Decker School of Nursing

DNP Handbook

Doctorate of Nursing Program (DNP) Handbook

The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a practice-focused doctoral degree that influences the direct care of patients, healthcare policy and healthcare outcomes.

Table of Contents

Goals of the DNP Program

Provide students with the education, experiences and skills to:

  • Employ high level consultative and leadership skills with intra-professional and inter-professional teams to create change in health care and complex health care delivery systems.

  • Demonstrate leadership in implementation of clinical practice guidelines and evaluation of outcomes.

  • Implement standards/principles for selecting and evaluating information systems relevant to nursing practice.

  • Implement a context–sensitive clinical practice guideline or project to address a clinical nursing practice problem

  • Complete a Capstone Project. The Capstone Projects are designed to meet the criteria of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) “Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice” (AACN, 2006).  

DNP Essentials, Competencies and Program Outcomes 

A task force of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NOPF) published Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies in 2011 with revisions in 2012 (NOPF, 2011/2012). This document identifies the entry-level competencies for all nurse practitioners (NPs) completing the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) / practice doctorate program. These competencies are built on the core and population-focused competencies for NPs (see Appendix A).

The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) developed the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice Nurses (AACN, 2006). The essentials document outlines and defines the eight foundational DNP Essentials and provides some introductory comments on specialty competencies/content. The specialized content, as defined by specialty organizations, complements the areas of core content defined by the DNP Essentials and constitutes the major component of DNP programs. DNP curricula should include these two components as appropriate to the specific advanced nursing practice specialist being prepared. Additionally, the faculty of each DNP program has the academic freedom to create innovative and integrated curricula to meet the competencies outlined in the Essentials document. The number and title of each AACN DNP Essential is listed in the table where they correspond with the Decker School of Nursing (DSON) DNP end of program objectives (see Table 1). 




Essential I: Scientific Underpinnings for Practice


Develops new practice approaches based on theory and scientific evidence to transform healthcare delivery and improve health outcomes for diverse patient populations including those who are vulnerable or live in rural areas.

Essential II: Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking


Enacts leadership, management, and communication skills within complex healthcare systems to ensure the delivery of safe, effective, ethical, and fiscally responsible quality care in order to improve patient outcomes.

Essential III: Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice


Evaluates implementation of evidence-based quality improvement initiatives that address practice patterns, healthcare organizations, and variances in health outcomes in order to promote safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered care.

Essential #4: Information Systems/Technology and Patient Care Technology for the Improvement and Transformation of Health Care


Constructs methods for assessing outcomes of care, care systems, and quality improvement initiatives using healthcare information systems and patient care technology while honoring the ethical and legal protections related to personal health information and health communications.

Essential V: Health Care Policy for Advocacy in Health Care


Formulates evidence-based and consumer-oriented nursing and health policies that encompass equity and social justice at the institutional, local, state and/or federal level.

Essential VI: Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes


Employs collaborative and consultative leadership skills, using effective verbal and written communication skills, to resolve complex practice problems and organizational issues through development and implementation of practice models, peer review, practice guidelines, health policy, standards of care, and/or other scholarly works.

Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving the Nation’s



Collaborates with the healthcare team to ensure the provision of evidence-based, culturally sensitive clinical prevention and population health services for individuals, aggregates, and populations based on the analysis of epidemiological, bio-statistical and environmental data.

Essential VIII: Advanced Nursing Practice


Delivers comprehensive evidence-based nursing care within their chosen area of specialization, demonstrating advanced levels of clinical judgment, understanding of health systems and healthcare policy, and adapted to meet the needs of diverse clients in order to improve patient outcomes.

Essential II: Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and

Systems Thinking


Demonstrates accountability for personal and professional conduct exemplifying core nursing values and ethical behaviors, and consistent with the legal scope and standards of practice.

(ANCC, 2006)  

Program Plans

Part-Time DNP Post-Master’s Program Plan

 YEAR 01





N.601 Theoretical & Conceptual Analysis


 N.579 Advanced Diagnostics


N.540 Epidemiology & Biostatistics

 1 or 4

 N.634 Health Policy Formulation



 4 - 7








N.610 Evidence Based Practice


N.651 Capstone Experience I


N.548 Organizational Behavior


 N.615 Information Systems & Technology in Health Care











N.652 Capstone Experience II


N.653 Capstone Experience III


N.XXX Elective


N.650 Practicum Experience






Total program credits = 35-38

 Full-Time DNP Post-Master’s Program Plan

 YEAR 01





N.601 Theoretical & Conceptual Analysis


 N.579 Advanced Diagnostics


N.610 Evidence-Based Practice


 N.634 Health Policy


N.540 Epidemiology & Biostatistics   OR

Elective for students who have this course or equivalent

 1 or 4


 N.651 Capstone Experience I



 7 - 10



 YEAR 02





N.548 Organizational Behavior


 N.650 Practicum Experience


N.652 Capstone Experience II


 N.615 Information Systems & Technology in Health Care




 N.653 Capstone Experience III







35 - 38

Course Descriptions 


This course introduces principles and methods of epidemiological investigations for both infectious and non-infectious diseases. Methods that outline how the distribution and dynamic behavior of health, illness, and disease in the population contribute to an understanding of etiologic factors, modes of transmission, and pathogenesis of disease are illustrated. Both acute and chronic disease methods of epidemiologic investigation are explored. Topics to be covered include: evaluation of screening surveys, cross sectional, case control, and incidence or cohort studies; pitfalls found in epidemiologic studies; as well as statistical tests, and the selection of analytical tools to fit specific data. Predictable client populations at risk will be discussed. Students will have the opportunity to apply theory and practice with simulated and/or real data sets for analysis, and to develop their own epidemiologic investigation. Required for community health nursing students. Prerequisite: None for MS traditional. Pre- or co-requisite: NURS 610 for DNP (both post BS and post MS students).


Overview of the development of key concepts in the field of organizational behavior: leadership, motivation, group behavior, work environment, power and organizational change. In-depth discussion of how these concepts are developed in theory and practice of public administration.


This course examines application of evidence-based practice to clinical laboratory methods and imaging modalities with a primary objective to develop diagnostic evaluation and clinical decision-making skills for advanced nursing practice. The course is divided into three sections: (a) key principles of diagnostic and screening tests, (b) fundamentals of clinical laboratory/diagnostic tests and imaging modalities, and (c) clinical applications in the selection and interpretation of diagnostic tests. Students will also explore the economic, ethical, and legal implications of laboratory and diagnostic testing as well as the demographic and cultural variance observed in populations.


This course begins with a review of the elements of logic and effective argumentation and of both critical and ethical thinking. Elements and their application shape discussions that include: 1) a critical examination of different epistemologies and their impact on current approaches to nursing research, theory development and clinical practice; 2) analyses of writings of selected nursing theorists; and 3) theory development in nursing that presents methods of inquiry necessary for the expansion of knowledge (and understanding) in nursing. Overview of important issues in the philosophy of science included. Relationships among philosophy, values, practice, science, theory and research, and their effect on the structure of nursing knowledge are discussed. Conceptual models and theories for nursing practice are examined. In addition, fundamental elements central to the research process are presented, with opportunities for application and practice.


Students will learn to develop the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes for integration of evidence-based practice in the clinical setting. Students learn the steps of evidence-based practice and facilitate exploration of published research and other scientific evidence. Students will develop skills in posing a structured clinical question, searching relevant literature from a variety of databases, compiling it into a reference database, and evaluating it based on methodological criteria. These courses are specific to the DNP curriculum. Pre- or Co-requisite: NURS600.


Students will learn to become proficient in the use of information systems/technology resources to implement quality improvement initiatives and support practice decision-making. Students will analyze a clinical practice information system and develop a quality improvement plan that addresses a deficiency in or expands the capacity of the current system to evaluate or monitor patient outcomes. Students will also explore a broad range of healthcare technology applications including systems for consumer health education. These courses are specific to the DNP curriculum.


The goal of this course is to analyze current major U.S. health policy issues and the critical processes and forces that shape them. The health policy issues addressed include rural health, Medicare, Medicaid, the uninsured, public health, the impact of welfare policy on healthcare, managed-care development and regulation, state and federal healthcare reform, and others. Discussions will focus on the politics of health policy in terms of legislative and executive processes at the state and federal level; key forces involved including economic, social, ethical and political factors; and central players of importance, including special-interest groups, lobbyists, the press, elected officials, legislative staff and public agencies. Specific rural health issues will be suggested by students and discussions will be led by students.


This course focuses on the students’ use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to assist in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the plan of advanced nursing care. Proficiency may be acquired through a variety of methods, including, but not limited to: attaining case management skills, completing patient or practice contact hours, demonstrating experiential clinical competencies, or a combination of these elements. These courses are specific to the DNP curriculum. Prerequisites: Completion of both specialization and role sequences (Family, Community, Geri, and Psych Mental Health). Pre- or co-requisite: NURS 651.


This course is the first in a three semester sequence required of all DNP students. It focuses on the initial development of capstone projects including problem statement, objective, project activities, project timeline, resources, and evaluation strategies. It will also include a decision regarding measurement tools to be used and a plan for both process and outcome evaluation, and budget development. The initial project proposal will be completed during this course. Students will present their projects as a poster presentation. These courses are specific to the DNP curriculum. Prerequisites: NURS 610. Pre- or co-requisites: Specialization III and Role III courses.


This course is the second in a three semester sequence required of all DNP students. It focuses on the implementation of the DNP project. Seminars will include a discussion of applying for and receiving IRB approval, obtaining funds for project implementation, and working collaboratively with clinical agencies where the projects will be implemented. Barriers and facilitators of capstone projects will also be discussed. These courses are specific to the DNP curriculum. Prerequisite: NURS 651.


This course is the third and culminating course for the DNP capstone project. Students will present their current project status, evaluation methodology, dissemination plans, and future recommendations in the seminar. Dissemination of the project outcomes through a publishable scholarly paper will be completed. Methods to address Healthy People 2020 objectives will be included in the evaluation of this project. Prerequisite: NURS 652.

NURS 700, Continuous Registration FOR DNP and/or PHD (1 cr.)

Continuous Registration in Nursing 700 is required for students in each successive semester following Nursing 653, DNP Capstone Experience III, should the student be unsuccessful and/or unable to complete Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the DNP Capstone Project—including revisions that may be required by committee members prior to dissemination.

Continuous Registration

It is important for all students to be aware that completion of the DNP Capstone project is independent of DNP required coursework.  If the DNP Capstone thesis/project is not completed by the end of DNP Capstone III Experience course (NURS. 653), then a grade of Incomplete will be filed and Continuous Registration via NURS 700 will be required in each successive semester until the DNP Capstone project/thesis is ready for final submission (see NURS. 700 in the Course Descriptions Section).

DNP Practicum Requirements

The DNP Curriculum consists of three Clinical Practicum Courses. These courses are designed to offer mentored opportunities to identify, develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate the outcomes of the Capstone Project.  Each course assumes the synthesis of knowledge acquired from subsequent/concurrent DNP courses and the unique practice expertise of the DNP student. Although these courses are separate entities, course objectives and student’s project objectives may transition into a subsequent practicum course reflective of the student’s progress with the project in collaboration with the Capstone Committee. Each Practicum consists of three (3) semester credit hours with a clinical scholarly practice time commitment of 500 hours total in the area related to their Capstone Project. Recording of the Clinical Practice time commitment will be documented within each Practicum Course as it relates to the DNP Essentials.

DNP Capstone Project

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed to prepare advanced practice nurses who will apply current research in evaluating practice and implement clinical innovations to change practice. The implementation of evidence based research in clinical practice is the foundation of clinical scholarship.

Dreher (1999, p.26) describes clinical scholarship as the process of “challenging traditional nursing interventions, testing our ideas, predicting outcomes, and explaining both patterns and exceptions. In addition to observation, analysis and synthesis, clinical scholarship includes application and dissemination, all of which result in a new understanding of nursing phenomena and the development of new knowledge.”

The Capstone Projects are to be designed to meet the criteria of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing “Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice”. The Capstone Projects must:

  • Demonstrate Scientific Underpinnings for Practice

  • Incorporate Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking

  • Utilize Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice

  • Incorporate Information Systems/Technology and Patient Care Technology for the Improvement and Transformation of Health Care

  • Consider Health Care Policy for Advocacy in Health Care

  • Demonstrate Inter-professional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes

  • Incorporate Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving the Nation’s Health

  • Exemplify the role of Advanced Nursing

The Capstone Projects must also meet the criteria developed by National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) to meet the Competencies of the Practice Doctorate:


1. The project is related to advanced practice in the nursing specialty and benefits a group, population or community rather than an individual patient

a.Often arises from clinical practice

b.May be done in partnership with another entity: clinical agency, school, health department, church, government, voluntary organization or community group, etc.

2. The project leadership may be solo or collaborative depending on scope of the project and university requirements

3. The scholarly project addresses identified needs

4. The literature review suggests an evidence base for the project or supports the need for the project

5. Description of the innovation is adequate for others to use (essential components for success, cost, etc.)

6. A systematic approach is used and data are collected using methods and tools that meet accepted standards

7. Expected outcomes are defined and measured (quality improvement, cost savings, etc.)

8. The project is conducted according to ethical principles

9.  Dissemination modes are professional and public (peer review is included)

Scholarly Project Exemplars

I. Translating research into practice

A. Quality Improvement Analysis related to Patient Care and Outcomes

B. Development of Evidence Based Practice Guidelines

C. Analysis of Organization, State or National Policy and the Development, Implementation or Revision of Policy

D. Development and/or Evaluation of Care Models or Patient Care Programs to address health promotionand/or disease prevention

E. Analysis and/or Development of Informational Technology for the purpose of Planning the Enhancement and/or Evaluating Patient Care and Outcomes

F. Analysis of Financial Cost/Benefit of Care Models for the purpose of Improving Cost Savings with the utilization of specific Care Models

G. Joint Inter-professional collaboration with PhD researchers to implement current research

II. Evaluate Interventions, or Innovations in Care Techniques

A. Obtain Baseline Date related to a Specific Health Care Problem and Design an Evidence Based Interventional Plan and Evaluation Process

B. Collaborate with other APNPs or inter-disciplinary colleagues to compare/evaluate group interventions

C. Analyze Data on a Significant Health Care problems and the Effectiveness of Treatments With Recommendations for Change

D. Evaluate the management of patients with Mental Health Disorders and develop an Evidence Based treatment management program

E. Evaluate Peer-led Support Groups and Measure Outcomes

F. Evaluate Pain Control within Palliative Care Models and Measure Outcomes

G. Promote Patient Safety with the Implementation of Medication Administration program and Measure Outcomes

H. Evaluate Home Care Interventions and Compare Patient Satisfaction Between Physicians and APRNS

III. Health Promotion & Community Health

A. Compare Strategies for Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Within Community Health Departments

B. Evaluate Trends and Patient Satisfaction With Patient Visits and the Effects of Outreach Programs

C. Launch Inter-professional Collaborative Health Promotion Programs Within a Vulnerable Community Population and Evaluate Outcomes

D. Compare and Contrast Patient Monitoring Tools or Screening Programs and Evaluate their Effectiveness, Cost Savings and/or Outcomes

E. Evaluate Community Resources and Program Responses to Community Disasters

F. Develop and Evaluate Transition Protocols to Promote Continuity of Care Across Care Settings

IV. Policy-Related Scholarly Projects

A. Evaluate and/or Compare Extended Care Facility Policies for the treatment of Chronic Pain and compare with National Guidelines

B. Evaluate High Risk Patient Populations and Develop Plans for Risk Reduction related to Policy Changes

C. Evaluate Employer Policies Regarding Employee Health and Potential Cost Savings of New Policies

D. Evaluate and/or Develop Evidence-based Policies related to High Risk Populations Within the NICU

V. Integration of Technology in Care and Informatics Related Projects

A. Create a Database for Monitoring Childhood Injuries In Urgent Care Settings and Evaluate the Outcomes

B. Develop and/or Evaluate Informational Technology’s Impact on Care Related to Patient’s Transfer of Care

C. Develop and/or Evaluate protocols that integrate Technology in Patient Assessments Within An Urgent Care Settings

Timeline for Capstone Project Completion:

Progression of assignments in the Capstone Courses is presented in Appendix D.

DNP Prospectus

The prospectus is a one page brief detailing your area of clinical interest. It is the first step in identifying capstone project work and is due the 2rd week of NURS 651, Capstone I, following these guidelines:

A. Statement of the problem: Background/purpose (20 points)

B. Significance: Evidence supporting need (20 points)

C. Method: What are you going to do to address the problem? (20 points)

Bullet your detailed plan (20 points)

D. Projected timeline (20 points)

Advisor and Committee Guidelines

Academic Advisor:

The role of the DNP Advisor is to direct and challenge the advisee throughout the program and assure scholarship and rigor throughout the program. The advisor serves as both an advocate and facilitator for the DNP students. The Academic Advisor may be the DNP Program Director, or any doctoral-prepared faculty.

The Academic Advisor may or may not be an active participant within the Capstone Project Committee. However, the advisor should be notified, by the student or any the Project Committee members, of problems with the DNP student’s completion of Committee objectives and/or timelines.

Responsibilities of the Academic Advisor:

1. Schedules regular meetings as needed to develop a working Academic Program of Study

2. Meets with the DNP student as needed to assure program progression

3. Signs the Approval Form for the DNP Scholarly Capstone Project Proposal

4. Facilitates and problem solves academic dilemmas per University Policies should they arise

DNP Capstone Project Committee

The purpose of the DNP Capstone Project Committee is to facilitate the process of clinical scholarship for the doctoral student.Students are encouraged to secure DNP Committee members during the first DNP capstone course, Nursing 651. The DNP Capstone Committee must be composed of at least two members that MUST be on faculty at Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing, unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Dean. Students must obtain committee member faculty signatures on a DSON document titled:DNP Doctoral Committee. See an example of this form in Appendix E.

Committee Chair:

The DSON DNP Committee must be chaired or co-chaired by a PhD prepared DSON tenured or tenure-track faculty member and may be the student’s academic advisor.

The Graduate School’s official policy on dissertation committees may be referenced online in the Graduate School Manual at:

Other Committee Members:

Other members of the DNP Capstone Committee may be junior faculty supervised by the tenured faculty member(s) and/or clinical experts who add to the scholarship of the Capstone Project. The role of the other committee members in the arena of the student’s area of inquiry is to facilitate the student’s Capstone Project with the knowledge and resources within a specialty area. Specialty areas may include, but are not limited to, Community Health, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Family Practice, Palliative Care, Family Psychiatric Mental Health and Adult-Geriatrics. One of the Committee Members may be an organizational mentor, outside the University to aide in the navigation of resources within a community/population for the implementation of the DNP Capstone Project.

Outside Readers and Reviewers

Students may also use Outside Readers to provide clinical expertise during the development, implementation and evaluation of the DNP Capstone Project as it relates to clinical outcomes. There are Binghamton University faculty that been pre-approved by the Graduate School to serve as outside readers on doctoral committees. If a nominee for outside reader is a Binghamton University faculty member who is not on the pre-approved list of Outside Examiners (OEs), the Graduate Nursing Program Director should submit an OE form to the Graduate School, but the faculty CV is not required. If the nominee is from an outside institution, the Graduate Nursing Program Director should submit an OE form and the nominee’s CV to the Graduate School. Use of Outsider Reviewers is encouraged by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in an effort to facilitate interdisciplinary relationships that may further help to foster the mission of trans-disciplinary excellence research opportunities among Binghamton University faculty.

Committee Responsibilities

The Committee Chairperson

1. Assists the student in the selection of other committee members as needed

2. Reviews the literature reviews and completed scholarly papers of the DNP student for the purpose of discussing the significance of the health care problem of inquiry, the search strategy and the summary of evidence for the Capstone Project. The purpose of submission of documents to the Practicums is the documentation of Scholarly work completed and the clinical hours required to complete the scholarly papers.

3. Meets with the other Committee members to discuss and plan the managementand timeline of the Capstone Project

4. Facilitates the student’s completion of the IRBForms to determine the need for fullIRB proposal submission

5. Meets with the other Committee members during the implementation phase of the Capstone Project for the purpose of keeping the project on track for completion

6. Provides scholarly writing critiques for the Capstone Projectand provides final approval of the Final Capstone Report.

7. Assists with the manuscriptjournal submission during the evaluation phase of the Capstone Project and may be assigned as the second author

The student, in collaboration with the Committee Chairperson is responsible for scheduling the committee meetings and providing written meeting agenda, and minutes of the committee meetings.The committee meeting agendas and minutes are to be submitted as part of the Practicum requirements for each semester.

Responsibilities of the Committee as a Whole:

1. Assist the DNP student in identifying an area of inquiry within their practice specialty and begin exploring concepts related to evidence of a problem or need within that area of inquiry.

2. Participate in all committee meetings to facilitate the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of the Capstone Project.

3. Review and sign off on the Capstone Project objectives, problem statement and Capstone Project Proposal.

4. Facilitate the IRB process with the review of the Capstone Project Proposal.

5. Discuss and facilitate problem-solving and resources for barriers to the Capstone Project

6. Discuss the systematic review of the literature as it pertains to the evidence related to the problem area of inquiry

7. Provide support, guidance, mentorship in the implementation of the Capstone Project

8. Assist the DNP student in the evaluation of the Capstone Project process and outcomes as it translates into clinical practice

9. Review drafts of Capstone Project thesis and sign-off on the final thesis submission to the Graduate School.

10. Facilitate the preparation and dissemination of the project findings through submission of a manuscript for publication in a scholarly, per-reviewed journal and creation of a Power Point Presentation and/or a Poster Presentation of the project to be presented at a local, regional or national conference.

Change of Academic Advisor and/or Committee Members

In the event that the student, advisor or committee members are unable to continue in the academic process, the student is responsible for notifying the Graduate Dean to formulate an alternative plan of academic achievement according to the College of Nursing policies.

Human Subjects Research Review

Human Subjects Research Review Committee Research Study Protocol Submission Process is required for all DNP projects. The Human Subjects Research Review Committee (HSRRC) is the official institutional review board (IRB) at Binghamton University. The following information will help you in the process for the required training and submitting a research study protocol.

Step 1: Education

You must first obtain Human Subjects Research Education training before your protocol will be approved. According to Binghamton University Policies, all investigators, faculty sponsors and all study personnel involved with human subjects must complete the educational requirements before research can be conducted.

1. Go to the website ( ) Click on “Educational Requirements and Resources” Select “Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI)”.

2. Select the group required for your research. There are currently 5 different research groups:

a) Group 1: Biomedical (no patient contact)

b) Group 2: Biomedical (patient contact, involving drugs or devices)

c) Group 3: Biomedical (patient contact, no drugs or devices)

d) Groups 1, 2, and 3 may require exempt, expedited or full board review dependent on the research.

e) Group 4: Social/Behavioral (may require expedited or full board review)**

f) Group 5: Social/Behavioral eligible for exempt review

(For a complete list of review criteria for human subjects research please review the website: Determining Human Subjects Involvement:

** for most of the capstone projects, Group 4 is the module that DNP students will need to take.

Once you select the appropriate research group, you will be linked to the CITI website where you will need to create an account and re-select your Group module. CITI will then provide training modules that have quizzes at the end of each module. The completion time for the group modules varies from 30 minutes to 4 hours. You are allowed to stop and start the training. After you complete the modules, CITI will send an email to the HSRRC office. They will then forward you an email noting that they have been informed of your completion of this educational requirement.

As noted above – all individuals listed on your protocol must complete this education. 

Step 2: Compiling Documents

The next step is completing the documentation for the research study protocol:

Go to the HSRRC website and download

the following forms:

1. Protocol Narrative (all issues in template must be addressed)

2. Informed Consent Samples

a) This may involve either 1) an informed consent that will request participant signatures, or 2) an informed consent script referred to as Oral Consent Sample, or 3) an on-line informed consent (1stpage).

3. If you will be using an informed consent script or an on-line informed consent, download the Waiver of Written Documentation of Consent

4. Also compile:

a. Any recruitment materials such as emails, letters, scripts, advertisements, posters, flyers etc.

b) Debriefing or feedback materials (where applicable)

c) Questionnaires, surveys, interview questions, etc.

d) Any other pertinent information with regard to your protocol.

e) Save these forms on your computer using your last name and document title (i.e. John Doe_informed consent)

TELEPHONE: (607) 777-3818

FAX: (607) 777-5025



ITC – ALPHA 2205

BINGHAMTON, NY 13902-6000

Step 3: Obtaining COEUS Username and Passwords

When these forms are gathered, Go to our website and review the COEUS Quick Guides. These guides will walk you step-by-step in the research study protocol application process.

Process begins with emailing to be assigned a user name and password. The email should include your full name, department and pods password.

Once you receive a response and are assigned a COEUS username and password, please refer to the following website:

1. Password and Access 

Step 4: Submitting the research study protocol and assembled documents through COEUS

Follow the COEUS Quick Guides for research study protocol implementation into COEUS

When you reach Attachments, please upload all of the attachments that you have previously downloaded and saved on your computer. When submitting the protocol, make sure that you receive the message “You have successfully submitted yourprotocol.” If you do not receive this message, we will not receive notification that it has been submitted to our office for review. This may hold up your approval due to our office not receiving the protocol.

Approval times vary – however based on past reviews the follow is an estimate:

Exempt research 2-4 days

Expedited research 3-5 days

Full Board Research 10 -14 days

(All information taken directly from the HSRRC website)

DNP Capstone Project Thesis Guide

This report must conform to APA standards for style.

Title Page: States the title of the project, author, and provides for committee members to acknowledge approval by signature

Acknowledgements:Allows student to thank and acknowledge helpful individuals or institutions

Table of Contents Page

List of Tables

List of Figures

Executive Summary- Summary of the entire project

Chapter 1. Problem Statement

Address the specific clinical or policy issue. The outline for this chapter usually includes the following: Introduction, Problem Statement, Conceptual/Theoretical Framework and Purpose and Objectives of the Project, but may vary according to DNP Capstone Committee chair and members. Documentation of the existence and scope of the problem and the effects on individuals and the health system is presented. Provide any definition of terms. Describe a conceptual framework that will be used to clarify the issue and its resolution. This framework should be used to guide your project thesis

Chapter 2. Review of the Literature

Review all pertinent literature related to documentation of the issue/problem, its historical development, any attempts/interventions to address issue and outcomes related to resolution of the problem. Identify levels of evidence of literature. Use your conceptual framework to organize your literature review.

Chapter 3. Plan for Resolution

Describe in detail your plan for addressing the issue/problem. Identify the process and methods for developing your project and collecting information. Describe the targeted population, the process for obtaining Human Subjects Research Review Committee approval if required, data collection instruments and/or interventions used in plan. Provide documentation of the latter in the appendix.

Chapter 4. Outcomes/Evaluation 

Describe in detail the outcomes of the plan for resolution including any actual or potential impacts on individuals or health care delivery system, or agency. When appropriate provide outcome data. If a product was created (such as a teaching plan or community intervention plan) it should be described here and included in the appendix. If the outcome is a media presentation, a copy should be provided and retained by SON. 

Chapter 5. Summary (Conclusions, Recommendations for Future Action)

Provide a brief summary of the project and its outcomes. Describe any conclusions that can be drawn from process and outcomes of project and discuss vis-à-vis the literature review. Describe any recommendations for future action to address the issue or its resolution.



Project Thesis Progression

Students are expected to meet the requirements for each Practicum to progress with their project. If the student is unable to complete the Practicum requirements, the student will receive an incomplete for that Practicum.

Project Thesis Defense

Upon completion of Capstone Project and Practicums I-III, the DNP student must successfully complete the Capstone Project Defense to be eligible for graduation. The oral presentation using Power Point may take place at the College of Nursing or via synchronous conferencing. The defense will be open to the public. All committee members are expected to be in attendance. Practice mentors and stakeholders are encouraged to attend.

All DNP presentations must be scheduled ahead of time in coordination with the DNP Committee Chairperson, DNP Committee Members and Graduate Program Director. The presentation will be posted on the DSON calendar and be publicized throughout the Decker School of Nursing. The defense will be facilitated by the DNP Committee Chair. The student candidate will present a 30 minute explanation of his/her project, after which the DNP Chairperson will open the floor for questions/discussion from the DNP Committee and audience. Following questions and discussion, the student/candidate is excused while the DNP Committee members deliberate on the outcome of the defense. A written evaluation with recommendations, as appropriate, will be provided to the student. All members of the DNP Committee will sign the DNP Scholarly Project Defense Evaluation Form. A copy must be submitted to the Graduate Program Director. If a student fails to pass the Defense, a plan for remediation will be mutually developed by the DNP Chairperson, DNP Committee members, Graduate Program Director and the student. This plan will be submitted to the Graduate Program Director, for approval within one week of the date of the project defense. Failure to pass the second defense will result in dismissal from the program. The project must be successfully defended at least two weeks prior to semester end for the student to be eligible for graduation.

Dissemination of the Project

The DNP student is encouraged to publish but required to disseminate their work in some fashion. After the completion of the project, dissemination process needs to begin. Dissemination of the project may include:

a. presentation of a poster at a regional, state or national conference

b. presentation of a podium presentation at a regional, state or national conference, and/or

c. a journal publication

The chairperson or member of a capstone committee may assist the DNP student/graduate with choice of dissemination options. The DNP student/graduate is to be first author of manuscripts / presentations; however, the student may consider including committee chair and/or members in authorships as they assist with the production of manuscripts.

DNP Advancement to Candidacy Form

Note that Advancement to Candidacy occurs only after Chapters 1, 2, and 3 have been successfully written and approved by your DNP committee, and additionally that you have obtained IRB Approval. Typically this occurs by the end of DNP Capstone I, Nursing 651. The Recommendation for Advancement to Candidacy form for doctoral programs of study is completed by the Committee Chair.

Checklist for Completion of DNP Degree Requirements

It is the student’s responsibility to review and meet all items as outlined on the document titled, Checklist for DNP Graduation Requirements. These requirements must be complete prior to graduation (see Appendix C). 


American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) (2006) The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. Author. Retrieved from

Dreher, M. (1999). Clinical scholarship: Nursing practice as an intellectual endeavor. In Sigma Theta Tau International Clinical Scholar Task Force. Clinical Scholarship Resources Paper, (pp. 26 – 33),

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) (2011/2012). Nurse Practitioner core competencies. Author. Retrieved from

Appendix A: NONPF 2012 Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies

The following competencies are from NONPF (2011/2012, pp. 3 - 5).

Scientific Foundation Competencies

1. Critically analyzes data and evidence for improving advanced nursing practice.

2. Integrates knowledge from the humanities and sciences within the context of nursing science.

3. Translates research and other forms of knowledge to improve practice processes and outcomes.

4. Develops new practice approaches based on the integration of research, theory, and practice knowledge.

Leadership Competencies

1. Assumes complex and advanced leadership roles to initiate and guide change.

2. Provides leadership to foster collaboration with multiple stakeholders (e.g. patients, community, integrated health care teams, and policy makers) to improve health care..

3. Demonstrates leadership that uses critical and reflective thinking.

4. Advocates for improved access, quality and cost effective health care.

5. Advances practice through the development and implementation of innovations incorporating principles of change.

6. Communicates practice knowledge effectively both orally and in writing.

7. Participates in professional organizations and activities that influence advanced practice nursing and/or health outcomes of a population focus.

Quality Competencies

1. Uses best available evidence to continuously improve quality of clinical practice.

2. Evaluates the relationships among access, cost, quality, and safety and their influence on health care.

3. Evaluates how organizational structure, care processes, financing, marketing and policy decisions impact the quality of health care.

4. Applies skills in peer review to promote a culture of excellence.

5. Anticipates variations in practice and is proactive in implementing interventions to ensure quality.

Practice Inquiry Competencies

1. Provides leadership in the translation of new knowledge into practice.

2. Generates knowledge from clinical practice to improve practice and patient outcomes.

3. Applies clinical investigative skills to improve health outcomes.

4. Leads practice inquiry, individually or in partnership with others.

5. Disseminates evidence from inquiry to diverse audiences using multiple modalities.

6. Analyzes clinical guidelines for individualized application into practice.

Technology and Information Literacy Competencies

1. Integrates appropriate technologies for knowledge management to improve health care.

2. Translates technical and scientific health information appropriate for various users’ needs.

a.Assesses the patient’s and caregiver’s educational needs to provide effective, personalized health care.

b. Coaches the patient and caregiver for positive behavioral change.

3. Demonstrates information literacy skills in complex decision making.

4. Contributes to the design of clinical information systems that promote safe, quality and cost effective care.

5. Uses technology systems that capture data on variables for the evaluation of nursing care.

Policy Competencies

1. Demonstrates an understanding of the interdependence of policy and practice.

2. Advocates for ethical policies that promote access, equity, quality, and cost.

3. Analyzes ethical, legal, and social factors influencing policy development.

4. Contributes in the development of health policy.

5. Analyzes the implications of health policy across disciplines.

6. Evaluates the impact of globalization on health care policy development.

Health Delivery System Competencies

1. Applies knowledge of organizational practices and complex systems to improve health care delivery.

2. Effects health care change using broad based skills including negotiating, consensus-building, and partnering.

3. Minimizes risk to patients and providers at the individual and systems level.

4. Facilitates the development of health care systems that address the needs of culturally diverse populations, providers, and other stakeholders.

5. Evaluates the impact of health care delivery on patients, providers, other stakeholders, and the environment.

6. Analyzes organizational structure, functions and resources to improve the delivery of care.

7. Collaborates in planning for transitions across the continuum of care.

Ethics Competencies

1. Integrates ethical principles in decision making.

2. Evaluates the ethical consequences of decisions.

3. Applies ethically sound solutions to complex issues related to individuals, populations and systems of care.

Independent Practice Competencies

1. Functions as a licensed independent practitioner.

2. Demonstrates the highest level of accountability for professional practice.

3. Practices independently managing previously diagnosed and undiagnosed patients.

a. Provides the full spectrum of health care services to include health promotion, disease prevention, health protection, anticipatory guidance, counseling, disease management, palliative, and end of life care.

b. Uses advanced health assessment skills to differentiate between normal, variations of normal and abnormal findings.

c. Employs screening and diagnostic strategies in the development of diagnoses.

d. Prescribes medications within scope of practice.

e. Manages the health/illness status of patients and families over time.

4. Provides patient-centered care recognizing cultural diversity and the patient or designee as a full partner in decision-making.

a. Works to establish a relationship with the patient characterized by mutual respect, empathy, and collaboration.

b. Creates a climate of patient-centered care to include confidentiality, privacy, comfort, emotional support, mutual trust, and respect.

c.Incorporates the patient’s cultural and spiritual preferences, values, and beliefs into health care.

d. Preserves the patient’s control over decision making by negotiating a mutually acceptable plan of care.

Appendix B: DSON DNP Capstone Evaluation

Student Name:

Committee Chair:

Committee Members:


Satisfactory: Revisions needed

Unsatisfactory: Many Revisions necessary

Plans for Remediation with Required Due Date:

Statement of the Problem is clearly Identified.

Literature Review is clearly documented and supports problem statement. PICOT is feasible for Capstone Proposal

Cost Benefit Analysis clearly defined

Objectives clearly stated and measurable

Evaluation: supports the outcomes of the objectives

Theoretical Framework is appropriate to guide the implementation of the Capstone Proposal

Implementation: Meets the outcomes of objectives.

Population and Setting are clearly Defined and appropriate.

Evaluation plan and measurement/tools Articulated and appropriate.

Risks/Benefit described

Resources necessary for implementation clearly identified

All Consents are included:

Informed consent if necessary.

Practice Site Consent

All Consents must meet IRB approval

All Capstone submissions are in APA format and in scholarly, academic writing.

Committee Chair:Based on evaluation of Capstone II Written Scholarly Project:I do/do not recommend that this student continues in progression of the final capstone project. Please explain your recommendations

  Appendix C: Checklist for DSON DNP Graduation Requirements

_____Have you maintained continuous registration throughout your graduate degree studies?

_____Have you filed your Graduate Application for Award of Degree (GAFD) with The Graduate School office for the semester you intend to graduate by the deadline date?

_____ Confirm with the Graduate Program Assistant that your department has completed and submitted to the Graduate school a Recommendation for Advancement to Candidacy Form on your behalf.

_____ Has your Doctorate in Nursing Practice committee (including outside examiner/external reader) been APPROVED by The Graduate School office? Has the Committee form been completed and signed?

_____Have you addressed any grades of incomplete or missing grades on your academic transcript, ensuring ample time (two weeks is recommended) for your professor to grade any incomplete coursework or to resolve any missing grades in a timely manner?

_____Have you cleared up any outstanding financial obligations?

_____Have you successfully defended your DNP Capstone project?

_____Has the department submitted (on your behalf) the Recommendation for Award of Degree form to The Graduate School?

_____Have you submitted your departmentally accepted DNP Capstone Project electronically through The Graduate School Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission Website:

_____Have you completed and submitted the "Survey of Earned Doctorates", your DNP Capstone Project processing fees payment, and an unbound copy of your capstone project for the department (if required) to The Graduate School office?

Note: To qualify for graduation, students must be in good academic standing. This means a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and a transcript that has no missing grades or grades of Incomplete. 

Appendix D: Timeline for DSON DNP project completion

Capstone I:

N. 651

Chapter One:




Introduction: will be completed and submitted for review by week 2

2.Problem Statement


Problem Statement: will be completed and submitted for review by week 4.

3.Purpose of the Capstone Thesis


Purpose of the Capstone Thesis:will be completed and submitted by week 5.

4. Clinical Question (PICOT Question)

Clinical Question:To be completed and submitted by week 7.

5.Conceptual/Theoretical Framework

Conceptual/Theoretical Framework:To be completed and submitted by week 7



Chapter Two:


1.Review of the Literature


Review of the Literature:To be completed and submitted by week 9.

Chapter Three:





Methodology:to be completed and submitted by week 10

2. Target Population


Target Population:To be completed and submitted by week 10.


Setting:To be completed and submitted by week 10


Capstone II:

N. 652

Chapter Three:



2.IRB submission and approval

Tools:To be completed and submitted by week 2.

IRB submission and approval to be completed by week 5

3.Intervention and Data Collection

Intervention and Data Collection:To be completed and submitted by week 10.


Capstone III:

N. 653

Chapter 4:




Outcomes/evaluation:To be completed and submitted by week 5

Chapter 5:



Conclusions:To be completed and submitted by week 7.

2. Recommendations


Recommendations:To be completed and submitted by week 7.

Students at the conclusion of the DNP Capstone Thesis will defend their thesis and prepare for dissemination of their completed written project.Dissemination will be via power point presentation or poster presentation.All students will be expected to write a query letter for publication in a peer reviewed journal. This will be done at the completion of their written DNP Capstone Thesis and after all requirements have been met for the completion of Capstone 3.

Appendix E: DNP Doctoral Committee Form

We, the undersigned faculty, agree to serve on _____________________________________ committee for the DNP Capstone Project entitled:            ___________________________________________________________________________________


 Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing Faculty 

Name                            Status
(chair or member
Signature                             Date
__________________________ __________________ _____________________________________________ ____________
__________________________ __________________ _____________________________________________ ____________
__________________________ __________________ _____________________________________________ ____________
__________________________ __________________ _____________________________________________ ____________

Approved by: ________________________________________

Nicole Rouhana, PhD, CNM, FNP - BC

Director of Graduate Studies

Appendix F: DNP Clinical Log



Faculty of Record:

NP Preceptor/ Site Address:








DNP Essential

































































































































Last Updated: 2/28/17