Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Sarah Killian

Second Advisor

Dr. Lee Eades



Title: The Doctor of Nursing Science Degree and the Pursuit of Evidence-Based Practice

Purpose:The aims of this project were to : evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of nurse practitioners regarding use of evidence-based principles in clinical practice; determine if there was a difference in implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP) principles between Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and DNP prepared nurse practitioners, and to provide further evidence for support of the DNP as the terminal degree for nurse practitioners in order to bridge the gap between research evidence and clinical practice.

Methods: The Evidence-based Education Questionnaire (EBEQ) Scale was used to identify the thoughts, understanding and perceived ability of nurse practitioners to apply EBP measures specifically to clinical practice.

Results: In these findings, the overwhelming number of NPs in clinical practice have years of experience and do not possess a doctoral degree. NPs functioning in a clinical role were older nurses that did not feel the need to obtain a doctoral degree. These findings show an inconsistency in the data and how self-perception may not be the most effective way to evaluate providers in clinical practice. Nurse practitioners identified that time and resources are legitimate barriers to implementing EBP measures in the clinical setting.

Conclusion: Further evaluation of the role of “Expert Nurse Practitioner”, may be relevant to validate the knowledge, experience, and education of the DNP as this role evolves. Findings suggest there are more variables other than lack of exposure to EBP training impeding practice implementation. Further study of whether DNP and MSN prepared APRNs in other states with more practice autonomy has an impact on EBP measures. Intuitively, all health organizations need to have an expert practitioner to guide evidence-based practice and improve patient outcomes.