Final Project Overview & Timeline

The DNP Project develops over time under the primary supervision of the student’s faculty advisor, who serves as the Chair of the student’s DNP professional examination committee and the DNP final project committee. The following is a recommended process to follow in developing the DNP project.

Please note this is a process and timeline recommendation for part-time plans of study for the post master’s that plans a spring graduation. All full-time students will work with their advisor and within their specialty plans of study to achieve DNP project objectives and outcomes.

Year one of DNP program:

  • Focus on curriculum in the cores and the 7 steps of EBP
  • Identify a general area of clinical or healthcare inquiry and share it with your faculty advisor.

Year two of the DNP program:

  • Create a PICOT question and get approval from advisor prior to literature review.
  • Complete critical appraisal and analysis of literature. Share your tables with your advisor.
  • Identify the type of project you wish to do and formulate your project focus in collaboration with your advisor.
  • Identify with your advisor two additional team (committee) members to serve on your committee who have expertise relevant to the proposed project and invite them to serve on your team (committee)
  • Write Sections 1 and 2 of your proposal, sharing sections with your advisor as you are developing them and revising based on the advisor’s feedback.
  • By the end of  spring or summer semester, write Section 3,  Submit the draft to your advisor and revise as directed.
  • Meet with your entire committee PRIOR to the professional exam (proposal defense) to receive their input and guidance for use in subsequent revisions of your proposal. It is the student’s responsibility to identify the time for the meeting that works for all committee members and to ensure that each one has received and updated draft of the proposal at least 5 days in advance of the meeting.
  • Your goal is to have a coherent proposal by the end of spring/summer semester of the first year for full time students and by the end of the spring/summer semester of the second year for part time You will schedule a project proposal defense with your chair and committee.
  • Your committee members must approve the proposal prior to completion of the Human Subjects vs Quality Improvement determination, the OSUWMC Feasibility, the IRB or any other applicable project site internal review forms are completed. You may not initiate any type of external approval paperwork (i.e. IRB, Feasibility) until after you have successfully completed your Professional Doctoral Examination.
  • After you have passed the Professional Doctoral Examination (receiving your chair’s and committee’s approval to proceed), submit:
    • HS vs QI determination information available online.
      • Instructions to complete this form are available here.
    • Feasibility Review, if applicable
    • IRB, if applicable. Information available online.
    • For the Institutional Review Board (IRB) application, the faculty advisor should be listed as the principal investigator and the student as the co-investigator.  This is a policy of The Ohio State University Center for Responsible Research Practices. Depending upon where the study is to be conducted, it may be necessary to have the proposal reviewed by another institutional IRB committee.
    • Other Final Project site review approvals
  • All necessary approvals, including IRB and Feasibility approval must be obtained prior to beginning the DNP final project. Once approved, your project may not be changed in any manner without first notifying the appropriate approval entity and obtaining a change in project approval. All changes in protocol should be made in collaboration with your DNP Project Chair.
  • The goal is to have your project approved by the start or very early of autumn semester in your final year of study.
  • Students must adhere to the Graduate Student Code of Research and Scholarly Conduct found in Appendix A of this Sanctions may apply for violations of the Code.

Final year of the DNP program

  • Complete DNP Final Project
  • Enrollment in NP8998.01 and NP8998.02
  • Begin Final Project when IRB, Feasibility, or any other site approval is received, or exemption is determined.
  • Set up a schedule for checking in with your Chair regularly on your Final Project.
  • Begin refining the proposal’s language by changing the future tense to past tense and finalizing the literature review section.
  • Refine the methods and measurement sections of the report
  • Complete data collection
  • Complete Final Project Scholarly Document or Manuscript
  • Schedule a presentation and defense date for the Final Project
  • Complete revisions on the Final Project Document or Manuscript
  • With the permission of your chair, submit the Final Document to the Knowledge Bank

Practical advice in maintaining momentum towards completion of the DNP project

The time frame for completion of the project is the student’s responsibility. The student is responsible for moving the DNP Project forward in a timely manner. It is critical that the student meet regularly with the advisor to update them on your progress or to seek assistance with unanticipated problems. The committee chair leads the preparation of the final report. Plan to allow at least two weeks for the advisor to read drafts of your work to receive timely feedback.

Unlike a course paper, the DNP Project needs to be revised until it is acceptable to all members of the DNP Final Project Committee. This takes time. The committee members need at least a two-week period of time to critique the proposal and provide feedback. All revisions need to be addressed by the student in conjunction with the student’s committee chair.