The University of Massachusetts Amherst

2017 Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Projects

Scholar: Elizabeth Aponté

Project Title: Adverse Childhood Screening Among Adult Primary Care Patients

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to effectively translate the evidence of ACEs’ negative influence on overall health into a clinical practice, and to ultimately eliminate the gap between evidence-based ACE research and clinical practice.

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Scholar: Shannon Barry

Project Title: Effect of Provider Education on Pulmonary Rehabilitation Referrals and Discussions with Patients

Purpose: The aim of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to launch a quality improvement (QI) initiative to improve discussions and referral rates of patients with COPD to pulmonary rehabilitation.

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Scholar: Ann Becker

Project Title: Nurse-Run Sexually Transmitted Infections Screening Clinics on a University Campus

Purpose: This DNP Project was a program evaluation of the nurse-led STI screening clinics held at a northeastern university in the fall of 2016. The evaluation included patient and provider surveys, which collected demographic information, risk factors, as well as satisfaction feedback. The health service laboratory provided data on positivity rates and numbers of tests conducted before and during the study period. The goal was to assess the effectiveness of off-site clinics in increasing testing rates, decreasing positivity rates, and in reaching high-risk students.

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Scholar: Cornelius Bela

Project Title: Motivational Interviewing, and Healthy Eating Intervention with Low Income Diabetic Patients

Purpose: The project’s aim was to investigate whether motivational interviewing made a difference for the participants in terms of healthy behaviors, as measured by their weight, BMI, HgA1C and total health eating habits score.

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Scholar: Zienna Blackwell

Project Title: Improving Overall Health Outcomes through Public Health Workforce Development

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to assess the competency level of the South Carolina public health workforce and to develop, implement, and evaluate a workforce development plan to address the weaknesses identified through the assessment process.

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Scholar: Ryan Brogan

Project Title: An Evaluation of an Assisted Living Facility: Satisfaction, Access to Care, and Issues with Cost

Purpose: Many older adults and their families are faced with difficulties paying for safe living situations as well as the expenses of healthcare for those with chronic diseases. Assisted living facilities provide support to patients and their families in this, however costs can be high and services limited.

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Scholar: Caitlin Rose Budrewicz

Project Title: Identification and PTSD Screening of Military Veteran Patients in Community Healthcare: A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: The focus of this project is to increase practitioner awareness and knowledge of PTSD in veteran patients as well as to identify and screen veteran patients for PTSD symptoms utilizing the primary care PTSD screen (PC-PTSD).

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Scholar: Nicole Caron

Project Title: Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life for People with Multiple Sclerosis: A Quality Improvement Project to Promote Peer Support

Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to execute peer support interventions to evaluate how peer support may impact health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in people living with MS.

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Scholar: Dawn O. Chubbs

Project Title: Primary Care Provider Adherence to the Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guideline for Chronic Kidney Disease

Purpose: A quality improvement project was implemented in a rural, primary care clinic to enhance provider knowledge of the current CPG recommendations for CKD screening before and after a provider-specific educational intervention. 

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Scholar: Courtney Cloonan

Project Title: An Educational Toolkit to Promote Lung Cancer Screening in Primary Care

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to create a toolkit for lung cancer screening to assist primary care providers in educating and screening their patients at high-risk for lung cancer with an overall goal of reducing lung cancer mortality and improving early stage diagnosis of lung cancer.

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Scholar: Elsa DeHart

Project Title: Intimate Partner Violence Screening

Purpose: The effectiveness of providing training and resources to health care providers in increasing rates of screening for IPV was evaluated using response technology, with pre- and post-test questions embedded into the beginning and conclusion of the presentation, followed a week later by an online survey.

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Scholar: Melissa Ellis

Project Title: Integrative Review for Identifying Patients Appropriate for End-of-Life Care Interventions

Purpose: This educational intervention served to increase provider knowledge of the GSF and PIG, and supplied providers with resources for screening patients for end-of-life care needs.

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Scholar: Ashley Fuller

Project Title: An Educational Intervention to Alleviate the Effects of Burden of Chronic Illness Care: Presentation of a Caregiver Toolkit to Increase Awareness Among Primary Care Providers and Family Caregivers

Purpose: The purpose of the integrative review DNP project was to highlight the importance of a psychoeducational and psychosocial training program, Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC), to increase awareness among Primary Care providers and caregivers. The PTC program demonstrated a positive effect in physical, psychological, and social well-being and helped caregivers’ to cope and communicate more effectively in the caregiving role.

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Scholar: Ellen Gnaedinger

Project Title: Fluoride Varnish Application in the Pediatric Population

Purpose: The United States (U.S.) has a persistent problem of dental caries in primary teeth with a greater prevalence of dental caries found in minority and poor children. The majority of children in the U.S. experience dental caries in their primary teeth by age eight. This problem could be addressed by primary care providers applying fluoride varnish (FV) to children's teeth starting at the age of primary tooth eruption. The causes of dental caries in children’s primary teeth are multifactorial and therefore require multiple interventions. Around the world providers are utilizing FV as an effective and easily administered strategy. This author implemented a quality improvement project of a FV application program in a Vermont pediatric practice, based on a United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guideline.

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Scholar: Candice Greene

Project Title: An Evaluation of the Feasibility of Implementing the National Institute of Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey in Pediatric Primary Care

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project is to implement and evaluate an evidence-based screening tool for identifying modifiable risk factors for childhood obesity in children in a pediatric primary care office.

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Scholar: Lea Grippin

Project Title: An Integrative Review with Toolkit for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

Purpose: This project focused on creating a toolkit for nursing staff caring for patients with dementia followed by a presentation designed to provide options for caregiver support that can assist the caregiver in decreasing their feelings of stress and burnout. This included strategies for coping with dementia and some of the behaviors that go with it, as well as websites and phone resources.

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Scholar: Donna Harmon

Project Title: Caring for the Adult with Intellectual Disabilities in the Acute Care Setting

Purpose: A quality improvement project aimed at improving the knowledge and practices of acute care nurses caring for adults with intellectual disabilities was conducted at an academic medical center.

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Scholar: Sarah Helpa

Project Title: Weight Management in Primary Care

Purpose: To address this problem, a toolkit was developed for use by providers and patients based on current US Department of Health and Human Services dietary and physical activity recommendations accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation by the DNP student.

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Scholar: Karen Hendry

Project Title: Oral Sex and HSV-1 Knowledge among College Freshmen Females

Purpose: The aim of this DNP project was to assess knowledge among female college freshmen regarding HSV-1 transmission to the genitals during oral sex.

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Scholar: Katherine Holcomb

Project Title: Hypertension: Enhancing Lifestyle Management through Patient Education and Pender's Health Promotion Model

Purpose: The objective of this project was to enhance lifestyle management of patients with uncontrolled hypertension as measured by patient self-report in post-discharge interviews. 

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Scholar: Christine Hoogasian

Project Title: Improving Latino Diabetes Patients' Physiologic Measurements Utilizing Culturally Competent Interventions

Purpose: The purpose of this Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to use Latino-tailored culturally competent diabetes education to achieve a reduction in weight, increase in steps walked daily, lower A1C levels and improved diabetes knowledge by using four, ninety minute sessions for a group of five Latino adults with type 2 diabetes.

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Scholar: Jill Jolin

Project Title: Increasing Exercise for Patients with Diabetes Using a Mobile App - A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: This quality improvement project provides an educational tool for diabetes educators on benefits of the MyFitnessPal app for people that have diabetes. Additionally, it teaches educators how to download and utilize the app so they can therefore teach their patients how to track and log food and improve patient self-management.

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Scholar: Vivaksha Khanduri

Project Title: Effectiveness of Educating Parents of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Children's Behavioral Issues and the Stress Experienced by Parents: An Integrative Review

Purpose: To determine whether parent training programs are effective in reducing parental stress, improving parenting skills to manage their child’s behavioral problems, and reducing child’s behavioral issues in children ages 4-17 years old diagnosed with ADHD.

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Scholar: Andrea King

Project Title: Increasing Practitioner Awareness of Racial Variations in Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendations in African Americans

Purpose: This quality improvement project focused on educating providers on the importance of recommending colorectal cancer screening for African Americans staring at 45 years of age.

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Scholar: Joan E. Kucienski

Project Title: Improving Mobility for Older Adults in the Acute Rehabilitation Setting

Purpose: This Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) scholarly quality improvement project focused on implementing a Get Up and Go exercise program to increase mobility in an acute 80 bed rehabilitation facility. The goal of increased exercise was for patients to return to their pre-hospital level of function.

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Scholar: Cristina Kuta

Project Title: The Negative Impact of Excessive Screen Time on Language Development in Children Under 6-Years-Old: An Integrative Review with Screen Time Reduction Toolkit and Presentation for Outpatient Pediatric and Family Health Providers

Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review is to develop a toolkit that provides education for providers and families on the adverse effects of excessive screen time on language development in children younger than 6-years-old and evidence-based screen time reduction strategies that can be implemented in outpatient primary care clinics at all wellness visits.

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Scholar: Sonya Lachance

Project Title: Educational Intervention for Health Care Providers Prescribing Opioids for Individuals with Chronic Pain

Purpose: Health care providers (HCP) are the primary caregivers for chronic pain in ambulatory care practice and are the predominant prescribers of opioids. Pain medication accounts for at least 11% of all prescriptions in ambulatory care yet research suggests the number could be as high as 20%. Given the current opioid epidemic, HCPs need guidelines to assist in treating chronic pain patients. An educational intervention was implemented in a primary care practice to increase provider knowledge of chronic pain management and opioid prescribing utilizing a pre-survey, PowerPoint presentation, and post-knowledge survey.

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Scholar: Geraldine Lau

Project Title: Treatment in a Rural Clinic of the Opioid Overdose

Purpose: This DNP project introduced naloxone into each clinic code cart as well as providing nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians education on administering naloxone intra nasal atomizer along with a clinical protocol for pre-and post-resuscitation to prevent death from an opioid overdose.

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Scholar: Elizabeth Love

Project Title: Enhancing Nursing Communication with Patients about HPV and HPV-Vaccination

Purpose: This project included an integrative review of literature examining educational strategies aimed at increasing HPV-vaccine acceptance followed by implementation of a toolkit and resource packet detailing concepts critical to unique needs of minority populations aimed at increasing vaccine acceptance.

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Scholar: Jane Macharia

Project Title: Decreasing Hyperglycemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Adolescents on the Insulin Pump: A Quality Improvement Project

Purpose: This quality improvement project aimed to reduce the rate of hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis in adolescents age 12–18 with T1DM on insulin pump therapy through evidence-based interventions.

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Scholar: Evan M. McEwing

Project Title: Delivering Culturally Competent Care to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Population

Purpose: To this day, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities still experience negative health outcomes due to social stigma and discrimination. Additionally, nursing has lagged behind other health professions in the promotion of culturally competent care to members of this minority group. Several national authorities on LGBT health have proposed guidelines for providing such care to the LGBT population; however, many nursing schools are not integrating these recommendations into their curricula.

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Scholar: Patricia Moore

Project Title: Cultural and Health Literacy Assessment of the Hispanic/Latino Patient Population: Presentation of a Cultural Competence Toolkit for Acute Care Nurses

Purpose: 1) Explore the relationship between health literacy, cultural competence, and nursing practice; 2) Describe a cultural competence model that can be used as a framework for nursing practice; 3) Develop and evaluate a Cultural Competence Training Toolkit for acute care nurses.

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Scholar: Terri Morris

Project Title: Education and Mindfulness in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to determine whether an educational program coupled with existing treatment modalities was comprehensive and innovative in MAT approaches. The educational program focused on risks of drug abuse, triggers, stress, cravings, and wellness topics, as well as incorporating the use of mindfulness exercises.

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Scholar: Scholastica Nwadiugwu

Project Title: Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy among Older Adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Long-Term Care

Purpose: To implement the utilization of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the older adult population with GAD in a long-term care setting.

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Scholar: Maria Theresa P. Panizales

Project Title: Refugee Health Education: "Learn to Succeed. Together We Build Our Community"

Purpose: To develop, implement, and evaluate the impact of a comprehensive culturally sensitive health education program in addressing resettled refugees’ identified health needs resulting from a lack of support after the RRP period ends.

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Scholar: Donna J. Petko

Project Title: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in Reducing Stress in Nursing Students: An Integrative Review and Toolkit

Purpose: To address this gap, a DNP project was implemented at a university site. The project’s purpose was two-fold: To increase the knowledge of faculty and to provide educational resources for students.

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Scholar: Kelsey Ress

Project Title: The Impact of Spinal Manipulation Therapy (SMT) for Nonspecific Low Back Pain in the Military Population: An Integrative Review with Presentation of the SMT Toolkit to Primary Care Providers

Purpose: The purpose of this integrative review was to determine if SMT is an effective intervention for the military population experiencing NLBP.

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Scholar: Mary B. Shafer

Project Title: Nurse Practitioner Screening for Adverse Childhood Outcomes in Adult Primary Care

Purpose: The overall goal of this project is to translate research to practice through screening for ACE in an adult primary care clinic.

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Scholar: Jose Silva

Project Title: An Evaluation of the Use of Antibiotics in Children with Otitis Media Using Evidence Based Guidelines

Purpose: The aim of this project was to gain understanding of practitioners’ knowledge of the evidence based guidelines for the treatment of otitis media and survey them with regards to their experience about adherence to best practice guidelines for the treatment of otitis media and indications for antibiotic use.

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Scholar: Kathryn Sondrini

Project Title: Advanced Directives in Primary Care

Purpose: The purpose of this study was the creation and evaluation of a standardized discussion/disclosure of code status information and a checklist of topics completed between the provider and patient.

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Scholar: Ashley Turner

Project Title: A Friendly Adolescent Care Environment for Utilization of a Pregnancy Prevention Program (FACE-UP): Providing Pregnancy Prevention Strategies for At-Risk Youth

Purpose: Evaluate the efficacy of an educational intervention DNP project, called the Friendly Adolescent Care Environment for Utilization of a Pregnancy Prevention Model (FACE-UP), in providing pregnancy prevention strategies to at-risk high school students in Washington, D.C. The goal of this educational intervention was to decrease risk behavior patterns and increase knowledge to empower student participants.

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Scholar: Marlene Unisa

Project Title: Improving Pertussis Education for Postpartum Women and their Family Members

Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to synthesize evidenced based-research related to Tdap vaccination against pertussis for family members of pregnant and postpartum women in order to provide protection from pertussis for newborn infants through cocooning.

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Scholar: Linda Wilson

Project Title: Intervention for Increasing Advance Directive Documentation in the Primary Care Setting by Placing a Flag in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

Purpose: This quality improvement project seeks to have the AD flagged in the EMR to prompt the provider to have the conversation and easily document the results.

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