Just wanted to update anyone following me as I am finishing up the DNP (graduation is May 2011!) The work is intense. Trying to juggle school, work and family life, is a challenge. However I know that it is already worth it. My perspective on my practice has changed for the better and I now incorporate evidence-based practice and culturally competent care in all of my interactions.
My group of four are knee deep into the data analysis/synthesis of our systematic review. The statistical portion is mind numbing after looking at all of these clinical trials and trying to synthesize them into something that will make sense. We are also incorporating non randomized controlled trials (RCTs) into our write up which brings additional challenges in answering our clinical question (focused on diabetes and group medical visits). We have been busy reading and re-reading clinical studies, crunching numbers, e-mailing study authors (many who don't actually write back to you), making forest plots, consulting with our clinical agency for getting the project off the ground, completing IRB certification modules, and many many conference calls. Anyone who thinks that the DNP lacks the rigor of a PhD or another other doctorate, I can tell you that it is just not true. The goal of this degree is translating evidence into practice, implementation science and stakeholder engagement, to name just a few of the highlights.
We are hoping to complete the write up for our systematic review by the end of the year. Our protocol was recently approved and registered by the Joanna Briggs Institute which is a small victory. We continue on and are working hard to finish the systematic review this semester which will leave next semester to focus on our individual projects and to monitor the status of our clinical projects.
As I am submerged in this, healthcare reform and discontent are at a high. Patients have many unanswered questions, some physicians are attacking anyone and everyone that tries to disrupt the status quo and many clinicians continue their daily work of trying to manage too many patients in not enough time with increasingly complex conditions. I still believe that we are getting closer every day to a paradigm shift in health-care where we recognize that all members of the health care team play an integral and collaborative role and we must partner with patients and their families to deliver care that is truly patient-centered (and not just use that as the latest buzzword).