Fourteen University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate students recently put their nursing knowledge to work, translating best evidence into practice as part of a Doctor of Nursing Practice scholarly project.
Bonnie Nickasch, assistant director of advanced practice nursing at UW Oshkosh, said the scholarly projects give students the opportunity to synthesize the knowledge they have learned throughout the DNP program.
At the same time, the projects—which dealt with a wide range of topics from palliative care to managing diabetes—can lead to improved care and outcomes for patients.
“The DNP scholarly projects have the potential to advance nursing practice at the local, state and national levels,” Nickasch said.
For her project Michell Pascarella, a nurse practitioner at Agnesian Healthcare in Ripon, considered the “Implementation of an Insulin Guideline in an Uninsured/Underinsured Primary Care Clinic.
“I learned skills that impact the care of patients beyond my skills as a clinician,” she said. “I learned how to implement an intervention as well as statistically evaluate the outcome for significance and interpret how that significance influences practice.”
Her experience with the DNP project has had a positive impact on her career.
“Senior leadership has already requested my knowledge to help analyze directives in our organization,” she said. “It adds value to my skill set and also makes me an essential player at a senior management level. It is very rewarding to know that my input impacts the decisions made for our organization and that my input is highly valued.”
David Voigt, who works in family practice with Dean Health System of Madison, looked at “Primary Care Clinic Staff’s Perspectives on Referring Smokers to a Designated Smoking Treatment.”
“I learned a tremendous amount from completing my project in collaboration with the UW-Madison Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention,” he said. “I feel that completing this project has truly helped me to be much more comfortable counseling patients with a ‘touchy’ subject, such as tobacco use, and the process has helped to improve my practice.”
In September, Kirsten Winger will begin work as a family nurse practitioner with Aurora Medical Group in Oshkosh, the organization where she implemented her project, “Increasing Primary Care Establishment in an Urgent Care Setting.”
From the project, Winger learned about the quality improvement process, how to build excitement and get people interested in change and how to implement change in a healthcare organization.
Other scholarly projects conducted by the DNP students included:
- Candice Crabb, of DePere, “Increasing the Utilization of Palliative Care Services in Primary Care Settings: An Evidence-Based Approach.”
- Stephanie Friedman, of Menasha, “Evaluating Urinary Catheter Care Education and Staff Perceptions in a Correctional Environment.”
- Kaylee LeRoy, of Oshkosh, “Reduction of Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections—A Quality Improvement Project.”
- Luke Menet, of Appleton, “Improving Communication Between Acute Care Providers and the Primary Care Providers Using the Hospital Discharge Summary Sheet.”
- Laura Rogers, of Omro, “Patient Empowerment in Non-Insulin Dependent Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes through a Structured Self-Monitoring Blood Glucose Testing.”
- KateLynn Schneider, of Malone, Using the Management of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) Guideline Modified Patient Guide To Improve Hemoglobin A1c Values in Type 2 Diabetes.
- Allison Stephenson, of Oshkosh, “Pilot Project To Evaluate the Impact of Online Diabetes Education on Glycosylated Hemoglobin.”
- Brianna Vander Zanden, of Appleton, “Lifestyle Medicine Program Evaluation and Improvement Project.”
- Carol Veltus, of Kaukauna, Integrating Nurse Practitioner Services into Assisted Living Facilities.
- Ashley Waldron, of Appleton, “Creating a Community Resource Toolkit and Referral Process to Assist in the Management of Overweight and Obese Patients.”
- Lingfei Zhang, of Green Bay, “Improving Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Education via an HPV Vaccination Toolkit.”