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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Course Reflection


The Essential VIII that is proposed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2006) for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) education can be viewed as a tool for reflection. This Essential includes the sub-competencies pertinent to health assessment, intervention management and evaluation, care delivery, the evaluation of connections between various pertinent issues, and the establishment of relationships and their use for the promotion of excellence in care and personal and group health. The present paper reviews the current course to determine my progress with respect to these sub-competencies, demonstrating that my active learning has helped me to improve a number of skills that enable me to implement multiple activities pertinent to major DNP roles.

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One of the key activities of the present course has been my participation in weekly discussions, which involved the critical consideration of pertinent nursing topics and practical application of certain skills (for example, presentation development and grant research). The practical exercises have directly impacted my ability to implement certain DNP activities, especially those pertinent to knowledge dissemination. As for reflections, they involved the consideration of various roles that I have performed throughout my practice and education, including those of an educator, clinical scholar, and leader, which can be viewed as essential for a DNP-prepared professional (Mannix, Wilkes, & Jackson, 2013). Thus, the weekly discussions have offered multiple opportunities for my personal development that should be considered in detail.

The role of a clinical scholar is essential for the promotion of evidence-based practice (EBP), which makes it pertinent to the fourth sub-essential. The reflection of the first week helped me to organize my knowledge on the topic and highlighted the fact that I have experience in the field. In particular, I have been promoting action research as a viable framework for EBP advancement (Hegney & Francis, 2015). Indeed, action research is focused on participant empowerment and organizational change, which can be aimed at continuous quality improvement or EBP implementation procedures (Friesen-Storms, Moser, Loo, Beurskens, & Bours, 2014; Sarvestani et al., 2016). Thus, I can state that I have a well-established perspective on my role in clinical scholarship, which guides my participation in the implementation of relevant activities.

Similarly, the consideration of my educator activities during this course helped me to reflect on my ability to correspond to the fifth sub-essential, and I believe that my experience in the area is sufficiently extensive due to my position as a Director of Nursing. Furthermore, the present course involved the consideration of various approaches to presentation, providing me with tips on effective information dissemination. For example, I found the source by Smith (2016) to be very insightful in the discussion of the effective use of presentation design. I intend to apply the new knowledge in my work with patients, nurses, and other stakeholders, which is pertinent to the implementation of the activities related to the fifth and sixth sub-competencies.

Apart from that, I can report that my engagement in the role of a nursing leader is rather notable. Indeed, as a Director of Nursing, I am experienced in forming relationships with my colleagues and other stakeholders and in guiding them towards improved care and health. These activities are pertinent to the implementation of the third, fifth, and sixth sub-competencies. In summary, the weekly discussions have helped me to organize my understanding of the specifics of my roles as a DNP professional.

An important part of the course has been the implementation phase of my DNP project, which is devoted to the management of pressure ulcers (PUs). The primary outcome of the project that is relevant to the Essential is my increasing experience in developing relationships with nurses and other healthcare stakeholders and the employment of these relationships in our collaborative promotion of EBP. The collaboration has not involved many issues, which is why I may not be prepared for significant problems that can occur in similar situations. Still, I have practiced working with my colleagues towards mutually established goals and further developed my leadership skills, which should help me to approach and implement similar activities in the future.

Furthermore, the project involved problem-solving, which included the determination of links between issues, especially practice and organizational ones, which is pertinent to the seventh sub-competency. Similarly, the project involved the discussion of PU management from multiple perspectives, which prepared me to assess PUs, design interventions for them, and deliver appropriate care; these factors reflect the first, second, and fourth sub-competencies to a limited extent. Moreover, the project has been patient-centered, which makes it pertinent to the sixth sub-competency. Thus, the project prepared me for the activities related to every sub-competency, although some of them have been trained to a greater extent. In general, however, this training is an ongoing process, and while the contribution of the course to my professional development is notable, I will proceed to improve my skills and knowledge pertinent to the described Essential.

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The present paper shows that the reviewed course has been of major assistance to me with respect to the development of the competencies related to the Essential VIII by AACN (2006) from the implementation perspective. In particular, the weekly discussions, readings, and DNP projects have been helpful in developing my skills pertinent to the roles of a DNP leader, scholar, and educator. Also, it can be concluded that the Essential describes the competencies which are a requirement for DNP-prepared professionals and can help them to implement the activities related to the mentioned roles. Overall, I can conclude that I feel well-prepared for the sub-competencies described by the Essential, but I recognize the fact that professional development is a continuous activity, and I am willing to be engaged in it.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author.

Friesen-Storms, J., Moser, A., Loo, S., Beurskens, A., & Bours, G. (2014). Systematic implementation of evidence-based practice in a clinical nursing setting: A participatory action research project. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(1-2), 57-68. Web.

Hegney, D., & Francis, K. (2015). Action research: Changing nursing practice. Nursing Standard, 29(40), 36-41. Web.

Mannix, J., Wilkes, L., & Jackson, D. (2013). Marking out the clinical expert/clinical leader/clinical scholar: Perspectives from nurses in the clinical arena. BMC Nursing, 12(1), 1-8. Web.

Sarvestani, R., Moattari, M., Nasrabadi, A., Momennasab, M., Yektatalab, S., & Jafari, A. (2016). Empowering nurses through action research for developing a new nursing handover program in a pediatric ward in Iran. Action Research, 15(2), 214-235. Web.

Smith, B. (2016). 37 Effective PowerPoint presentation tips. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 2). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Course Reflection.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Course Reflection'. 2 January.

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