SNHS Professional Doctorate
Doctoral Project Prospectus – DPP Form
Learners who are completing a Professional Doctoral Project will use this DPP Form to go through the process of mentor, committee, and school review. The goals of this process are:
(1) To facilitate the planning of the details of your Doctoral project,
(2) To ensure that the proposed project has rigor and allows for review, and
(3) To facilitate your progress through the project.
This is not an addition to your Doctoral project but rather a step to assist you in obtaining mentor, committee, school, and IRB approval more efficiently. You will be assigned a mentor and committee member, and submit your project for school approval before submitting your IRB application.
The following criteria will be used to establish whether the proposed Doctoral Project meets the criteria and expectation for the degree. The purpose of the review is to determine if the proposed project:
- Contributes to society by improving or changing practice, policy, or research utilization.
- Documents the need for change by utilizing evidence-based needs assessment.
- Meets the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice for DNP learners.
- Meets the industry expectations for Health Administration or Public Health.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Practice-focused graduates are prepared to generate new knowledge through innovation of practice change, the translation of evidence, and the implementation of quality improvement processes in specific practice settings, systems, or with specific populations to improve health or health outcomes. New knowledge generated through practice innovation, for example, could be of value to other practice settings. This new knowledge is considered transferrable but is not considered generalizable (2015, pp. 2-3).
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2015). The Doctor of Nursing Practice: Current Issues and Clarifying Recommendations. Washington, DC: Author.
Characteristics of SNHS Projects:
- Focus on a change or changes that positively impact(s) healthcare/public health outcomes.
- Have a 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).
- All SNHS Doctoral Projects should be designed so that processes and/or outcomes will be evaluated to guide practice, process and/or policy.
- Real world application is as important in guiding practice as statistical significance is in evaluating research.
- Provide a foundation for future practice scholarship
NOTE: DNP Projects based on nursing education topics are not permitted.
In the DHA and DrPH programs, the focus could be a quality improvement or process change project that may lead to recommendations for the sponsoring organization.
SNHS Doctoral Plan Approval
Your completed DPP Form will be approved, not approved, or deferred for major or minor revisions. Your mentor and committee will use the information you provide on the form to determine if your project meets the criteria for a Doctoral project. Your mentor and the committee will provide specific feedback designed to identify any issues that need to be resolved related to the project.
Obtaining committee and school approval does not guarantee you will obtain IRB approval. The IRB review will focus on ethical issues. A detailed ethical review will be conducted during the process of IRB approval.
Recommendations for Using This Form
The DPP Form is intended to help you and your mentor plan the design and details of your Professional Doctoral Project.
After your mentor approves your DPP Form, your entire committee will review the form for appropriateness for a Professional Doctoral Project. When the entire committee approves your inquiry project form, then it will be submitted for school approval. It is recommended that you use this form in a step-by-step way to help plan your design. Expect that you will go through a few revisions before your mentor and committee approve this form.
Tips for filling out the DPP form:
- Prepare your answers in a separate Word document to make editing and revising easier.
- Copy and paste items into the fields when they are ready.
- Don’t delete the descriptions!
- Don’t lock the form, because that will stop you from editing and revising within the form.
- Leave no blank spaces in the form. If an item does not apply to your project, type “NA” in its field.
- Read the item descriptions carefully. Items request very specific information. Be sure you understand what is requested (good practice for your IRB application!).
- Use primary sources to the greatest extent possible as references. Textbooks are not acceptable as the only references supporting methodological and design choices. Use them to track down the primary sources.