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AACN Seeks Proposals to Assess the Current State of Graduates from DNP Programs

Published September 29, 2020

In October 2014, AACN released the results of a national study titled, The DNP by 2015: A Study of the Institutional, Political, and Professional Issues that Facilitate or Impede Establishing a Post-Baccalaureate Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. The Board commissioned the RAND Corporation to complete this assessment to identify issues facing schools moving to transition to the DNP, including market demand, institutional barriers, state policy and/or regulatory structures, university system constraints, sociological factors, and issues related to resources and financial impact.

The first recommendation from the RAND report was that AACN should conduct and collaborate with others to conduct outcome studies of DNP practice to better understand the impact of DNP graduates on patient and systems outcomes.  At that time, it was determined that there were too few graduates with DNP degrees in practice to complete a study of this nature (no critical mass). Now after six years, data generated from an outcomes study could inform academic programs in designing curricula as well as assist employers and healthcare organizations to understand the benefits of recruiting DNP-prepared nurses.

At its January 2020 meeting, the AACN Board of Directors voted to commission a study to understand the state of the DNP graduates and their contributions to advanced nursing practice.

AACN has issued this request for proposals to collect bids from organizations interested in completing a national study on the current state of graduates from DNP programs who are working in practice and/or academia. The study must address the current utilization of DNP-prepared nurses including employer motivations for hiring DNPs; employer and student perceptions of DNP preparation; an assessment of the impact of DNPs on patient and system outcomes, quality of care, leadership, education, and policy development; and sustaining quality in DNP programs. The final report also must include specific action items for AACN to support the national movement toward advanced nursing practice preparation at the DNP level.

Key Dates to Note:

RFP Issued:    Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Technical Assistance Calls:   Individually arranged as needed 
Proposal Due Date:   Friday, November 13, 2020
Vendor Selected:   Monday, December 14, 2020


View RFP

Note: Academic institutions are not eligible to submit proposals in response to this solicitation.  
For more information, please contact: 

Colleen Leners, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP 
Director of Policy 
American Association of Colleges of Nursing 
655 K Street, Washington, D.C. 20001 
202-463-6930, ext. 262 

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