Preparing practice scholars: Teaching knowledge application in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Curriculum

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The purpose of this article is to explore the scholarship role of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the associated knowledge and skills required for success.

Data sources:

There are excellent competencies provided by national organizations that present guidelines for design and application of this practice scholar's contributions. Although evidence-based research translation is known to be essential for the DNP scholar, a consensus does not exist about the required research knowledge and skill levels that are needed.


A model was developed to depict the scholarship roles of the DNP and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). This model indicates both DNP and PhD scholars are alike in their enactment of active scholarship but have different areas of expertise. They are different in their major roles that lead to the development of practice science; the DNP is the expert in knowledge application while the PhD is the expert in knowledge generation.

Implications for practice:

A nurse practice scholar needs to have a fundamental and strong understanding of research design and interpretation in order to appraise and implement research-based evidence into practice and conduct clinical projects.

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