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DNP Candidates Present Research

Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

2017 DNP Candidates Present Research

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Above, DNP candidates Stephen Russell (left) and Nathan George
present their research to the audience at the 2017 Nursing Scholarship Day on April 13.

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Clinical Scholarship: a hallmark of DNP practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is a three year full-time program that prepares students for careers as family nurse practitioners (FNPs) or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs). Clinical scholarship is a hallmark of DNP practice, and DNP students in nationally accredited programs (as is Wyoming's DNP program) are required to complete a DNP project prior to graduation. These projects provide an invaluable opportunity for students to integrate the science, theory, and practice skills they've learned throughout their education, as well as the opportunity to professionally disseminate their findings. 

How the UWYO DNP program approached the DNP project this year

Programs vary in their approaches to the DNP project. In the FWWSON, DNP students conduct these projects during their 3rd year of the program, over the course of the fall and spring semesters. Students' DNP projects have varied in purpose, scope, and method and have included original research, quality improvement, and systematic reviews of evidence. Students from the DNP program's first 3 cohorts (graduation years 2015, 2016, and 2017) primarily chose projects based upon personal interest.  

How the UWYO DNP program will approach the DNP project in the future

The DNP program is in the process of changing the DNP project and is developing relationships with clinical agencies who are interested in partnering with the DNP program regarding DNP education and practice improvement. Thus, future DNP projects will occur in collaboration with providers and administrators from partnering clinical agencies and will address specific agency needs.

Please scroll down to read a brief overview of each student's research. To view their full abstracts, click here for a PDF file of the 2017 Nursing Scholarship Day Program.

Haley Nielsen, DNP Candidate

Haley Nielsen, DNP Candidate from Torrington, Wyoming

PROJECT TITLE: System Improvement for Health Literacy Screening. PURPOSE: This quality improvement (QI) project evaluated a system level improvement focused on identifying patients with poor health literacy at a small, community hospital. The objective of this projective was to screen patients for poor health literacy and provide pharmacy led discharge teaching and reconciliation to improve patient understanding of discharged medications and the intended purpose of the medications. [For the full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of this page.]


James Kuster, DNP Candidate

James Kuster, DNP Candidate from Boulder, Colorado

SHARED PRESENTATION with Sara Smith / PROJECT TITLE: Clinical Effectiveness of Telemental Health: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews. PURPOSE: The aim of our research was to conduct a systematic review of systematic reviews to determine the clinical effectiveness of Telemental Health (TMH) versus face-to-face mental health services. [For the full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of this page.]


Sara Smith, DNP Candidate

Sara Smith, DNP Candidate from Gillette, Wyoming

SHARED PRESENTATION with James Kuster / PROJECT TITLE: Clinical Effectiveness of Telemental Health: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews. PURPOSE: The aim of our research was to conduct a systematic review of systematic reviews to determine the clinical effectiveness of Telemental Health (TMH) versus face-to-face mental health services. [For the full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of this page.]


Amy Hawk, DNP Candidate

Amy Hawk, DNP Candidate from Gillette, Wyoming

SHARED PRESENTATION with Ann Jones / PROJECT TITLE: Effectiveness of a NP Awareness Campaign on Improving Perceptions of NPs in a Rural Western Community. PURPOSE: Although multiple studies have addressed patient perceptions of and satisfaction with NPs, there has been almost no research of interventions aimed at improving public perceptions and beliefs regarding NPs...Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate change in community opinions and beliefs of NPs through informational presentations based on the AANP’s NP Awareness Campaign to several leadership and advisory councils in a rural, western community. [For the full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of this page.]


Ann Jones, DNP Candidate

Ann Jones, DNP Candidate from Gillette, Wyoming

SHARED PRESENTATION with Amy Hawk / PROJECT TITLE: Effectiveness of a NP Awareness Campaign on Improving Perceptions of NPs in a Rural Western Community. PURPOSE: Although multiple studies have addressed patient perceptions of and satisfaction with NPs, there has been almost no research of interventions aimed at improving public perceptions and beliefs regarding NPs...Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate change in community opinions and beliefs of NPs through informational presentations based on the AANP’s NP Awareness Campaign to several leadership and advisory councils in a rural, western community. [For the full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of this page.]


Amanda Bisby, DNP Candidate

Amanda Bisby, DNP Candidate from Cowley, Wyoming

SHARED PRESENTATION with Bobbi Snead / PROJECT TITLE: Quality Improvement Study: Improving Patient’s Use of a Patient Portal System. INTRO/PURPOSE: A patient portal (PP)...facilitates communication with primary care providers which may result in improved patient health outcomes. Improving PP adoption rates requires understanding of what motivates patients to adopt/what barriers exist for PP usage. This project occurred in a small rural primary care clinic that provides services to persons of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. GOAL: to increase percentage of adult patients seen during project time frame who view their personal health information to at least 20%. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Bobbi Snead, DNP Candidate

Bobbi Snead, DNP Candidate from Casper, Wyoming

SHARED PRESENTATION with Amanda Bisby / PROJECT TITLE: Quality Improvement Study: Improving Patient’s Use of a Patient Portal System. INTRO/PURPOSE: A patient portal (PP)...facilitates communication with primary care providers which may result in improved patient health outcomes. Improving PP adoption rates requires understanding of what motivates patients to adopt/what barriers exist for PP usage. This project occurred in a small rural primary care clinic that provides services to persons of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. GOAL: to increase percentage of adult patients seen during project time frame who view their personal health information to at least 20%. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Jessica Fritzler, DNP Candidate

Jessica Fritzler, DNP Candidate from Lingle, Wyoming

PROJECT TITLE: Integration of Primary Care into the Behavioral Healthcare Setting for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness: A Systematic Review. PURPOSE: Individuals with SMI receiving mental health treatment often receive most of their healthcare in the mental health setting. Integrating primary care and behavioral care may improve access to medical care, and potentially prevent those conditions that result in early mortality among individuals living with SMI. This systematic review aimed to determine if integration of primary care into the behavioral health setting can improve health outcomes, and access to care for individuals with SMI. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Jennifer Husman, DNP Candidate

Jennifer Husman, DNP Candidate from Cheyenne, Wyoming

PROJECT TITLE: Association of Resilience and Health-Related Quality of Life in Adults Following Adverse Childhood Experiences. PURPOSE: ...Study of adaptive responses following ACEs may inform intervention strategies, and help to maintain or improve later health-related quality of life. Little research to date has investigated these relationships in adults. Examination of these associations is necessary to inform adult health promotion and disease prevention strategies, to improve health outcomes, and to reduce health disparities. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Anna Felton, DNP Candidate

Anna Felton, DNP Candidate from Lander, Wyoming

PROJECT TITLE: Native American Women’s Attitudes and Perceptions of Women’s Health and Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)on the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR). PURPOSE: to assess the perceptions and attitudes of Native American women of the WRIR regarding women’s health and PCOS. By providing an in-depth, subjective understanding of women’s health and the burden of PCOS on the WRIR, this qualitative study identifies areas for further research and provides insight that will promote the delivery of comprehensive, culturally-competent, and patient-centered care. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Cassandra Terfehr, DNP Candidate

Cassandra Terfehr, DNP Candidate from Oshkosh, Wisconsin

PROJECT TITLE: Increasing HPV Vaccinations among College Freshmen. PURPOSE: Research regarding how to motivate and educate college students on obtaining the HPV vaccination. Therefore, the purpose of this quality improvement project is to increase HPV vaccination rates of college freshman on the campus of the University of Wyoming. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Amy Wilkens, DNP Candidate

Amy Wilkens, DNP Candidate from Parker, Colorado

PROJECT TITLE: Examination of Physicians’ Perceptions of Nurse Practitioners in Primary Care. PURPOSE: The aim of this review was to explore and examine the current evidence regarding physician perceptions of NPs from September 2012 to present. The results identify whether physician’s perceptions of NPs have become more favorable to NPs since the conclusion of Schadewaldt, McInnes, Hiller, & Gardner (2013) research. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Courtney N. Hacker, DNP Candidate

Courtney N. Hacker, DNP Candidate from Boulder, Colorado

SHARED PRESENTATION with Teddi Armstrong / PROJECT TITLE: Identifying Roadblocks to Mental Health Care: A Quality Improvement Project in Rural Oregon. PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to assist Umatilla Medical Clinic (UMC), a primary care outpatient clinic located in rural Oregon, in a quality improvement (QI) project to improve the process of mental health referrals. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Teddi R. Armstrong, DNP Candidate

Teddi R. Armstrong, DNP Candidate from Walla Walla, Washington

SHARED PRESENTATION with Courtney Hacker / PROJECT TITLE: Identifying Roadblocks to Mental Health Care: A Quality Improvement Project in Rural Oregon. PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to assist Umatilla Medical Clinic (UMC), a primary care outpatient clinic located in rural Oregon, in a quality improvement (QI) project to improve the process of mental health referrals. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Nathan George, DNP Candidate

Nathan George, DNP Candidate from Laramie, Wyoming

SHARED PRESENTATION with Stephen Russell / PROJECT TITLE: Piloting a Walking Group Program in a Rural Free Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project. PURPOSE: The purpose of this pilot quality improvement project was to increase physical activity (PA) in an underserved population by implementing a PA promotion program at a rural community primary care setting in Wyoming. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]


Stephen Russell, DNP Candidate

Stephen Russell, DNP Candidate from San Pedro, California

SHARED PRESENTATION with Nathan George / PROJECT TITLE: Piloting a Walking Group Program in a Rural Free Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project. PURPOSE: The purpose of this pilot quality improvement project was to increase physical activity (PA) in an underserved population by implementing a PA promotion program at a rural community primary care setting in Wyoming. [For full abstract, download program PDF file linked near top of page.]



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