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 purpose of the DNP program is to graduate a racially and ethnically diverse cadre of advanced nursing professionals who are able to translate health related research into health care practice, shape systems of care, influence health care organizations to improve staff performance using informatics and quality improvement models, and enhance individual health 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, providing an advising and mentoring program, and surveying students regarding engagement strategies.  The CON will use the funds to employ a program coordinator.  The program coordinator will provide a range of services such as overseeing the operations of the program, monitoring individual student’s progress, and assisting with conducting information gathering for the purpose of evaluating and adjusting program activities when necessary.

 

Contact:

Chloe Gaines, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Director, DNP Program

Email: cggaines@pvamu.edu

Phone: (713) 797-7067

Fax: (713) 797-7013