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On-Campus Summary: "Spirit of Inquiry"

Reflections on key learning from my first DNP on-campus session related to the AACN DNP Essentials and course/program outcomes.

‘Semester Saturday’ provided a great foundation for the DNP program experience by offering engaging, structured discussion, networking and collaborative learning.


Networking with faculty and peers was very enriching in establishing new connections, as well as building on existing relationships. It was exciting to put faces to names of my group members that I had engaged with during our Summer Biostatistics course; we had all easily become friends and were able to continue to engage in meaningful conversation. It was also great to identify peers with similar interests in project goals that I may reach out to in the future for any needed collaborative efforts as well as to seek feedback in my work. I find the program design very interesting in that each individual is on a unique path in their career and at a different point in their progression through the program. I think this strengthens the development of competencies related to the DNP Essentials and course program outcomes of interprofessional collaboration, professional identity and advanced nursing practice. Furthermore, the utilization of a variety of methods for communication and collaboration easily meets the competency of information management.

Professional Engagement

I was incredibly inspired by Dean McCauley; her insights, perspectives and overall moxie when reviewing her past and future directions of her career. A couple points in particular really spoke to me and very much aligned with the day’s key note theme of ‘Spirit of Inquiry.’ The first being, “combine your curiosity with what you care about;” and the second being her common conversation theme of not settling – albeit in a job, a quest for data or a larger quest for change. I believe these points speak directly to the gestalt of the DNP Essentials and the program outcomes and what it means to be a transformational leader.

During the lunchtime panel discussion, I was glad to see a mix of new and established DNPs from completely differing career paths; incorporating quality improvement, policy change, and advanced nursing practice. It was great to listen to the impact of the DNP scholarly projects from inception to delivery and beyond.

Professional Development Exercises

Dr. Cranmer’s and Dr. Reyes sessions specifically addressed DNP Essential II: Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking and program objectives of Systems Leadership and Quality Improvement & Safety. Establishing a foundation for conceptual / theoretical framework(s) for project design and reviewing rationale behind positive and negative change experiences of the group was an engaging way to solidify needs of the institution and collaborators for effective project delivery. Reviewing goals for project concept mapping and exploring interests offered great clarity into applicability of assignments to program and project goals.

The writing workshop offered a great opportunity to strategically identify common errors and highlight available resources for improving efficiency and effective communication.

I left the day feeling invigorated and well-prepared to dive into the program. I am looking forward to the personal and professional growth of both myself and my peers and developing and refining skills needed to truly make an impact and transform health.

#emorynursing #DNP #reflection #transformhealth #spiritofinquiry #changeagent

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