Home Forums DNP Student Concerns Ideas of DNP Projects

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    Njideka Emenyi

    Hello everyone,

    I am a DNP student seeking for ideas about good DNP project. Thanks

    Mansi Patel

    I think you brought up a great topic, which is a concern for a lot of DNP students, and we worry about it from time to time. The great thing about DNP projects is that it offers so much variety, so it depends on a few things like where you work? Such as acute care, outpatient clinic, or school nursing. It also depends on the specialty. If it is psychiatric, you can focus on mental health, such as looking into if the place you work at has a suicidal scale for admitted patients. Family nurse practitioners, you can focus on chronic health issues like diabetes, hypertension, CHF, and how you can improve the life of your particular focused population. If you work in acute care, work with your leadership, join the professional governance team and look for things you would like to change or improve like staff satisfaction, nurse burnout, or patient wait times.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by Mansi Patel.
    Rosemary Benavides

    I am very interested in this topic as well. As a DNP graduate student myself, I have also recently been thinking about my final DNP project and I believe that it’s never too early to start brainstorming on ideas. The major components of the final DNP project should consist of planning, implementation, and evaluation. Additionally, every institution has specific requirements for the final DNP project, which may also affect the approach that you take on your final project. As mentioned in the previous post, the topic that you choose to focus on depends on your specialty. In other words, if your specialty is in psychiatric mental health, then focus on current mental health related issues, maybe related to medication compliance, or improving patient safety. If your in a CRNA program, maybe focus on problems related to sedation and specific comorbidities. Also, you can ask yourself a few questions in order to start brainstorming on topics, such as: what issues do you find concerning in your workplace? Or, what changes need to be made in order to improve the nursing profession/your specialty? Some of the areas that I believe necessitate change, or improvements include: unsafe nurse to patient ratios, high nurse turnover, nurse burnout, being short staffed, and decreasing hospital readmissions. I personally believe that focusing on a topic that you are passionate about will yield rewarding research and results for your project.


    The DNP project is one of the highlights of this program and is very crucial in defining the specifics and future standards of the educational requirements and formulating more research opportunities in the field. One of the things that are crucial in the DNP project consists of a focused specialty. One of the specialties I think that will be highly beneficial to you and interesting is one of the specialties you would like to practice in the future. For example, if one of the specialties you are interested in focuses and concentrates on the heart, you can then choose healthcare changes that concern the heart. Furthermore, it is highly important to focus on a certain population such as infants, children, or adults. This population focus will make the DNP project to be more specific and more testable. Along with these factors, it is highly imperative to incorporate a plan and an evaluation of the process and the results.

    Elizabeth Lopez

    Hello Njideka,
    This is a great topic to discuss early on as we start of our programs so that we can start thinking about topics we could focus on. I think it’s important before we select a topic for our project that we have a clear understanding of what purpose there is to a DNP project. I’m early on in my program but my understanding of a DNP project is that its purpose is to attempt to improve outcomes in healthcare. This is done by addressing issues within health care and I would assume our project should be directed towards the specialty we are focusing on. By developing a DNP project, we will also gain skills that we will later utilize in our future practice. I personally hope to develop a project that consist of implementing interventions that can be effective in preventing a mental health crisis in our patients. I would preferably focus on the adult population and the setting would be in an acute care in patient facility. Another issue in mental health is to focus on improving staff education and competency when working with our mental health population and for this issue I would think of working with the adult population in an emergency room setting. There are many details that would have to be gathered to make an outline to approach these issues in a DNP project. But these are just some ideas I believe would be useful to look at if the area of focus is mental health.

    Brittanee Dominick

    I feel like this is such a great topic to put on this forum. At the beginning of the DNP programs, the DNP project is one of the first things discussed with the curriculum. I appreciate the timing of the introduction of the DNP project, so it gives students the time to start, as well as keep on thinking of ideas for their DNP project throughout the program. The DNP project is essentially a quality improvement project, which allows the DNP student to look at problems within the healthcare setting, conduct research, and create a plan to improve processes that need changes. My DNP project ideas have ranged from improving nursing turnover rates secondary to burnout in the Emergency Department and nursing interventions to improve outcomes with critical trauma patients. I am early on in my program, so I am still thinking of ideas and inspiration, but I am happy to have a start.


    Thank you for bringing up this issue in this forum. I just started the DNP program and one piece of advice that I have got from the school adviser is to start thinking about the DNP project as soon as I start school. So, I looked at the school’s practice inquiry project handbook. I was shocked. It looked like so complicated, and difficult project that I must do. But as I learned about the scholarly project writing process, I become understood a little better at what the DNP project is about. I am still struggling to find the topics for the DNP project so that I can produce new findings and contribute to my clinical nursing field. I will continue searching for the topics for the DNP project.


    Hi Njideka,
    Thanks for bringing up the topic of DNP project ideas. I am also learning from reading the responses to your post. I am coming to the end of my first year in my DNP program and I still do not have a solid idea of what I want to do for my DNP project. It feels like such a vast project, and it feels overwhelming to start thinking about it. I’d recommend talking to other DNP students who are further along their studies and to nurses in your specialty about the issues they have noticed at work. You can also look up published works of other DNP graduates and see if the topics of their projects interest you.

    Njideka Emenyi

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you so much for your responses and your ideas. I completed my DNP in May 2023. I finally worked on mental health disorders among adolescent population.

    Once again, thank you and good luck to those still in school

    Njideka Emenyi, DNP, PMHNP-BC, FNP-C


    I feel like this is a great topic to post on this website, and it could be a great place for students to voice their ideas. What kind of experience have you had with patients? Are there any practice problems that have stood out to you?

    I have been a nurse for over ten years, and I have worked -with many different types of patients, but I have come to specialize in cardiac and patients on dialysis. When I was working in the ER, speaking with discharged patients, I often came across MANY patients with new onset CHF symptoms that went undiagnosed because they were not sick enough to admit. Giving a new diagnosis of CHF requires long-term care and follow-up. Often, I would see patients coming in fluid-overloaded, given a one-time dose of Lasix, and then discharged – putting a band-aid on the issue but not providing the patients or families with any education. I thought I would do my DNP project on something cardiac-related, possibly just providing ED staff with more educational resources to give borderline new undiagnosed CHF patients, but since I am no longer working in the ED, my focus has shifted.

    Since I am now working with ESRD patients in an acute care setting, I want to focus more on that, but I am unsure what my focus will be. Many hospital staff do not know much about dialysis patients, how to care for them properly, or what to do or not do when a patient has hemodialysis, medications to give or hold, etc. It is hard to choose a topic that is simple enough that we can finish it by graduation. Choosing too complex an idea may make the DNP project unattainable. Hope this helps!

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