Site icon Nursology

Nursology Discipline-Specific Theory-Guided Practice for the DNP Student

Contributor: Deborah Lindell DNP, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN
September 11, 2019

Description of the strategy

This activity is part of a 3 credit DNP course, “Theories for Nursing Practice and Scholarship” at Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

The activity is designed to help meet two of the course objectives: 1) Analyze the relationships among theory, practice, and scholarship and 2) Develop strategies to support integration of theory into practice and scholarship. The activity also supports meeting the program outcomes. The specific objective of the activity is to use a set of criteria to systematically select a nursology discipline-specific theory or model to inform a plan for theory-guided practice; specifically, to address a system-level practice problem. Relevant content is covered in class and readings.

Students do the activity in small groups and share the outcome in a 25-minute oral presentation. The presentation includes the following components:


A rubric, provided with the guidelines for the learning activity, is used to determine a score for the team. The activity is 20% of the overall course grade. Note: Each team is required to meet with the course faculty at least once while preparing the presentation.


The didactic component of this course, including this learning activity, is an intensive format (5 consecutive days, 9A-5P). Students learn the content and prepare the presentation during days 1-4 and present to the class on day 5. Therefore, content on theory-guided practice is covered earlier than ideal from a pedagogical perspective.


In this first course of the DNP program, students look at nursing practice from the system-level and see the value of discipline-specific theory-guided practice. For many years, this activity was an individual paper. Students like this team format and being able to select the practice problem and the theory to guide the plan. Students are exposed to a number of discipline-specific theories in their own team and hearing the other teams’ presentations.

Exit mobile version