Maximizing AACN/EBI Exit Surveys to Guide Doctor of Nursing Practice Curricula

Friday, April 24, 2015
Key Ballroom 11-12 (Hilton Baltimore)
Dorothy Tullmann, PhD, RN, CNL, Acute and Specialty Care, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, Kathryn B. Reid, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, CNL, Acute and Specialty Care, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA and Abigail Self, M.Ed., Administration, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA
Background: The School of Nursing (SON) inaugurated a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in 2007. The AACN/EBI Exit Survey of three graduate cohorts (2012 – 2014) examines 27 factors and compares findings with similar Carnegie class schools, six peer institutions, and all AACN/EBI participating institutions. Findings from the AACN/EBI Exit Survey guide the enhancement of the curriculum for all future students.

Methods: Graduates complete the AACN/EBI survey online after graduation.  The 68-question survey responses are weighted on a 7-point performance scale from 7 (100%), 4 (50%) to 1 (0%). Analysis indicates whether a factor “is an issue” (<70%), “needs work” (71%-74%), or is “good” (>75%). The scores are compared with the three comparison groups and indicate whether the institution is lower, equal to, or higher than each.

Results: Respondents (N=36) included graduates from three cohorts. All factors for each cohort were above the 5.5 (on a 7-point scale) benchmark except Health Policy Leadership (5.34) for the 2013 class. Overall Program Effectiveness means ranged from 6.10 to 6.43, and the 2014 mean (6.21) exceeded all comparison groups.  Overall Satisfaction (6.56) and Overall Learning (6.58) were among the highest factor means and the Health Policy Leadership factor had the lowest mean each year (5.34-5.86). The Employ Business Principles factor (5.72-6.20) was low each year. Means for DNP Essential III (Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for Evidence Based Practice) were consistently high (6.10-6.78). DNP Essential IV (Information Systems/Technology and Patient Care Technology; 5.65-6.63) and DNP Essential V (Health Care Policy for Advocacy in Health Care; 5.74-6.07) were low but still above benchmark.

 Recommendations: These results suggested important enhancements for the curriculum, specifically additional health policy content to address DNP Essential V as well as business and finance content to address one of the competencies in Essential II (Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement and Systems Thinking). Revisions to the managing information technology course and the addition of a new data management course will further enhance student achievements related to Essential IV.  Ongoing use of the AACN/EBI survey provides valuable feedback about the graduates’ perceptions and fosters ongoing curriculum improvement.