Quality Improvement Project

Your work can make a difference

The community improvement project (DNP project) is where you show your leadership and planning skills.

Transform a system with evidence-based practice. Improve health care outcomes.

What you’ll do in the community improvement project

Under the guidance of a three-member faculty project committee and an instructor, DNP students will:

  • Analyze a system
  • Identify and form relationships with key stakeholders
  • Perform a needs assessment
  • Gather evidence
  • Collaboratively develop outcome measures
  • Implement a system change
  • Evaluate gathered data
  • Disseminate the results

Presenting your project idea

During your application process, you’ll present an idea for your community improvement project (DNP project).

Your project idea should include:

  • The proposed site
  • The proposed change to implement
  • Evidence in the literature supporting the change
  • The name of a possible preceptor at the site

A tip for success: Develop and implement your project within a system in which you're already involved or have strong connections.

Project examples

Below are examples of community improvement projects (DNP projects).

Previous approved projects

  • Integrating autism screening into child wellness visits in a primary care clinic
  • Implementation of a health teaching intervention aimed at aiding in the recovery from acute myocardial infarction
  • Implementation of a pressure ulcer prevention protocol within a nursing home facility

Avoid these type of projects

  • An educational program to educate nursing students
  • A health policy change as the main focus
  • The development of a new assessment or treatment algorithm. This can be part of a project but not the sole purpose

What we look for in a quality improvement project

Want to make your project stand out? Design it to include these traits.

  • Evidence-based and data-driven
  • Transforms a macro or micro-system to improve health care outcomes
  • Uses technology as appropriate. Includes an evaluation plan to measure outcomes
  • Is approved by the MSU Institutional Review Board (IRB)
  • Can be completed within four semesters
  • Will culminate in a publishable journal article, a formal oral presentation and a portfolio of student work

Review the DNP project section of the student handbook (.pdf) for a full list of requirements, guidelines and characteristics.

Committee requirements

Your project committee is three faculty members with graduate status at MSU.

One serves as chair and the other two as committee members.

The committee chair must be a nursing faculty member who:

  • Holds a doctoral degree
  • Is on the research/tenure track

You can request a specific faculty member to chair. If the faculty’s expertise does not match the project, you must select a different chair or project.

Graduate MSU faculty members outside the School of Nursing and with a doctorate can serve on project committees. However, they must have expertise on your topic area.

Want to know more?

We have more details about the quality improvement project (DNP project) – including your project preceptor, required courses, project publishing and presenting – in the DNP student handbook.

Access the DNP student handbook (.pdf)