Doctor of Nursing Practice - Student Projects/Publications

All University of San Francisco, School of Nursing and Health Professions Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students must implement an evidence-based project designed to improve practice. The project is guided by their faculty DNP Committee Chairperson and Committee and demonstrates their ability to apply the principles of evidence-based practice, through problem identification, project development and proposal, and the implementation and evaluation of practice, quality/process or systems improvements. For questions about the presentations, please contact sonhpgradnursingteam@usfca.edu.

View DNP Student Presentations from past years:

view 2018 Student profiles

Summer 2018

Neda Afshar, DNP, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFNeda Afshar

Credentials: DNP(c), APRN, FNP-C, MSN, CGRN
Program:
DNP Completion
Employer:
Veterans Affairs
Position:
Nurse Practitioner
Committee Chairperson:
Juli Maxworthy, DNP, MSN/MBA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, CPPS, CHSE, FSSH

Project Title
Colorectal Cancer Screening in Veterans Affairs

Description
The purpose of this presentation is to assess and improve knowledge of guidelines in colorectal cancer screening in Mather/Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center. I will be recommending ways to ensure adherence to practice guidelines regarding colorectal cancer screening, and assess utilization of the FIT.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
The DNP degree will provide the academic support and means to continue my efforts in giving top care to the veterans of the VA hospital.

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Kristian Aclan, DNP, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFKristian Aclan

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, RN
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Employer:
Seton Medical Center
Position:
Registered Nurse
Committee Chairperson:
Karen Van Leuven, PhD, FNP-BC

Project Title
Promoting safe use of Medical Reference Apps by Current and Future Medical Provider Users

Description
With the continuous evolvement of medicine and technology, providers seek the best and most up to date electronic resources to provide best practice recommendations . It is recommended that providers and assess the quality of the apps they use by either systematically reviewing the app themselves or using an online repository of results such as the one developed by this project. (Butcher et al., 2015; Lewis & Wyatt, 2014; Banzi et al., 2010; Kwag et al., 2016).

How the DNP degree will impact their work
The DNP Degree has allowed me to push myself to the highest level of education that focuses on the individual patient to the macro system of healthcare. I now feel confident in assessing and advocating what the needs are for the patient and the healthcare system. As a future FNP that is doctorally prepared I aim to use the most current and best evidence-based practices while advocating and leading for system changes. I also hope to use my education and degree to gain access to the industry of healthcare technology development to lead purposeful healthcare technological developments that produce better patient outcomes.

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Prodan Oksana, DNP, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFOksana Prodan

Credentials: DNP(c), FNP, RN
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Experience:
ICU Nurse at Marin General Hospital, now full-time student
Committee Chairperson:
Alexa Curtis, PhD, FNP-BC

Project Title
Improving Pediatric Oral-Systemic Health through Motivational Interviewing: An Interprofessional Training Intervention

Description
An Interprofessional Activity was designed to help family nurse practitioner students at University of San Francisco and dentistry at University of the Pacific—going through their pediatric oral health rotation—learn about and apply Motivational Interviewing in practice.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
Work in the community to improve healthcare literacy and outcomes.

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Natalya Vovchok, DNP, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFNatalya Vovchok

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, BSN, RN
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Employer:
Bay Area Home Health
Position:
Clinical Manager
Committee Chairperson:
Jodie Sandhu, DNP, FNP-C, PA-C, CNL

Project Title
Using Motivational Interviewing to Improve Patient Adherence to Healthier Lifestyles

Description
Teaching Motivational Interviewing to FNP students in order for them to take it into their clinical practice. To motivate obese patients to adhere to a healthier lifestyle.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
Clinical decision making.

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Alvin Walters, DNP, School of Nursing Health Professions, USFAlvin Walters

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, RN
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Employer:
Stanford Hospital
Position:
Clinical Nurse IV
Committee Chairperson:
Alexa Curtis, PhD, FNP-BC

Project Title
Reducing Time to Analgesia for Pediatric Patients in a Rural Emergency Department

Description
Improving the efficiency and consistency of pediatric pain management by implementation of a triage nurse initiated treatment pathway.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
The DNP will allow me to expand my skillset in providing the most complete and holistic care possible to my patients.

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Philomena Whelan, DNP, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFPhilomena Whelan

Credentials: DNP(c), MS, RN
Program:
DNP Executive Leadership
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek
Position:
Clinical Service Director, Perioperative Services
Committee Chairperson:
Marjorie Barter, RN, EdD, CNL, CENP

Project Title
Improving Communication Competency in Perioperative Nurse Managers

Description
Development of a program designed to improve communication competency in perioperative managers using education and low fidelity simulation. The program focuses on improving managers' skill and ability in the areas of influence, gravitas and speaking up to improve the patient experience and throughput.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
To continue to identify evidence based solutions to patient care issues.

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Spring 2018


Jacob Keith Adkison, DNP, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFJacob Keith Adkison

Credentials: DNP(c)
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente
Position:
Assistant Nurse Manager of Emergency Services
Committee Chairperson:
Jodie Sandhu, DNP, FNP-C, PA-C, CNL

Project Title
Promoting Transgender Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Training through Education: It Starts with a Pronoun

Description
There is a need for increased education and guiding policies to support competent levels of transgender health care. To help fill a gap in transgender communication techniques, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student at the University of San Francisco facilitated the assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation of a transgender pronoun education/simulation program for use in various settings. The goal of this project was to increase the knowledge of the staff and facilitate increased understanding of the culture and specific healthcare needs of the transgender population through the implementation of educational materials, seminars, and pronoun simulation.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
There is a need for increased education and guiding policies to support competent levels of transgender health care. To help fill a gap in transgender communication techniques, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student at the University of San Francisco facilitated the assessment, development, implementation, and evaluation of a transgender pronoun education/simulation program for use in various settings. The goal of this project was to increase the knowledge of the staff and facilitate increased understanding of the culture and specific healthcare needs of the transgender population through the implementation of educational materials, seminars, and pronoun simulation.

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Kathy Wakefield Bay, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFKathy Wakefield Bay

Credentials: DNP(c), RN, CENP
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Washington State Department of Health
Position:
Nurse Consultant
Committee Chairperson:
Elena Capella, EdD, MSN/MPA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, LNCC

Project Title
Manager Development: Beginning at Novice

Description
Unfortunately, there is a deficiency related to the preparation and readiness of novice nurse managers which impacts the Registered Nurse, and the quality, safety and cost of care for patients. The goal of this evidence-based change in practice project was to create an online training program that integrated two national nursing leadership competencies to assist the development of novice nurse managers as they transition to a formal leadership role.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
Through my doctoral work, I've expanded my knowledge and ability to support competency development for nursing professionals.

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Rachel Antonia Coicou, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFRachel Antonia Coicou

Credentials: DNP(c), MBA, MSN, RN
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Dignity Health
Position:
Nursing House Supervisor
Committee Chairperson:
Juli Maxworthy, DNP, MSN/MBA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, CPPS, CHSE, FSSH

Project Title
Creating a Healthy Work Environment Using Communication and Recognition

Description
This DNP change of practice project focused on creating a healthy work environment using a communication and recognition program. The response of staff and leadership from this program affirms the need for these types of programs to engage employees from every level of the organization. There is not only a need to create this environment, but as nurse leaders, it is our obligation to do so for the safety of our employees and patients.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
To support my passion for people, process, and policy, the Executive Leadership DNP has provided understanding with how to integrate these components to advance the transformation of healthcare. It will open doors of opportunity for me to be at the decision-making table as the voice for nursing. With a drive for translation of evidence-based research, I plan to impact positive change within the nursing profession by leading the charge in our medical centers, by mentoring and nurturing frontline and executive nurses through engagement with professional organizations, and by being an advocate for healthcare policy. I am so excited about this new beginning that is unfolding right before me!

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Wacheera A. Davis, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFWacheera A. Davis

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, MBA, RN
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente
Position:
Nursing Supervisor
Committee Chairperson:
Brian Budds, RN, MS, JD

Project Title
Leadership Development in Graduate Nursing Students: Utilizing Simulation

Description
This performance improvement project will examine the impact of utilizing simulation as a supplemental teaching methodology for enhancing skills and competencies in a non-clinical graduate nursing students.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
My degree will provide me the advanced leadership knowledge to effectively contribute to my department and organization.

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Vinai Pongbandith Decena, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFVinai Pongbandith Decena

Credentials: DNP(c), CNL, PHN
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Employer:
Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation
Center Position:
MDS Coordinator
Committee Chairperson:
Jodie Sandhu, DNP, FNP-C, PA-C, CNL

Project Title
Environmental Health Screening: Utilizing a Transcultural Approach & Multilingual Risk Assessment Toolkit

Description
The purpose of this project is to initialize an environmental health screening model for the at-risk populations in the Central Valley, using culturally and linguistically appropriate risk assessment tools and delivering updated environmental health education for primary care providers to increase awareness and recognition of at-risk patients in the Stanislaus County area.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
The DNP degree has helped me prepare my career as an FNP. With my DNP education, I have developed better communication skills and leadership skills in my current clinical practice. I have been able to lead and participate in Quality Improvement Projects. I have been able to leader projects that required me to collaborate with other healthcare systems to improve continuum of care, coordinate care transitions, and reduce hospitalization. With my DNP education I have been able to design and implement changes in my clinical practice.

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Genoveffa Insenstead Devers, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFGenoveffa Insenstead Devers

Credentials: RN, DNP(c), MS, CPHQ
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Nihon Kohden
Position:
Vice President Clinical Excellence Programs
Committee Chairperson:
KT Waxman, DNP, MBA, RN, CNL, CENP, CHSE, FSSH, FAAN

Project Title
On-Line Simulation in Clinical End-User Training

Description
The AAMI Foundation ,the Join Commission and ECRI have identified lack of effective clinical end-user training when implementing complex medical technology as a Registered Nurse. Using adult Registered Nursing principal, experiential Registered Nursing and the NLN Jefferis Simulation Theory I will present: Incorporating on-line simulation into clinical end-user training when implementing complex medical technology.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
To better nursing practice from many vantage points.

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Natisa LaNae Dill, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFNatisa L Dill

Credentials: DNP(c), MBA, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CPHQ
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente
Position:
Director, NCAL Regional Risk Management and Patient Safety
Committee Chairperson:
Robin Buccheri, PhD, RN, FAAN

Project Title
Risky Business: Reducing Patient Harm by Improving Communication for a Multigenerational Workforce

Description
A hospital-wide communication strategy was developed, implemented and evaluated. Key findings were when risk and patient safety information is shared with frontline staff, it leads to an improved patient safety culture, which in turn leads to a reduction in harm to patients.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
I will use my doctoral degree to translate evidence into practice and ensure my healthcare system is the best place to work and receive care. Utilizing the principles I have learned, I will change the world by challenging assumptions and traditions to foster a paradigm shift that creates a stronger "just" and patient safety culture.

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Patricia Geraldine Gooch, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFPatricia Geraldine Gooch

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, RN, CENP
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente
Position:
Building the Foundation of a Mentoring Program for Chief Nurse Executives
Committee Chairperson1:
KT Waxman, DNP, MBA, RN, CNL, CENP, CHSE, FSSH, FAAN

Project Title
Building the Foundation of a Mentoring Program for Chief Nurse Executives

Description
The foundational elements of a mentoring framework to support new CNEs or CNEs new to an organization.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
The DNP degree prepares me to synthesize the knowledge developed by theorists and researchers into practical application in healthcare and hospital operations. The DNP program emphasizes a systems perspective to solve problems in care delivery from access to outcomes. The DNP teaches Registered Nurses how to articulate issues from the micro, meso, and macro levels to develop strategies to address issues like healthcare reform, population health, and evolving technology. Organizations that send their leaders to the DNP program at USF get an immediate return on investment while we are still students. DNP projects provide valuable contributions locally in the student's own sphere of influence that have the potential for application across an organization or practice area. My DNP degree will help me live my passion of preparing the next generation of nurses for leadership positions to keep the nursing discipline thriving in healthcare and hospital operations.

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Shelley O'Brien Johnson, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFShelley O'Brien Johnson

Credentials: RN, DNP(c), MHA, BSN, CENP, CNL
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
NorthBay Healthcare
Position:
Director, Critical Care Services
Committee Chairperson:
Marjorie Barter, RN, EdD, CNL, CENP

Project Title
Building the Business Case for CNL Integration into a Hospital Staffing Model

Description
Advanced practice providers, also referred to as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, are increasingly being employed to function in a variety of healthcare settings. Having a dedicated team and process is the key to a successful acculturalization and retention of advanced practice providers within the organizations.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
The education I've received in the DNP program has helped me develop my leadership skills and put better structure to translating research into practice, use of evidence based practice, and leading quality improvement projects. I am passionate about ensuring patient care is evidence-based and current. The DNP compliments my leadership style and values; to lead care delivery of the utmost quality and safety to the people of my community.

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Ellen Katherine Kuhnert, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFEllen Katherine Kuhnert

Credentials: DNP(c), MBA, RN, CHFP
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Rightsourcing
Position:
Chief Clinical Officer
Committee Chairperson:
KT Waxman, DNP, MBA, RN, CNL, CENP, CHSE, FSSH, FAAN

Project Title
Implementation of a Healthcare Workforce Stability Tool Kit

Description
The tool kit aides in reducing the dependence and cost of using contingent labor and provides department leadership with tools to assist in managing and planning for workforce needs.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
Thought leadership and professional collaboration.

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Brittany Elizabeth Kyle, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFBrittany Elizabeth Kyle

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, CNL, RN
Program:
DNP Completion
Employer:
John Muir Health
Position:
Registered Nurse
Committee Chairperson:
Juli Maxworthy, DNP, MSN/MBA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, CPPS, CHSE, FSSH

Project Title
Standardizing and Magnetizing Improvement Projects

Description
I will be presenting on a standardized process that was created to plan Performance Improvement Projects and ensure that Magnet standards are maintained.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
I will use my DNP degree to bring the most current evidence based practice to nurses and patients. I will also teach nurses how to advocate for our profession using all the skills I have learned.

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Marcia Caroline Lysaght, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFMarcia Caroline Lysaght

Credentials: DNP(c)
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Miami VA Healthcare System
Position:
Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Chief Nurse Executive
Committee Chairperson:
KT Waxman, DNP, MBA, RN, CNL, CENP, CHSE, FSSH, FAAN

Project Title
Implementing a Nurse Residency Transition to Practice Program at a Veterans Hospital

Description
To make the business case to incorporate CNLs into a hospital staffing model, a hospital acquired infection workgroup was formed with staff Registered Nurses certified as CNLs representing each hospital based microsystem. The CNLs’ work reduced HAIs by 48% in 2017 as compared to 2016 thereby saving the hospital nearly $385,000 in avoided costs resulting in the approval to add four CNL positions to the organization.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
It broadened my perspective and knowledge of the my role and has allowed me to better serve America’s veterans through enhanced care delivery.

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Kimberley Perris, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFKimberly Perris

DNP Presentation Date: Tuesday, May 15th | 3 - 4 pm | RSVP

Credentials: DNP(c)
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Humboldt Independent Practice Association
Position:
Population Health Nursing Director
Committee Chairperson:
Juli Maxworthy, DNP, MSN/MBA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, CPPS, CHSE, FSSH

Project Title
Advanced Access: Creating an Infrastructure for Success in Primary Care

Description
Waits and delays for patient care are associated with poor quality of care and waste. This project represents a rural primary care practices journey to build a foundation towards an Advanced Access model of care, with an overarching aim of effectively improving access to quality care in Humboldt County.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
I am determined to continue my work to promote access and quality of care at lower cost through team-based models of care in ambulatory care settings. In addition, I intend to advocate for nursing education and structured curriculum that empowers nurses to work to the top of their license and training across the healthcare spectrum, including outpatient and community health settings.

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Alyssa Marie Samson, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFAlyssa Marie Samson

Credentials: RN, PHN, DNP(c)
Program:
DNP Family Nurse Practitioner
Employer:
The Meadows of Napa Valley
Position:
Charge Nurse
Committee Chairperson:
Jodie Sandhu, DNP, FNP-C, PA-C, CNL

Project Title
Decreasing Environmental Health Risks in the Philippines: Implementation of a Culturally Appropriate Screening Tool

Description
The purpose of this project was to increase the knowledge of environmental health risks in the Filipino population. The overall goal was to educate providers in the Philippines on environmental exposures, provide training for the use of an environmental health risk tool, provide resources to increase the screening of at risk populations, and provide opportunities for education and health promotion.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
I hope to use my DNP degree to make a positive impact in my community, by focusing on health education and disease prevention.

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Elaine LePage Ware, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFElaine LePage Ware

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, RN, CENP
Program:
DNP Completion
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente
Position:
Director of Nursing
Committee Chairperson:
Brian Budds, RN, MS, JD

Project Title
Ethics Education to Empower Nurses to Effectively Consult the Hospital Ethics Committee

Description
Nursing ethics education was provided to nurses in order to increase nurse generated consultations to the hospital ethics committee. Nurse understanding about hospital ethics committees and comfort levels with speaking up about ethical concerns were examined.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
I will support the Hospital Ethics Committee by increasing engagement of nurses and improving the ethical environment. My future goal is to secure a position as a Chief Nurse Executive.

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Alexandra Ramirez Wiggins, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFAlexandra Ramirez Wiggins

Credentials: DNP(c), RN, NE-BC
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Medical Center
Position:
Director, Medical, Surgical and Telemetry Services
Committee Chairperson:
Marjorie Barter, RN, EdD, CNL, CENP

Project Title
An Assistant Nurse Manager Leadership Laboratory Program and its Effect on Nursing Outcomes

Description
Project development, implementation and outcomes of an Assistant Nurse Manager leadership laboratory program and its effect on patient outcomes.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
Continued focus on excellent care for the patients I serve.

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Amy Zeigler, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), School of Nursing and Health Professions, USFAmy Zeigler

Credentials: DNP(c), MSN, ACNP-BC, NEA-BC
Program:
Executive Leadership DNP
Employer:
NorthBay Healthcare
Position:
Director, Advanced Practice Nursing and Allied Health Professionals
Committee Chairperson:
Marjorie Barter, RN, EdD, CNL, CENP

Project Title
Development of an Advanced Practice Provider Onboarding Structure

Description
Advanced practice providers, also referred to as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, are increasingly being employed to function in a variety of healthcare settings. Having a dedicated team and process is the key to a successful acculturalization and retention of advanced practice providers within the organizations.

How the DNP degree will impact their work
Advocate for APP to practice type of license.

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