The Difference Between a DNP and a PhD
The PhD in Nursing will remain the accepted degree for nurse scientists. A PhD in nursing prepares nurse scientists who will GENERATE EVIDENCE to guide effective and safe nursing care. Whereas, a DNP degree prepares "practice" experts who will TRANSLATE EVIDENCE into practice across a variety of patient care settings.
Evidence Based Pyramid
The "evidence pyramid" is often used to illustrate the levels of evidence in the literature. When beginning your search for evidence, begin at the highest possible tier.
Filtered information is "pre-appraised." This means that the content has been filtered to include studies and reviews that are of higher quality. Keep in mind that the amount of available literature and the number of problems covered gets smaller as you move up the pyramid.
Unfiltered information represents the original studies. These tiers may not contain studies of high quality and strong evidence, but they cover a much broader range of clinical problems and are much more available.
Rutgers DNP Program
Due to the increased complexity of health care, strong doctoral-prepared nurses with a focus on the practice setting are needed. A primary goal of the DNP graduate will be to translate evidence into practice in ways that improve the quality and safety of patient care and enhance positive patients outcomes.
Two program options are available in the DNP:
- Clinical Practice Focus
- Leadership Practice Focus
Whether practicing as a clinician, in a nursing leadership role, or in the community, the Rutgers DNP graduate will be prepared to affect practice, design and implement programs that improve health and health care delivery, apply data management and informatics skills to evaluate outcomes, and influence policy.
At the conclusion of the DNP Program, the graduate will be able to:
- Integrate biophysical, psychological, organizational, informatic, ethical, and legal knowledge with nursing science as a foundation for expert clinical nursing practice in a specific nursing clinical specialization.
- Demonstrate accountability in specialty practice according to accepted standards of patient care and safety.
- Translate research findings into evidence-based practice at the individual and health care system levels.
- Use information technology to evaluate the delivery of health care to individuals and internal and community systems.
- Effect desired change by developing and implementing policies at different levels of the health care system and with different constituencies.
- Provide multidisciplinary leadership through analysis of critical indicators and/or health care delivery systems in order to provide optimal patient care and safety in a specific nursing clinical specialization.
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in the planning and delivery of health and illness management in a specific nursing clinical specialization.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice programs position Rutgers to be at the forefront of nursing education programs in the country. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended that by 2015, the standard for Advanced Practice Nursing Education be the DNP. Consequently, in fall 2012 Rutgers College of Nursing will no longer admit new nurse practitioner students into a master's program but has incorporated nurse practitioner education into the Post-BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum.
DNP Capstone Toolkit
All students enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program will complete an evidence-based practice capstone project as a requirement for graduation.
The capstone project is a culmination of the knowledge gained in the DNP courses. The project is an opportunity to demonstrate an analytical approach to programmatic, administrative, policy or practice issues in a format that supports the synthesis, transfer and utilization of knowledge. This project will demonstrate identification and resolution of a practice problem through the scholarship of application or integration, rather than the scholarship of discovery associated with a PhD program of study (Boyer, 1997).
In other words, a capstone project is broad and holistic. The experience is designed to put to use the knowledge and skills gained within the doctoral program in a specific practice area of the student’s choice. The project is chosen to make a contribution -- in the work place, the community or in the academic arena. As such, capstone experiences are characterized by intensive interactions between and among faculty, students, and the community in which the capstone is enacted.
A capstone project is not intended to test new models, develop new theory, or test hypotheses. Depending upon the student’s area of emphasis or interest, the capstone project might include the evaluation of a program or intervention, an analysis of a health care policy, an in-depth case study, a gap analysis, a comprehensive systematic review for determination of best practice, or the development of a strategic plan for the delivery of healthcare.
The Rutgers School of Nursing DNP Capstone Toolkit is located at http://sn.rutgers.edu/academics/dnp/files/DNPcapstonetoolkit.pdf
Evidence Based Practice
Assess the qaulity of systematic reviews, diagnostic studies and randomized controlled studies.
Descriptions of Levels of Evidence by clinical study category, and Grades of Recommendations
Use to help you build a PICO question.
From the Introduction to Evidence Based Practice from Duke University Medical Center and Health Sciences Library At UNC, Chapel Hill.