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DNP Discussions

The DNP in the ED

Published November 9, 2012 1:13 PM by Meg Carman

Q: Please describe the DNP role in your NP specialty.

A: I will step up on my DNP soapbox once again to say that completing your DNP serves to open up a new way of thinking, a way to approach your practice. It is not an avenue for developing a new position or making more money.

The DNP provides you with the tools and resources to understand how to find and evaluate the evidence for best practice, to look at your own practice setting, and to develop the skills to bring best practice to your environment. It allows you to grow!

The DNP helps you to take all those problems in the system that leave you with a burning feeling in the pit of your stomach, and figure out how to bring about solutions. It helps to alleviate those situations when you’ve looked at a great new idea in the literature and tried it out, but you are left scratching your head and saying, ”Why didn’t that work?”

Most DNP programs include courses on graduate level statistics, translation of evidence, leadership, and advocacy in the advanced practice role. The capstone is completed at the culmination of many programs, which allows students to incorporate their learning into one project of meaning in their current practice.

In my emergency department practice, I use my DNP knowledge to prompt me to develop a clinical question- how we might change processes, or if we are delivering best practice. Is there a guideline that could be applied to a subpopulation within our department?

My current interest lies in differentiating patients who come to the ED because their chronic pain is inadequately managed. These patients may be on a pain contract, or they may be “doctor shopping” to get relief. We often stigmatize them or categorize them as “drug seekers,” while they are experiencing true pain in a system that is not addressing the problem adequately.

How do we assess patients presenting for chronic pain in the ED? How do we differentiate them from persons seeking opioid therapy for diversion or addiction? Are there tools that we can use to accomplish this? And are they appropriate in this population? How can we think outside of the box, other than providing a Motrin and a Percocet, to address their needs within the ED setting? I’ll let you know when I get my answers.

Editor's note: The DNP Answers blog addresses your questions about the DNP. This post is contributed by blogger Meg Carman, DNP, ACNP-BC, CEN, who serves on faculty in the ABSN program at the Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, N.C. She also practices with Wake Emergency Physicians in Raleigh. Comment below to discuss this topic, or send new questions to

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Making Changes in your Customer Experience By Adam RamshawThis article in the Australian Financial Review (Kmart reobrn in program of change) was a timely follow up to my blog post of a few weeks ago when I looked at whether announcing changes in customer charters was good or bad for customer satisfaction.

Razia Razia, ADZbWDbksPHCxocWf - IjYdjWfOkPqKkiZs, HWOcBbFKrbHZAFspUco March 2, 2013 6:25 PM

Yikes!!! expensive way to develop a "new way " of thinking.%0d%0aSounds like hipe to me. Whatever happened to critical thinking.%0d%0aCan anyone prove the DNP is better in any field situation, my experience has been NO. That is just my view from my experience +10 years as an NP functioning as hospitalist,and internal medicine.%0d%0aWhat I have found is that NP schools and RN programs actually are of very little value and tat the VAST majority of knowledge base must be acquired the individual themselves.%0d%0aIf this is also the opine of others then maybe nursing educators should concentrate on the science of our business or if not that then just get out out way. Why is it that nursing academia seem to ignore their current uselessness.%0d%0aWhat have the troops in the field found, I would really like to know.

Tony Iannuzzi, CRNP February 10, 2013 6:45 PM

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