Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Resources


Maryville Online DNP Information Session

Learn more about the Maryville University’s Online DNP Program from the Assistant Dean for Nursing, Dr. Elizabeth Buck.



CINDEL SCHIMKA: Hello again. And for those of you that have recently joined us here in the past few minutes, my name is Cindel Schimka, and I will be
your moderator for this evening’s webinar.

I’d like to start off by thanking you all for joining us for the Maryville University online DNP informational session.

Please note that the presentation is being broadcasted through your speakers and you are in listen-only mode in order to minimize any background noise.
You may type any questions that you have into the chat box at the right of your screen at any time. We will do our best to answer as many questions as possible during the Q&A session at the end of the webinar. If we are unable to answer your questions today, an enrollment advisor will follow up with you by the end of this week to answer those questions for you.

Today’s webinar is also being recorded and a copy will be emailed to you as soon as it is available.

As you can see by today’s agenda, we will be discussing many topics ranging from curriculum and learning outcomes to the online experience, as well as the enrollment requirements.

As previously mentioned, we will be answering your questions at the end of the presentation, but please go ahead and type them into that chat box on the right side of the screen throughout the entire presentation and we will go back and start from the beginning and answer all of those questions that are posed, or if are unable to get to everybody, we will answer them later this week.

At this time, I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to our panelist for this evening for them to introduce themselves and start the webinar.
Dr. Buck?

DR. LIZ BUCK: Hello, everyone. I’m so glad you’re able to join us tonight. My name is Dr. Liz Buck. As you can see, I am the assistant Dean for Nursing and the Director of the online nursing program here at Maryville.

And, Leah?

LEAH: Hello. This is Leah. I’m an enrollment advisor here at Maryville for the online nursing programs. I’ve been with Maryville for about two years now. I’m very excited to talk to you tonight about one of my favorite programs that we are offering.

DR. LIZ BUCK: So let me go ahead and tell you a little bit about Maryville University. Some of these things you can actually find on our website, which I hope that you have gone onto and to find out more about us.

We are ranked by U.S. News and will report as among the Nation’s Best National Universities, as well as one of the best online graduate nursing programs in 2015.

We have been for six consecutive years named as a military friendly school. I actually am a Veteran so that makes me feel very happy.

We are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. We had our visit last, oh, my goodness, last fall and we are fully accredited by the CCNE, and we are also regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which is called the HLC. That is our regional accreditation for the University as a whole.

So let me talk a little bit about the Doctor of Nursing Practice, and this is pretty much the Doctor of Nursing practice whether it’s an online on ground program, but you need to know what the DNP is all about.

One of the things that makes the DNP different from the a PhD program is that you are not necessarily developing new knowledge in the profession, you know, new theory or a new knowledge, but, rather, you’re taking the knowledge that’s already been developed and using it to make practice better.

So the development of evidence base practice is what the DNP is all about. We definitively want you to able to use research for the improvement of clinical care delivery. And of all of it, the bottom line is about improving patient outcome. That’s the whole reason why the DNP was developed in the first place was to improve patient outcome.

The other thing that we expect DNP graduates to do is to actually leave quality healthcare practices, so being leaders, as well as having quality in healthcare practice.

The leadership is at the organizational level. We want you to improve and develop your systemic thinking skills. Also, we want you to be an advocate for the profession and for population in healthcare policy.

We want you to actually lead into professional teams at the highest clinical levels. And the other thing is that we also want you to know that we have experience faculty who are going to be teaching you.

So these are some of the learning outcomes that we hope that you will meet as you go through the program. We definitively want you to be able to integrate science and knowledge as the bases for the highest level of nursing practice.

We want you to think about and develop and evaluate knew practice approaches. We want you to develop and evaluate care delivery approaches so, at the more macro level than just the practice that you just might be in right now.

We want you to be able to meet the needs of patient populations, again, populations rather than individual patients based on scientific findings. We want you to think about ethical dilemmas inherent in patient care, as well as healthcare organization and research.

We want you to be able to use analytical methods to develop and evaluate best nursing practices, and that would mean really delving into the literature around a certain topic that you’re most interested in and really analyzing that literature and coming up with ways it can influence practice.

We want you to be able to use information systems and technology to support and improve patient care and healthcare systems, use it in terms of things like up-to-date and other decision support technology that you might come across.

We definitively want you to design, implement, influence, and advocate in healthcare policy realm. So it’s not just contacting your legislature, but perhaps writing a piece of policy that affects your profession and/or your patients.

We also expect that you will address issues of social justice and the equity in a healthcare system.

Leadership skills should be demonstrated across the whole healthcare continuum to facilitate again those positive patient outcomes. We want you to be able to use evidence-base clinical prevention and population health services and, again, we expect that you all along will improve your skills and use of evidence-based practice in your practice.

So one of the things that obviously you’re interested in an online program, we are 100 percent online. It’s a 33-credit hour program. If you have already taken a graduate-level status course, and it must be graduate-level course, it will only be 30 credits or 10 courses.

The program coursework is given to you in a period of 18 months. You can complete this program in 18 months. However, I want to tell you a caveat to that.
The scholarly project is a set of three courses. And one of the things that you have to do in order to begin your scholarly project is you have to get through the IRB, which is the Institutional Review Board, or the Ethics Committee here at Maryville.

It’s also possible that you have an IRB or some kind of a committee to go through as well at your institution. So I’m going to tell you that people have finished our program in 18 months, but because of the complexity of the scholarly projects that people are doing, it is possible and it is becoming more the norm that it will take another semester after that for you to complete your project.

And I don’t want you to feel discouraged by that statement. We want you to do a very good quality piece of work that contributes to practice. So that’s why it may take you one semester longer.

So I want you to know that right up front. You can complete in 18 months, but don’t get disappointed if you have to go one more semester.

We have eight-week long courses. So you can do two courses in a semester. And Nursing Seminal 5, which is the first clinical inquiry course where you actually write your proposal, is the only 16-week long week course.

And we have three entry points per year: Spring, Summer and Fall. And the good news about our program is that you do not have to take the GRE.

So these are the required courses. As I said, the graduate statistics course unless you can transfer one in. Principle of Epidemiology and Bio-stats is another course that you take. We require the graduate statistics course to be a foundation for Nursing 700.

Foundations of Clinical Scholarship is a course where you write a lot. We want you to get into the mode of writing in a scholarly and professional manor.
Integrating and Synthesizing Research is the course in which you actually begin to write your literally review for your project. Again, it’s an eight-week course so it’s a fast-pace course where you actually go out and you begin to look at the literature, critique it, synthesize the findings so that you have a good foundation for your project.

Advance Health Policy, again as I said, advocating for the profession and for the potential population. We want you in this course to actually prepare to give testimony to a potential healthcare committee, for instance, a legislative committee. Not in reality, but you need to prepare for if you were going to.
An ethics course at the doctoral level is also required. We have a quality course in advanced practice nursing where you learn quality concepts and actually apply those to a project, to your project, if possible.

And then there is a course in Organizational and Systems Leadership and, as I said before, it really is to really hone your skill in thinking systematically and systemically in looking at the big picture.

And then we get to the DNP courses. These are where you actually do your scholarly project. There are three of them. The first course, as I said, is where you actually write your proposal and with a guidance of a chairperson that you will be assigned to one of the faculty here at Maryville.

And you will along with the faculty member who teaches this course and your chairperson, you will be working with that person throughout the scholarly project process.

Clinically Inquiry 2 is where you do your data analysis. So, see, how important it is that you get through the IRB in Nursing Seminal 5 in order to have your own data to work with in 706.

And then 707 is what we call the dissemination phase where your actually finishing up writing your project as well as you will present it to the Maryville community at an assigned time. Usually, it’s about three weeks before your graduation date or your expected completion date.

So a little bit more about the scholarly project. We definitely want you to identify a clinical practice problem or need in your own practice, and then think about ways that that problem can be improved.

It can be completed in partnership with a clinical agency, a health department, any of those organizations that you see there. And it can be represented by a pilot study, program evaluation, a QI project, evaluation of a new practice model or a consulting project.

So there are lots of ways that a student can do this scholarly project.

Again, as I said, there is a systematic and extensive literature review that is required for the project. You need to have some expected outcomes. They need to be clearly defined. They need to be measureable. And they need to relate to the best evidence to improve practice in patient outcome.

And, then, again, we do have the dissemination. We do expect that you do disseminate it. We give you an opportunity to disseminate it to the Maryville community, but we also hope that you will disseminate to your people at your practice, and, hopefully, in conferences that are in local state or even national.

I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Leah, and she’s going to tell you a little more about the program.

LEAH: Thank you so much, Dr. Buck. Again, thank you everybody for coming out to hear kind of this late informational webinar this evening. I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to hear about the program.

I’m going to speak to you just a little bit about the online experience and what you can expect as a DNP student here at Maryville.

So as Dr. Buck mentioned earlier, one of the big things that we kind of kept in mind when we designed this particular program is that all of our students are working professionals. So this is a part-time program for students.

One of the big things that we wanted in this program is to keep it manageable and practical for students who are working in the field with clinicals or seeing patients every day and being able to complete the program while working.

So with that in mind, one of the things that students really like about this particular program is that there is no set login time as you go through. So you can login around the clock anytime that’s most convenient for you.

As we know most advanced practice nurses do not work the traditional 40-hour week, so this program really accommodates kind of the schedule that you have.
With that in mind, this program has structure. So one of the things that we like about this particular program is that we don’t throw entire courses at you and expect you to kind of come back in a few months and have learned it all on your own.

This program gives you enough structure with due dates for homework, for papers, for discussion boards and things like that that you’re able to kind of interact, keep up with your coursework, and feel like you have a support system here as you go through the DNP program.

So it’s a really nice balance for an DNP of being able of have other obligations, have a life, but also feel that connection to your professors and also to the fellow students that you’re going through your cohort with.

Obviously, we have students across the country who are in this DNP program, but it’s really still very important to us that we continue to build relationships not only with student-to-student, but also with professors.

So one of the ways that we’ve kind of built this program to ensure that students have the opportunity to collaborate and to speak with their instructors is through live online office-hour sessions.

Professors in your program will be offering live online office hours where students can come to them with questions, for feedback, for guidance as they grow through this particular program. Obviously, your professors are fantastic, as Dr. Buck mentioned, they are highly-qualified professors with either their DNP or their PhD.

I think one of our professors currently holds both a PhD and a DNP. They’re kind of there to give you the support that you need to as you go through this particular program.

You’re also in small classes, so with 20 students or less as you go through this particular program. And one of the things that the students really like about this program is that you have the opportunity to work really closely with other members of your cohorts.

You have a chance to familiarize yourself with their background through group work. We also have really fantastic and sometimes lively discussion boards where students kind of interact and share thoughts on a particular topic, maybe related to their practice, maybe related to the course at hand.

And one of the great things about this particular program being focused on the advanced practice nurse and the clinical experience is that you really have a rich understanding of what other people’s backgrounds and experiences are through these interactions through these connections that your making with the small groups that you are working through.

Actually, and I’m sure Dr. Buck can speak to this, we had a class graduate recently from our online DNP program, and they reached out to us as they’re here getting ready to come to campus for their graduation. One of the nice things about this particular program is that you do not need to come to campus throughout. We would love to have you for graduation.

For a lot of the students, this was the first time that they made their way to campus. One of the things that they had said to us, which was really wonderful to hear, is that they felt through their interactions and through their discussions, and through kind of the bonding that they did in this program closer to their DNP cohort that they did online than they had felt to their MSN colleagues that they went to on campus.

So this becomes a really tightknit network of healthcare professionals throughout this program.

One of the other things that we pride ourselves on in this program is a timely curriculum. So our coursework is always being updated constantly about the different pieces of knowledge, keeping it kind of most up-to-date in your field, keeping it relevant to what you’re seeing.

As everyone knows here, the healthcare landscape is kind of changing. So you are really getting the most up-to-date relevant information as you go through this coursework.

And, then, of course, because it’s all clinically focused, the big projects in each and every single course apply to the things that you’re seeing in your own practice.

As Dr. Buck mentioned, there is a capstone project that you will do in lieu of traditional clinical hours in this program.

So one of the fantastic things that students sometimes take an advantage of is if they have a good sense early on in the program of what their capstone project might be, taking advantage of some of those larger projects in their didactic courses leading up to those clinical scholarly projects courses, and making those kind of big projects related back so that you are able to uses some of the preliminary research, that exposure in your clinical capstone paper as you get further into the program.

So these courses, as you’re going through, they’re not just abstracts, they’re not about the state of healthcare in Zimbabwe. It is about your particular healthcare experiences and, hopefully, you’re coming away with knowledge about things that you’re seeing every single day at a higher level.

So for the online program for the DNP, we are looking at several different requirements for students who apply.

So the first thing that we’re looking for is a MSN from an accredited nursing program. So we’re looking for a student who has or will have an MSN from a school that has been accredited through the LNAC, now, ASN, now the CCNE.

The GPA requirements for the DNP program is a minimum of a 3.25 GPA, and that’s on a 4.0 scale.

We do require three letters of recommendation. As you can see on my slide, I’m sure some of you are thinking one academic reference, I have not been to school in quite a while and I don’t know how to hunt one of those down. That’s not something that you need to worry about.

We do understand for students who have maybe been out of school for a while, or recently moved, maybe someone who went to an online program and didn’t feel like they made a particular connection with their professors.

We do understand those extenuating circumstances and that would be just fine for students in that situation to use three professional clinical references.
The other thing that we’re looking from a student is a copy of your CV or resume. You want it to be the most up-to-date and highlighting some of your most direct patient care experience.

And, then, we are also looking for your ANCC certification as an advanced practice nurse at the time of your application. So that will need to be included in your application.

DR. LIZ BUCK: And it doesn’t have to be ANCC. It’s just your certificate. Obviously, some of you probably have been certified by AANP or, if you’re pediatric, from the pediatric board as well. So we just need see a certificate that you are certified as an advanced practice nurse.

LEAH: That’s a great point, Dr. Buck. So as long as it’s through the certifying board, we will just need to make sure that we have a copy of that certification at the time of your application.

And then the very last piece of your application will be the admissions essay, which is I would say and I’m sure Dr. Buck would agree properly one of your most important pieces of your application for the DNP program.

As Dr. Buck kind of touched on a little bit earlier, this DNP program is writing-intensive. So this is kind of an applicant’s chance to talk about their three experiences that they feel have prepared them for their DNP studies and a chance for students to speak about their kind of preliminary idea for their capstone project, along with obviously some literature to support that project.

So this essay will be about three pages long and in APA format. Like I mentioned, this essay will be probably one of the most integral parts of your application.

Students have one really good chance to get this application essay correct. Obviously, you want to utilize your admissions advisor for tips and for feedback. But I would say and I’m sure Dr. Buck can speak to this, this is one of the things that the admissions committee is really looking for to make sure that you can be successful in some of the writing-intensive pieces of this program.

Dr. Buck, can you speak to some of the things that you’re looking for in the essay?

DR. LIZ BUCK: One of the things that you need to know is that you only get one chance. So if you mess up, you don’t get a chance to revise it. So please really, really proofread it, read it out loud to yourself, have someone else that you know read it and make sure that all the punctuation is correct, the verb and subjects agree.

I’m on the admissions committee. So it really is important that it’s grammatically correct and it has cogence thought to it, especially the part, the experiences that you have had, those are telling your own personal story, and those really mean a lot to us. It really shows us your development as an advanced practice nurse.

But the pieces that are really important to us is that you can put together a thought. Now, this does not have to be your be all and end all scholarly project topic, but we would like to see some thought put into an issue that is really important in your practice and how you would like to see yourself potentially solving that problem and making a difference with your patient.

We would like to see some literature to support your project. And, again, APA is important. I know it is bug-a-boo for students. I don’t understand why, because it’s right there in the manual or online.

But, anyway, so, yes, the essay really is one of the most important things. It really, as Leah said, it really does show that you are ready for the writing-intensive program. I think almost all online programs are writing-intensive, but that’s one of the things that we really pride ourselves at Maryville on is our graduate’s ability to write.

So I totally agree with Leah that you should use your enrollment advisor, too, as much as you possibly can to get a good project ready for us to evaluate.

LEAH: Great. Thank you, Dr. Buck.

So I would say exactly what Dr. Buck has said, I’ll just echo it. The different pieces of your application, your advisor is going to be an invaluable resource for you as you go through the application process. Especially, as a DNP student, they are able to provide you with the resources to see examples of what a capstone project might be. They’re there to answer questions for you.

So, at the end of this presentation, if you do have questions or don’t know who your enrollment advisor is, please shoot us a message and we will be happy to have someone reach out and get in touch with you.

In terms of tuition for the DNP program, we are at 849 per credited hour. So that’s $849 per credit. The DNP program is 33 credit hours. So over the course of five terms or about a year and half, total tuition $28,017.

There is a resource and technology fee that is charged once per term. And since Maryville is on trimesters, that’s going to be three times per school year. That’s going to give you as a student access to our resources and our online library.

And as a DNP student, those will be invaluable to you as you start to work through your capstone projects and start doing research for your various courses.
If you do have any more questions about tuition or particular breakdown, fill free to visit our website and get the brochure. It’s listed there. Or you can always type questions into your chat box on your right.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Wonderful. Thank you so much both, Dr. Buck and Leah. As we were saying, we are now going to open it up for questions.

Again, as a reminder, please just type your questions in the chat box on the right side of your screen. And as your moderator, I will read them aloud, and Dr. Buck and Leah will answer them accordingly.

So we did receive a few questions throughout the presentation.

And the first one is: this one is for Dr. — the question is, I have a question concerning the scholarly project. I work in a long-term care facilities. Can I carry out a scholarly project in a long-term care facility?

DR. LIZ BUCK: You bet you can. I would think that the long-term care facility would lend itself very well to a scholarly project. You definitely want to increase and improve patient outcomes for the population that you serve.

And I would venture to say that you probably have some ideas on how that may happen already. So, yes, you can.

Now, most long-term care facilities don’t necessarily have their own IRB, so what you would need to do is just get approvals from whoever the person is that is in charge of — who can give you that approval to do your project.

Okay. SO that will need to be included in your final application in the institutional review board here. But, yes, in short, a long-term care facility would be a great place to do a scholarly project.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Okay. Thank you, Dr. Buck

The next question is for Leah. How many credit hours are needed for part-time study for the DNP program?

LEAH: Fantastic question. So the DNP program is a part-time program. It is only offered at part-time so that students are able to work all the way through.
So total credit hours for the program from start to finish will be 33 credit hours. As Dr. Buck mentioned, some students will be exempted from three credit hours, which is our graduate statistics course, if they had a recent, by which I mean in the past five years, Masters level statistics course with a B or better.

So if you have that, it maybe a few credit hours less, that will be 30 credit hours. The typical setup for a part-time DNP student is going to be, in a typical trimester, so our online programs run in 16-week trimesters, three terms per school year.

A student will typically take two eight-week classes that are one right after the other. So the first eight weeks will be one class stand alone, and the second eight weeks will be one class stand alone.

There is one exception to that rule. And that’s going to be your first clinical inquiry course, which you will take by itself or the full 16 weeks. That’s where you’re going to be writing your IRB application and getting approval for your clinical projects. So that will be a little bit more of your focus versus having just an eight-week course to introduce yourself to the clinical inquiry.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Thank you so much, Leah.

The next question is for you, Dr. Buck. What is the IRB?

DR. LIZ BUCK: Oh, okay. IRB stands for Institutional Review Board. And it is a committee, a lot of organizations have at hospital, universities have an IRB, which is a committee of faculty that look at the ethical treatment of human subjects.

So that is the purpose of the IRB, is to make sure that the person who is applying to do research is treating people ethically.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Thank you, Dr. Buck. Next question is for Leah again.
When is the application deadline for spring?

LEAH: Well, unfortunately, the application for spring has passed. Because Maryville runs on trimesters for the online, we have a little bit different of an academic schedule than you might see for a traditional semester setup so our spring was in January.

However, we are now accepting applications for our summer start date, which would be a first day of class May 4th. So if that’s something you’re thinking about, the application deadline is March 23rd, which is a little over a month from now.

Frankly, when we see students who are well prepared and excited about getting started in the program, we see that they’re able to complete the application process in about two to three weeks.

So you absolutely have the time to make the application deadline for the summer start date. If you would like to move forward, and I absolutely encourage you to do that, feel free to reach out to your admissions advisor. If you know who that is, feel free to shoot us an email. We will be able to get you in touch with them.

But absolutely we are reviewing and accepting files for summer right now, and those files are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
So I recommend the sooner you get your application in and your file complete, the sooner you’ll be able to hear back from the admissions committee and make your plan for this summer.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Thank you, Leah.

The next question we have is, have you had any projects with NPs working as a hospitalist?

DR. LIZ BUCK: A hospitalist.


DR. LIZ BUCK: That’s okay.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Dr. Buck, I’m going to direct that question towards you.

DR. LIZ BUCK: You know what? Actually, at this moment in time, I can say that we have not, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be the first. It would be totally appropriate for an advanced practice nurse working as a hospitalist to do a scholarly project.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Dr. Buck, we have another question for you right away.


CINDEL SCHIMKA: The question is, I currently work in a private practice, OB/GYN, as a nurse practitioner, but I also teach at a nursing program at a local college. If I continue with academia, would the program be beneficial or is it mainly geared towards clinical practice?

DR. LIZ BUCK: That’s also a great question. We have had students, we’ve had I would say a handful of students, now, granted, we are a small program, who have actually done teaching-related, education-related DNP projects.

So that’s a great question. If you decide you want to — you are a nurse practitioner, and I’m going to make the assumption that in your academic role, you’re teaching nurse practitioner students, I think the DNP degree is becoming almost the degree of choice for advanced practice nursing faculty.

Again, that also is dependent upon the academic institution where you teach. Before you make your decision about DNP verses PhD, if that’s part of your question, I would definitively talk to people at your institution to make sure that you can be tenured with a DNP.

You know, that is completely institutionally dependent. It doesn’t have anything to do with the profession. It doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the degree that you get. It is all institutionally dependent. If you have any other questions about that, go ahead and ask me or maybe me can even talk offline on that, about that.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: And, Dr. Buck, you had mentioned previously that lots of students or some students have gone and gotten their paper published once they had completed the DNP program or moved towards getting it published. Do you feel that that’s a stepping stone for the academic side as well?

DR. LIZ BUCK: Absolutely, I =- actually, I think that all the students should think about publishing their work, certainly presenting it at conferences all over the country I think it’s important.

The whole idea is that you want to contribute to improving the practice of advance practice nurses. So, obviously, in any academic situation doing scholarship is really important no matter what that the scholarship is. Again, it’s also institutional dependent, how much publishing, how much teaching, if you are expected to do research and practice.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Wonderful. Thank for you for that great answer, Dr. Buck.

The next question that we have is for you again.


CINDEL SCHIMKA: Are there any clinical hours required for this program?

DR. LIZ BUCK: You know, that’s a good question. So it depends on how you define clinical hours. All right? So the ANCC mandates that you should have — now, don’t fall off your chairs — a thousand hours after your baccalaureate degree in order to get a DNP.

Now, those thousand hours includes your Master’s degree clinical work. And, then, what we do is we count the hours that you put into various projects, getting new confidences in courses in our program as part of that — rest of that thousand hours.

So the hours you spend in projects, such as your quality project, for instances, or your paper and presentation for health policy, or your analysis of the system in which you’re going to do your scholarly project which is in organizational and system leadership, and then, of course, all the time that you spend in your clinical, in your scholarly project.

All of those hours and not in every course, but those particular courses that I just mentioned, you’ll be logging your hours that you actually spent doing those tasks. And I guarantee you, that it will all add up to over a thousand hours once you add in your Master’s clinical.

So not clinical as in going and seeing patients, but the hours that you spend are those hours that you do in the projects.

LEAH: Absolutely. So I would say one of really fantastic things about this particular program is that you’re not going back and relearning things that are maybe not necessarily new to you as a student.

As a nurse that’s working, and as an advance practice nurse, you’re properly doing clinicals that you’re getting paid for, which is spectacular and that’s what we want you to do.

So the clinicals that you’re doing, the hours that you’re logging, as Dr. Buck mentioned, are going to be in your passion projects.

So in the presentation, like Dr. Buck mentioned, in healthcare policy about something you’re really passionate about that affects your community, or your leadership class where you’re identifying your leadership style and how it may affect and influence the people around you at a higher level, your passion project in your clinical where you’re picking something that you see, you know, every single day that really excites you and interests you.

So these are going to hours you’re spending. It’s not that you’re going back and doing informatics. It’s not that you’re going back and doing the clinical hours that you’ve done before. This is a program that will expand you as a nurse leader in healthcare and that’s something that students get really excited about, is the chance to have the resources and the time and the focus and the mentorship to do some of the things that they may have been thinking about for years and just haven’t had the resources in places to do.

DR. LIZ BUCK: Let me say some more things about that. You know, I don’t know how many of you went back and got your BSN after you were a nurse, but this is what I say to those students, and I think it’s applicable to the DNP student as well.

You’re already an expert at being an advance practice nurse, and what the DNP coursework will do is give you more competency, the different kind of competencies that will allow you to become, as Leah said, a leader, but practice also at the highest level.

It’s not giving you any better assessment skills or improve your knowledge of disease processes, but, rather, it’s going to make you think in a completely different way that you can apply to your practice again to improve patient outcome.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Thank you both to Dr. Buck and Leah for that great answer.

We are going to continue on with the next question. The next question we have is for Leah.

Right now, I don’t have any idea for a scholarly project. If I do not mention it in my application essay, what are my chances of acceptance?

LEAH: So I’ll to speak to this and then I’m sure Dr. Buck will want to speak to this, too.

You absolutely will want to talk about a capstone project idea in your essay. But I would say the caveat is that your admissions advisor is there to mentor you and talk you through.

I bet every single one of you has a capstone idea. It may just be that you don’t fully understand what the capstone project is, and I’m happy, and the admissions office is happy to talk to you about what that is, give you some resources.

Frankly, and I’m sure Dr. Buck can speak to this, the DNP capstones can range from something like documentation error to something as far ranged as something epidemiology focused.

I have a current student going through the particular program who works on a reservation in Oklahoma. She is a PNP and is seeing a high instance of early onset diabetes in her patients. So that’s what she is exploring in her capstone.

Like I said, documentation errors is something as well. Understanding scope of practice. I have a nurse midwife who is going through the program who her capstone project, she vaguely wants to focus on better understanding and educating the PAs and DOs, and MDs that she works with in how to utilize nurse midwifes.

There’s a thousand things that you can do. And we’re here to help you identify what those are. What goes into your application essay is not necessarily in written in stone. So don’t feel that you’re, you know, weighing yourself down or locking yourself in by witting this. But it’s a good chance for us to get a sense of what your passions are.

And we do use that application essay to pair you with a faculty mentor and a faculty chair that will work with you through those capstone classes all the way through up until you graduate.

Dr. Buck, do you have anything to add to that?

DR. LIZ BUCK: Well, yes, I do. So I would encourage you to think about the things in your practice that bother you. How could I — you know, I know that I see a bunch of patients who don’t understand the way I teach them about antihypertensive, or there are things that are curious to you, that you’re curious about. You know, with the whole idea of scholarly inquiry and we’re not expecting you to come up with this amazing original idea that nobody else has ever thought about.

We want you to get down and dirty and get into your practice and improve it. So don’t be intimidated by the idea that you have to think about a scholarly project topic, but rather think more about a problem within your practice that you would like to solve.

Now, that may or may not end up being the actual project that you work on, but that’s what we’re wanting to see. What subject matter or what problem are you going to work on that’s going to improve patient outcomes for your practice?

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Thank you, Dr. Buck.

I’m going to actually direct this one right to you again as well, just someone was asking for some clarification.

The capstone project is the replacement of preceptors and clinical hours, correct?

DR. LIZ BUCK: Correct. There is no preceptor. There are no clinical hours.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Great. Thank you for clarifying. And, then, Dr. Buck, we do have — we’ll take one last question, and then we will close out for the evening

The next question is for you. I became a nurse practitioner in 2004 through a certificate program and then obtained my MSN online in 2009. Do the clinical hours from the NP program count?

DR. LIZ BUCK: Absolutely, without question.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Wonderful. Thank you, Dr. Buck and Leah both for answering the questions for this evening.

If your question was not answered online, an enrollment advisor will reach out to you by the end of the week to answer your questions for you. I will make sure pass the information along to them.

DR. LIZ BUCK: Thank you so much, all of you, for being interested in Maryville. We’ve really enjoyed talking to you about our program.

CINDEL SCHIMKA: Yes. And to piggyback off of Dr. Buck, thank you. Please visit our website if you need any more information or again you are welcomed to contact us at any time.

In closing, I do want to point out on the screen that the application deadline for the summer semester is March 23rd, and the summer classes will begin May 4th.

Again, if you have any questions regarding those deadlines or need help with your application, please feel free to reach out to your enrollment advisor and they will be happy to help.

And in closing, thank you again all for joining us for this evening’s online DNP webinar. And we hope you all have a great evening.

DR. LIZ BUCK: Bye, now.