NURS 8002 Assignment Linking Areas of Focus into Future Plans for the DNP

Sample Answer for NURS 8002 Assignment Linking Areas of Focus into Future Plans for the DNP Included After Question


  • Describe the 3 AACN DNP Essentials that most align to the completion of a Doctoral Project. Be specific. Note: This is in general terms, not in relation to a particular quality improvement or organizational goal.
  • Explain how the AACN DNP Essentials will relate to the completion of a practicum/field experience. Be specific.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 8002 Assignment Linking Areas of Focus into Future Plans for the DNP

Title: NURS 8002 Assignment Linking Areas of Focus into Future Plans for the DNP

The increased need for better patient care has only led to the need to give nurses better training. Therefore, the Doctor of Nursing program has played a central role in preparing nurses to offer better care and improve nursing knowledge (McCauley et al., 2020). Indeed, the DNP programs have been designed to spur nurses towards accomplished scholars and scientists through the research process, professional development, and scientific content.

Central to the completion of a DNP program at Walden University is the requirement that a nursing student undertakes both a practicum and a doctoral project. The completion of the practicum and doctoral projects aligns with the achievement of the AACN DNP essentials. Therefore, the aim of this week’s assignment is to discuss how completing the DNP project and practicum experience aligns with the AACN DNP Essentials.

The AACN DNP Essentials and Completion of the Doctoral Project

The eight AACN DNP essentials have been key in the training of nurses to become DNP-prepared professionals. While several of the essentials align to the completion of the doctoral project, some are more aligned than others. One of such is the first essential “Scientific underpinnings for practice” (Spencer, 2019). As part of the training, the DNP student is expected to explore various nursing theories and apply the same in the projects as frameworks.

Such frameworks form a key foundation that then fosters the completion of the projects. In addition, the DNP student develops sufficient skills to use and apply scientific concepts in evaluating care to foster healthcare delivery and patient care. During my project, I will focus on improving patient outcomes using the scientific underpinnings for practice. The end result is improved care standards and better patient outcomes.

The other essential is the fourth essential, “Information systems/technology and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of health care” (Spencer, 2019). Advances in technology and technological applications imply that technology and technological applications form part and parcel of most of the DNP projects.

Therefore, the DNP candidates engage in various applications such as technology-based healthcare equipment, nursing informatics, and other process and quality improvement technological applications. The engagements enable the DNP candidate to better understand technology and horn technological skills to improve patient care. During the doctoral project, I envision using various technological applications and already invented healthcare technology equipment for quality improvement.

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The other essential is essential number six, “Interprofessional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes” (Spencer, 2019). The completion of the project requires that the DNP student engages with other professionals in the healthcare field to ensure that the patients get better outcomes. For instance, in ensuring that mental health patients have better patient outcomes, the DNP candidate, through the project, may have to collaborate with doctor specialists in mental health, psychologists, and counselors to define better strategies for better outcomes.

When the student complete the DNP project, they acquire relevant collaboration skills to undertake future collaborative engagements and ensure improved patient outcomes. During the project, I will be expected to identify a potential practice gap that can be addressed to improve patient outcomes or process outcomes. As such, successful identification of such a gap and eventually addressing it will align to the sixth DNP essential.

The AACN DNP Essentials and Completion of Practicum

The identified essentials also relate to the completion of practicum experience. During the practicum sessions, a student gets a chance to interact with patients in real-life settings and apply what has been gained through training (Valdres & Smith, 2019). Various activities happen during practicum; for example, by undertaking efforts to address higher rates of hospital readmissions among mental health patients, there is an alignment to the scientific underpinnings as the student has to apply strategies that have been scientifically proven.

“Interprofessional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes” (Spencer, 2019) also relates to the completion of practicum experience. The DNP candidate has to collaborate with various individuals in the practicum setting for a complete and enriching experience during the practicum. For example, in offering care to mental health patients, collaboration with various professionals in the practicum setting is in ensuring that the candidate performs relevant care actions that can positively influence the patient’s health.

Again, the essential, “Information systems/technology and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of health care” (Spencer, 2019), also relates to the completion of practicum experience in that during practicum, the DNP candidate is expected to use various technology and technological applications to improve patient outcome. For example, the use of various patient monitoring devices and applications. The use of various technological applications in the practicum setting will therefore help in transforming health care and improving patient care practices and processes.


In conclusion, the AACN DNP essentials have formed an integral part of the DNP training since its inception. Therefore, by completing practicum experience or DNP project, such a completion by the DNP candidate more or less aligns to the DNP essential. Therefore, this assignment has explored essentials number one, four, and six as the essentials that the completion of the project mostly aligns to.


McCauley, L. A., Broome, M. E., Frazier, L., Hayes, R., Kurth, A., Musil, C. M., … & Villarruel, A. M. (2020). Doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in the United States: Reflecting, readjusting, and getting back on track. Nursing Outlook68(4), 494-503.

Spencer, T. (2019). The DNP project—The essentials. Leadership and Systems Improvement for the DNP, 221.

Valdres, R., & Smith, M. (2019). DNP essentials and its application to clinical practice: Practicum I synthesis paper.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: NURS 8002 Assignment Linking Areas of Focus into Future Plans for the DNP

Title: NURS 8002 Assignment Linking Areas of Focus into Future Plans for the DNP


The DNP project and practicum/field experience demonstrate the competencies that the DNP curriculum contributes. The DNP Essentials represent the competencies the nursing scholar should exemplify to impact the desired impact on health care from the nursing perspective. They shape the education for the DNP to meet quality indicator criteria. The DNP Essentials increase emphasis on quality of education, evidence-based practice, and nurses having the competence to practice to the full extent of their scope of practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2006). The foundational outcome competencies necessary for DNP graduates to impact nursing’s research enterprise and promote evidence-based practice significantly align with completing a Doctoral Project and the practicum/field experience.

DNP Essentials

Alignment with the Completion of a Doctoral Project

The DNP Essential that aligns the most with completing a Doctoral Project is Essential I: Scientific Underpinnings for Practice. The DNP Essential mandates proficiency in scientific foundations of nursing practice. A DNP graduate should view problems at patient and system levels through which nursing can intervene (AACN, 2006). Essential I will be critical to the DNP Project as it will require integrating science-based concepts and theories to explain healthcare delivery phenomena, identify strategies to enhance healthcare delivery and evaluate their outcomes.

The second DNP Essential with a critical role in the DNP Project is Essential III: Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence-Based Practice. The DNP program enables one to identify problems and apply practice scholarship to address an identified problem. The program emphasizes the competence to translate research into practice and integrate or disseminate new knowledge (AACN, 2006). The relevance of Essential II arises because the DNP Project should rely on current clinical guidelines, involves reviewing and grading the literature, and integrates expert opinions. The DNP Essential will be vital because the DNP Project aims to generate new knowledge to impact evidence-based practice.

The third most important DNP Essential is Essential VIII: Advanced Nursing Practice. The DNP Essential advances that the DNP programs prepare competencies for advanced roles in specific clinical areas. The DNP Project should exemplify the capacity to use advanced clinical decision-making skills and develop therapeutic relationships with patients and interprofessional teams to improve patient outcomes (AACN, 2006; Butts & Rich, 2021). The relevance of the Essential to the DNP Project is the need for clinical scholarship to propose and explain new solutions to practice situations.

 Alignment with the Completion of a Practicum/Field Experience

A practicum/field experience should prepare DNP students with the outcomes that all the DNP Essentials delineate. Opportunities to integrate all the essentials into practice are imperative. The three DNP Essentials feature significantly in the practicum/field experience. Essential I aligns with the demands of field experience requiring integrating sciences as the basis of nursing practice (Butts & Rich, 2021). The scientific underpinnings for practice are a common content area in practice-focused programs such as the practicum. The field experience involves hands-on actions and designing strategies to improve care delivery and enhance health outcomes. These practicum/field experiences offer exposure to real-life applications of science-based theories and concepts in healthcare delivery.

Essential III applies because completing the practicum requires developing a practice perspective to merge nursing science, practice, patient condition, and care delivery (AACN, 2006). The practicum offers an opportunity to apply research to practice, ask practice-related questions, and base decision-making on expertise, practice guidelines, existing literature, and methodologies that can improve care in practice. The value of Essential VIII to the practicum/field experience lies in its insights into the need to develop mastery in one area of nursing practice. Advanced practice involves some specialization, and the DNP Essential necessitates identifying the area of specialization the practicum should target (Chism, 2021). Consequently, the DNP Essential serves as the basis for targeting specific practice specialty to ensure superior nursing practice, comprehensive evaluation, and optimal patient care.


Identifying the most relevant DNP Essentials competencies for a DNP Project and practicum is possible. The DNP Essentials are foundation competencies that any DNP project and practicum/field experience should have. They address the concepts and content concerning advanced nursing practice and education standards. The project and practicum should be designed to meet the DNP Essentials.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2006). The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2021). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Chism, L. A. (2021). The Doctor of Nursing Practice: A guidebook for role development and professional issues. Jones & Bartlett Learning.