Final document

Writing the DNP final project scholarly document or manuscript

The proposal forms the basis for writing the DNP Final Project document or manuscript. The student should review what he or she already has written, incorporate recommendations from the chair and committee members, and update and edit the original sections of work in the proposal. Ideally this occurs in the term following the DNP professional examination. At a minimum the document should address all of the sections in some manner as indicated under the Final Project Outline. The specific format i.e. manuscript or scholarly paper decision ideally occurs in autumn semester following the DNP professional examination.

During autumn semester, the student completes data collection and prepares the data for analysis. During early spring semester, the tables of results are developed and the final sections describing the results, discussing the findings, and developing implications for practice, and conclusions are written. The tense found in the proposal changes from future (what is the plan) to past (what was done). Any deviation from the proposal is noted and explained. The DNP Project report should be concise and no more than 30 pages of double-spaced text excluding references, tables, and figures.


In compliance with DNP requirements, students may develop a faculty- approved manuscript suitable for publication in a professional journal. A minimum of one manuscript may be prepared.

It is not a graduation requirement to have the article submitted or officially accepted for publication.


Authorship of the article is as follows:

  • the DNP student is the first author, and
  • The Final Project Committee Chair will help the student determine listing of The following guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) apply:

According to the ICMJE guidelines, “Authorship credit should be based on:

  1. substantial contributions to the conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  3. final approval of the version to be ”

Each person listed as an author should meet all three criteria, and all persons who so qualify should be listed as authors. The corresponding author should be prepared to explain the inclusion of all coauthors and their order in the byline. (Some journals require the submission of specific information about the contributions of each author, and include this information in the published article.) The order of authors should be a joint decision. It is not the role of editors to make authorship/contributorship decisions or to arbitrate conflicts related to authorship.

Faculty believe that dissemination of results is an integral part of scholarly work. We encourage you to work with your Committee Chair to publish your results.

Finally, in addition to publishing your Final Project, we encourage you to submit abstracts for oral presentations and poster presentations at professional meetings. Consult your Committee Chair for guidance on submitting your work and preparing presentations.

If the final project article is submitted for publication

The journal review process for articles is time-consuming: you need to exhibit patience while the submission is in review. Some journals use online submission systems that allow authors to track the progress of their manuscripts through this process, which typically takes several months. If there is no electronic process, and you have not heard from the journal after several months, you may contact the editor.

If the manuscript is accepted by the journal with or without revisions the student should consult the Committee Chair to discuss the editor’s response, and if revisions are recommended, changes must be made prior to final submission of the article. This needs to be done in a timely fashion.

If a manuscript is rejected by the journal to which it was initially submitted, the student should consult with the Committee Chair to identify other journals for article submission.

The article should then be revised as needed and submitted to the next journal that is selected as most relevant, and if this is not successful to a third or even a fourth journal. Although we hope that your first journal submission is successful, it is not unusual for an article rejected by one journal to be accepted after subsequent submission to another journal.

Publication arrangements and timetables are to be negotiated in advance with the student’s chairperson and committee members. The specific timetables are subject to change based on mutual agreement of the student, chairperson, and committee members.