What is involved in DNP clinical?

  1. Hey everyone!

    I am about to enter my final semester of my Masters-level PMHNP program. It has always been a goal of mine to obtain my doctorate. I was considering starting a DNP program after I graduated and got settled into my nurse practitioner job. I have looked for information in several schools' course catalogs, and I cannot seem to really find much information about what is involved in the 500+ clinical hours most DNP programs require. I know they always mention a "capstone" or "quality improvement project," but they are never really clear what you are doing when you are obtaining these clinical hours. Is it similar to my master's degree clinical hours, where I am working with a physician (it seems odd, since I will already be working as an APN). Can anyone who has been through a post-masters DNP program tell me what is involved with obtaining clinical hours?

    Thanks in advance!
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    About BlackBettyRN,OCN, BSN, LPN, RN, EMT-B

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 108; Likes: 282
    from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Oncology/StemCell Transplant; Psychiatry


  3. by   jeanbeth
    I'm working on my DNP and the whole point at my school is that we are attempting to bring the results of quality research into clinical practice. The research that has been carried out by others (PhDs for example) and has been peer-reviewed can sometimes take 10 years or more to be introduced into clinical practice . It requires the collaboration of facility administration, caregivers including the DONs and MDs, and the leadership of you, the DNP, to pull it all together. The practicum is basically you identifying a problem that has been researched thoroughly, with interventions that have proved empirically to be effective. You locate the research, identify a practicum site that you would like to develop a protocol for (or improve on a current protocol) or in some way bring the research to practice, develop the cooperation/collaboration/enthusiasm of the facility leadership, and go to it. Goal - improve healthcare outcomes. You spend your clinical hours with experts in your topic field, you must have a mentor who is a doctoral-prepared nurse, you collaborate with the administration (meetings, meetings), attend webinars/seminars if applicable, work with caregivers to determine how you'll implement your plan, etc. No care-giving or patient interaction and the only research I have done so far is qualitative - interviews and focus groups to see why staff thinks current protocol is not efficient /effective. I'm only a third of the way through my program but this is what I'm doing so far with my school. I hesitate to shout out the name of my school in case I got this all wrong, but this is what I've been working on since July!
  4. by   BlackBettyRN,OCN
    Thanks for your reply! That clears up a lot of information for me. I wouldn't be opposed to putting in hours doing something like this for a post-masters clinical, especially if I could use the facility where I already work. That's very interesting! Thanks for your help!!