Back row, left to right: Shirl Johnson, DNP, APRN, CNS, MSA, NEA-BC; Sheila Melander, Ph.D., APRN, ACNP-BC, FCCM, FAANP; and Michelle Pendleton, DNP, MSN, R.N., CPHQ  
Front row, left to right: Anne Veno, DNP, R.N., MBA, LNHA; Jo Singleton, R.N., MSN, DNP; Joan Bischoff, DNP, APRN, RN-BC, FNP-BC, CDE, MLDE; and Lydia McQuinn, DNP, R.N.

When it comes to expanding knowledge and elevating care standards, never underestimate the collective power of advanced, highly trained nursing professionals.

In 2018, a new council for nurses who hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree embarked on a mission to optimize patient care and maximize great outcomes across the Norton Healthcare system.

Council members began by researching best clinical practices to reduce infections. Each one took charge of an assigned high-volume medical condition or procedure and gathered data on it. The findings were analyzed and recorded using a standardized online tool that makes information readily available to the Risk Management Department and other users.

The DNP Council will provide an ongoing forum for doctoral candidates to present their projects. The group is launching an intranet site focused toward nurses who have earned a DNP, and is exploring other ways to encourage relationship-building and support these advanced practice providers in clinical and nonclinical areas.

Long-range plans include projects that will demonstrate the value of doctoral-prepared nurses in achieving targeted operational improvements and sustaining systemwide goals, such as the Reaching for Zero patient safety initiative.