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Walden Capstone Writing Collaborative: Introduction to Writing the DNP Project Study

Introduction to Writing a DNP Project Study

The DNP Process Guide presents a step-by-step guide to writing each of the sections and subsections of the DNP Project. This document outlines the expectations for student work. Reviewing this material should be a first step in beginning the dissertation writing process.

Next, as students begin preparing to write, they should review the materials related to the DNP Project document and process, provided on the Office of Research and Doctoral Services website. This page contains resources for writing the prospectus, proposal, and final study. The DNP Prospectus Guide is also helpful. In addition, students should download the appropriate template from the Writing Center’s Form and Style DNP Templates page.

DNP students can focus on writing the following types of project studies:

  • Evaluation of Existing Quality Improvement Projects
  • Staff Education Projects
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines Development

To introduce students to writing a DNP Project Study capstone, here is a description of the main goals and outcomes associated with this process and document:

The goal of the document is to address a specific, defined, and applied nursing problem

  • Students begin by identifying a problem that exists in the nursing world, then define a specific, local problem within that.
  • The goal of the document is to address the specific nursing through evaluation, staff education proposals, practice guidelines, or a review of the existing research on the topic.
  • Subsequent goals of the study are to articulate implications for nursing practice in the field AND the implications for social change (who will benefit from the results and how; see more below).

The document addresses a gap—the specific business problem has not been studied before

  • After identifying the problem, students should identify/ensure there is a gap, as one of the goals of the study is to contribute to the scholarship in that area.
  • It is important to make sure that the topic/problem has not already been addressed by other researchers.
  • The results should make a significant contribution to the student’s chosen area of focus.

The study demonstrates a grounding in related literature and research in the field

  • Another goal of the study is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in the subject areas covered in the literature review.
  • This is why the literature is lengthy and exhaustive; it is the student’s demonstration that he/she is an expert in these areas and is familiar with all previous relevant research, and that the student can convey this expertise through writing.

The document advances social change

  • A final, Walden-specific and important outcome of the study is that results also make a significant contribution to social change. Students need to describe who may benefit from the findings of the study and how.