Engaging Doctor in Nursing (DNP) Students to Drive Program Success

Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing (CON) offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree for post-masters family nurse practitioners.  The DNP program contributes to the Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGI) Grant objectives of (1) increasing enrollment of full-time graduate students and (2) increasing the number of doctoral degrees awarded at HBGIs.  The purpose of the DNP program is to graduate a racially and ethnically diverse cadre of advanced nursing professionals who are able to translate research, shape systems of care, influence organizations to improve performance using informatics and quality improvement models, and enhance individual care into care needed to serve populations.  In order to achieve this purpose, the CON must recruit, retain, and graduate individuals from ethnic minority groups.

The challenges of graduating students enrolled in doctoral programs have been documented in the literature and include funding, time, departmental culture, adequate advising, quality of life and opportunities for research and writing skills.  These challenges attribute to the national attrition rate of around 50 percent in doctorate programs across disciplines.   To minimize these challenges and promote student success from enrollment through post-graduation, the CON proposes to implement a DNP student engagement program.  The CON defines engagement as a psychological state in which students feel a vested interest in the program and are willing and motivated to perform to levels that exceed expected standards.  The CON believes that when students are engaged their performance and satisfaction improves.  The goal of the student engagement program is that students will persist toward achieving their academic goal of graduation from the DNP program.  The program will include activities discussed as promising practices in the 7-year project, Ph.D. Completion Project, sponsored by the Council of Graduate Schools to address issues surrounding Ph.D. completion and attrition.  Some of the activities are tracking students’ progress and financial aid support, providing an orientation program, and surveying students regarding advising and mentoring strategies.  The CON will use the funds to employ program coordinator.  The program coordinator will provide a range of services such as guiding and monitoring individual student’s progress, assisting the student with developing effective strategies to achieve academic success, and assessing students’ satisfaction of program activities.

Contact :

Gaines, Chloe – Director, DNP Program

Email : cggaines@pvamu.edu

Phone : 713-797-7067

Office : College of Nursing Building Houston, Room 1234