Jennifer Palagi. Class of 2016A Mission-Focused Nurse Leader Seeking New Pathways for Transitional Care
Jennifer Palagi, DNP, MPH, RN – Class of 2016
Jennifer is the Mission Integration Leader at Saint Alphonsus Health System where she focuses on health care strategy and mission, vision, and value delivery in healthcare organizations. Her passion for faith-based and population-focused health care programs resulted in a Scholarly Project that explored the use of a Faith Community Nursing care transition pathway as a means for reducing readmission rates. View Dr. Palagi’s Scholarship Project.



Maria-Shimizu. Alumnae, Class of 2017A Nurse Practitioner Committed to Improved Processes
Maria M. Shimizu, DNP, MN-FNP, RN – Class of 2017

While employed as a nurse practitioner in a Federally Qualified Health Center, Maria observed a growing Hepatitis C virus infection rate among her Baby Boomer patients. She focused her Scholarly Project on identifying and removing barriers to screening, developed an educational workshop, and ultimately delivered a proposed policy change. View Dr. Shimizu’s Scholarly Project.

Cherno BahAn APRN Leading Improved Quality of Care for Mental Health Patients with Diabetes
Cherno Bah, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, RN – Class of 2016

Cherno Bah immigrated to the United States from a developing country (The Gambia) and brought a passion for improving the population health of rural and under-served communities. While employed in a large psychiatric teaching hospital, Cherno was concerned that inadequate glycemic management was increasing metabolic risk and poor patient outcomes. Cherno’s Scholarly Project enhanced nurses’ efficacy by developing and implementing a glycemic management guideline to enhance the knowledge and confidence of clinical nursing staff. View Dr. Bah’s Scholarly Project.


Lea Keesee

A Simulation Educator Dedicated to Improving Practice Readiness
Lea Keesee, DNP, MSN, CHSE, RN – Class of 2017
Lea is a certified simulation educator committed to implementing best practices that improve the practice readiness of nursing students. Her Scholarly Project examined how clinical judgement could be improved by using the Promoting Excellence and Reflective Learning in Simulation (PEARLS) methodology of debriefing. View Dr. Keesees’ Scholarly Project.


Leslie FalkA Nurse Leader Preparing Health Care Organizations for Change
Leslie Hough Falk, DNP, MS, MBA, RN – Class of 2017
Prior to enrolling in the DNP program, Leslie Falk developed an evidence-based Organizational Improvement Readiness Assessment (OIRA) tool to help health care organizations assess their readiness for implementing and sustaining improvement initiatives. As a DNP student, Leslie’s Scholarly Project evaluated the effectiveness of the OIRA tool and collected data that confirmed its validity and resulted in improvements and modifications that enhanced the tool’s usability. View Dr. Falk’s Scholarly Project.


More Examples of Alumni DNP Scholarly Projects


Karen Thies
Karen M. Thies, DNP, MN, RN
Evaluating ADN Faculty Job Satisfaction