The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a new terminal practice doctorate degree for nursing. In 2004, four schools of nursing across the U.S. began offering the DNP degree, with 170 students enrolled. Today, more than 150 universities across the nation offer this practice-focused doctorate, with 7,037 students currently enrolled. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, encouraged nurses to be well trained and to be a key partner in the interdisciplinary team. Nurses with advanced education have opportunities, more than ever before, to assist in transforming the nation's health care system, especially in the oncology arena. DNPs can play a key role in assessing, managing, and directing the care of people with cancer, especially in the realm of palliative care. With the development of this new doctorate in nursing, those with a DNP degree have a unique opportunity to showcase their ability to lead, to change, to manage systems of care and to transform this care through education and clinical practice. The primary aims of this proposal are twofold: 1) to prepare DNP program faculty to integrate evidence- based palliative care content into DNP program curricula;and 2) to prepare DNP graduates in providing evidence-based palliative care in oncology. This training program will provide tools for DNP faculty to educate DNP students in palliative care, especially in the arena of leadership, advocacy, communication, health policy, collaboration and consultation. The program will also provide content to support DNP graduates to integrate quality palliative care into clinical practice. The primary aims will be achieved through workshops for DNP educators and graduates from colleges and universities throughout the United States. Workshop participants will receive didactic and experiential training, supported by extensive written resources with all written and slide materials on CD-ROM to facilitate teaching of palliative care content. Additional reinforcement and dissemination methods and extensive evaluation will provide a basis for the continuing education of these DNP educators beyond the project period, and intensive follow-up with DNP graduates will be undertaken. DNP educators and graduates will be expected to incorporate palliative care content into their curricula and clinical practice, which will impact te quality of patient care. This training program builds on the investigators'previous experience with similar national workshops targeting nursing. This project is also a continuation of the successful educational collaborations between the investigators and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Public Health Relevance

The overall purpose of this national training program is to prepare Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program faculty to integrate evidence-based palliative care content into DNP program curricula and to prepare DNP graduates in providing evidence-based palliative care in oncology. This program is built around the National Consensus Project's (NCP) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care and the Essentials of DNP Education. The primary aims will be achieved through four national workshops for DNP educators and graduates from colleges and universities throughout the United States.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Korczak, Jeannette F
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City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute
United States
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Fennimore, Laura; Wholihan, Dorothy; Breakwell, Susan et al. (2018) A Framework for Integrating Oncology Palliative Care in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Education. J Prof Nurs 34:444-448