On May 7, Boise State University’s School of Nursing will be proud to graduate its first five nurse leaders in the new Doctor in Nursing Practice, or DNP, program: Cherno Bah, Pamela Fields, Andrea Lambe, Claudia Miewald and Jennifer Palagi.
This graduation represents an important milestone in advancing the school’s mission to prepare nurse leaders, who will contribute to health care reform at the local, state and national levels.
As part of the DNP program, these students have already expanded their professional practice roles by completing scholarly projects designed not only to improve the health of patient populations, but also to create positive change within organizations and health systems.
Fields studied how use of a “prehabilitation” program could lead to more successful patient outcomes after orthopedic surgeries. Lambe examined the process and significance of sustaining healthy behaviors in people participating in cardiac rehabilitation services. Bah investigated how staff diabetes education could enhance outcomes for patients in a large mental-health hospital. Palagi developed and implemented a transitional care model for faith-community nurses to use as a strategy for reducing hospital readmissions. Miewald evaluated processes and gaps in mental-health and addiction services in association with the development of a regional crisis center.
At Boise State, we recognize the close interactions and trust between nurses and the populations they serve. A doctoral-level education builds upon nurses’ knowledge and experiences, preparing graduates to assess and evaluate the workings of health-care organizations, analyze systems of care, change health care outcomes using evidence-based practice and, ultimately, craft policies and processes that improve the health and care of patient populations.
Pamela Strohfus is the DNP program coordinator at Boise State University. firstname.lastname@example.org. This story appears in the April 20-May 17, 2016, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine.