Professional Development Needs of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Students in Pennsylvania

BACKGROUND: The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) role is growing with increasing numbers of programs, students, and graduates. The DNP Essentials define the competencies of the DNP prepared nurse. The role of the DNP is variable across settings. Nursing professional organizations (NPO) help to advocate for the role of nursing and provide professional development opportunities. The literature reveals no DNP-specific NPO within Pennsylvania (PA). METHODS: A needs assessment survey for DNP students enrolled in PA-based programs was created and reviewed by content experts at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State University) and the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA). Data from the needs assessment, coupled with a literature review, provided the basis for recommendations to PSNA for the creation of a DNP special interest group. INTERVENTION: DNP students from 10 CCNE-accredited DNP programs in PA received an electronic needs assessment survey. The survey focused on perceived competency levels based on the DNP Essentials, professional development needs, and attitudes toward joining a NPO. RESULTS: Survey data indicates a positive correlation between overall mean confidence and likelihood to learn more for all DNP Essentials. Additionally, the majority of participants indicated interest in joining a state level NPO if a DNP committee or special interest group was offered. CONCLUSION: An electronic needs assessment survey is a successful method to identify confidence and professional development needs for DNP students in PA. Data supports creation of a DNP committee or special interest group within a state level NPO for DNP nurses to engage in a community of practice.



Work Title Professional Development Needs of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Students in Pennsylvania
Open Access
  1. Fallon R Hughes
  1. DNP
  2. DNP Project
  3. Nursing Professional Organization
  4. Professional Development
  5. Needs Assessment
License All rights reserved
Work Type Project
  1. Dr. Kristen Bransby
  2. Dr. Lorraine Bock
  3. Dr. Kimberly Van Haitsma
Publication Date April 27, 2020
  1. Professional Development Needs of DNP Students
  1. English
Deposited April 27, 2020




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