On April 4, 16 students enrolled in the California State University Northern California Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice program took to a podium in a conference room in Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San José State University with each student presenting the results of nearly two years of research.
The students, who are enrolled in the joint program between the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Valley Foundation School of Nursing and Fresno State University’s nursing program, presented a summary of their research and fielded questions from those who were present in the audience.
Mercy Egbujor said her faculty advisers along with her project chair Tamara McKinnon helped her to narrow the focus of her research project that looked at what knowledge, attitudes and skills are necessary to make a backpack homeless healthcare program successful.
Egbujor works with Santa Clara Valley Homeless Healthcare, a program that goes directly to homeless residents in Santa Clara County to treat them with the medical supplies team members can carry in a backpack. During her presentation, Egbujor gave a summary of the teams work and explained the methods she used to survey members of the multidisciplinary team on what knowledge, skills and attitudes are important to make the program successful. Some of the attitudes included being respectful, compassionate, open minded and non-judgmental. Egbujor said more research is needed to see if programs such as this are effective through measures such as lowering the number of emergency room trips in the population.
Susan Herman, with her advisers and project chair Mary Gish, completed an analysis of nursing transformational leadership practices. To conduct her research, Herman sent a survey to members of the Association of California Nurse Leaders to gather their ideas of what principles are most important in leadership. She based her survey questions on The Leadership Challenge, created by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner that highlights five practices of exemplary leadership. Her results from the self-reporting survey were in line with previous research. Some of the key practices nurse leaders identified as important were enabling others to act, modeling the way to do things, inspiring a shared vision and challenging standard practices.
Other DNP students presented throughout the day, with a second set of students from the cohort presenting their research at Fresno State University on April 11.
The cohort includes 31 students from across Northern California in a legislatively mandated pilot program that offers online education to post-master’s prepared nurses who have extensive work experience in healthcare. For the first cohort, 31 students will graduate on May 24. At least 90 percent of the students reported they have been working 30 or more hours since enrolling in the full-time program. Their average age is 49 years old and average time in practice is 20 years.