How to Prepare for a Scholarly DNP Project Poster: Guide for DNP Students

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project poster is a visual representation of a scholarly project that summarizes research, quality improvement initiatives, or evidence-based practice projects undertaken during a DNP program. The primary purpose of these posters is to communicate complex information succinctly and engagingly, facilitating knowledge dissemination among peers, faculty, and healthcare professionals. A well-designed poster can serve as an effective tool for networking, receiving feedback, and influencing practice. It bridges the gap between academia and clinical practice by presenting evidence-based findings in an accessible format. This article discusses the best approaches on how to prepare for a scholarly DNP project poster for nursing students.

Scholarly DNP Project Poster
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Planning Your DNP Project Poster

Define the Objective

Before creating your poster, clearly define the objective of your DNP project. What key message or findings do you want to convey? Understanding the main purpose will help you focus on the most critical aspects of your project and ensure that your poster is coherent and targeted. Whether your objective is to highlight a significant improvement in patient outcomes, introduce a new protocol, or present research findings, a clear objective will guide your poster’s content and design.

Understand Your Audience

Knowing your audience is crucial for tailoring your poster to meet their expectations and level of understanding. Consider whether your audience will be composed of academic professionals, clinical practitioners, or a mix of both. This will influence the language, level of detail, and types of visuals you use. For instance, a more technical audience may appreciate detailed statistical analysis, while a clinical audience might prefer practical implications and clear, actionable recommendations.

Elements of a DNP Project Poster


The title of your poster should be concise yet descriptive, giving a clear indication of the project’s focus. It should be large and easily readable from a distance. A good title might be something like “Improving Postoperative Pain Management in Elderly Patients: An Evidence-Based Approach.”

Author(s) and Affiliation(s)

Include the names of the author(s) and their respective affiliations. This provides context and credibility to your work. Also, consider including contact information for networking purposes.

Introduction and Background

This section should provide a brief overview of the problem or issue being addressed, the significance of the project, and the background information necessary to understand the context. For example, you might start with statistics on the prevalence of the problem and its impact on patient care.


Describe the methods used in your project, including the design, sample, setting, data collection, and analysis. Be concise but provide enough detail for the audience to understand the approach. Visual aids like flow charts or diagrams can help illustrate the methodology.


Present the key findings of your project. Use visuals like graphs, charts, and tables to make the data more accessible and engaging. Ensure that these visuals are clearly labeled and easy to interpret. Highlight the most significant results that directly address your project’s objective.

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Conclusion and Discussion

Summarize the main conclusions and implications of your findings. Discuss any limitations of the project and potential areas for further research or improvement. Emphasize how your findings can impact clinical practice or future research.


List the references cited in your poster. Use a consistent and appropriate citation style. This lends credibility to your work and allows interested viewers to explore the sources further.


Acknowledge any individuals or organizations that contributed to your project. This can include mentors, colleagues, and funding sources. Recognizing these contributions adds depth and context to your work.

Visuals (Graphs, Charts, Images)

Incorporate visuals to enhance understanding and retention of information. Ensure that they are clear, relevant, and appropriately labeled. Use high-quality images and consider color schemes that are visually appealing but not overwhelming.

Costs of Making a DNP Project Poster

Printing Costs

Printing costs can vary widely based on the size and quality of the poster. Standard sizes include 24×36 inches and 36×48 inches. High-quality printing options can include glossy or matte finishes and may cost more. Prices can range from $50 to $200 or more, depending on the specifications.

Standard Sizes and Materials

Standard sizes for posters are typically 24×36 inches or 36×48 inches. Common materials include paper, fabric, and vinyl. Paper is the most affordable, while fabric and vinyl are more durable and reusable. Fabric and vinyl posters are also easier to transport, especially for international conferences.

High-Quality Printing Options

High-quality printing options can include lamination and UV coating, which protect the poster and enhance its appearance. These options can be more expensive but may be worth the investment for a professional presentation. Consider the durability needed based on where and how often you will present the poster.

Design Software and Tools

Investing in design software and tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft PowerPoint, or Canva can help create a polished and professional poster. Some universities may offer access to these tools for students. These tools offer templates and design elements that can streamline the creation process and ensure high-quality results.

Time Investment

Creating a high-quality poster requires a significant time investment. Plan to spend several weeks designing, revising, and finalizing your poster to ensure it meets the desired standards. Factor in time for peer reviews and mentor feedback to refine your poster.

Places to Present a Poster Presentation for DNP Projects

Academic Conferences

Academic conferences are an excellent platform for presenting DNP project posters. These events bring together scholars and practitioners, providing opportunities for networking and feedback. Conferences such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) annual meeting are ideal for presenting DNP projects.

Professional Nursing Associations

Presenting at meetings of professional nursing associations, such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), can increase the visibility of your project and facilitate discussions with industry leaders. These associations often have specialized conferences that focus on specific areas of nursing practice.

Hospital and Healthcare Organization Meetings

Presenting at hospital and healthcare organization meetings can directly impact practice by sharing findings with practitioners who can implement changes. These settings are ideal for projects that have immediate clinical applications.

University and College Symposia

Many universities and colleges host symposia where students can present their research. These events provide a supportive environment for sharing work and receiving feedback. They also offer a chance to practice presentation skills in a less formal setting.

Online Platforms and Virtual Conferences

Online platforms and virtual conferences have become increasingly popular, offering a wider audience reach and the convenience of remote presentation. Websites like ResearchGate and platforms like Zoom or WebEx host virtual poster sessions that can connect you with a global audience.

Using the SBAR Framework for DNP Project Posters

Situation: Brief Description of the Issue or Problem

Start by clearly stating the issue or problem your project addresses. This sets the stage for the rest of the poster. For example, “Increased incidence of postoperative pain in elderly patients leading to prolonged hospital stays and increased healthcare costs.”

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Background: Context and Literature Review

Provide context and a brief literature review to explain the significance of the problem and the existing knowledge on the topic. Summarize key studies that highlight the gap your project aims to fill.

Assessment: Data Collection and Analysis

Detail the data collection and analysis methods used in your project. Highlight key findings that support your assessment of the issue. Use visual aids like pie charts or bar graphs to present data clearly.

Recommendation: Proposed Solutions or Changes

Conclude with your recommendations for addressing the problem. This could include practice changes, policy recommendations, or suggestions for further research. For example, “Implementation of a multimodal pain management protocol to reduce postoperative pain and improve patient outcomes.”

Poster Presentations for DNP Projects

Tips for Effective Poster Presentations

Clarity and Conciseness

Ensure that your poster is clear and concise. Avoid cluttering it with too much text. Use bullet points and short paragraphs to make information easily digestible. Highlight key points to draw attention.

Engaging Visuals

Use engaging visuals to draw attention and make complex information more accessible. Ensure that all visuals are clearly labeled and relevant to the content. High-quality images and a consistent color scheme can enhance visual appeal.

Practice and Preparation

Practice your presentation multiple times to become comfortable with the material and the flow of information. Prepare a brief summary of your project to share with attendees. Being well-prepared will help you convey your message confidently.

Interaction with Audience

Be prepared to interact with your audience, answer questions, and discuss your project in detail. This can lead to valuable feedback and potential collaborations. Engage attendees by asking for their insights and suggestions.

Answering Questions and Receiving Feedback

Be open to questions and feedback. This not only shows your engagement with the audience but also provides insights that can improve your project. Constructive criticism can be invaluable for refining your work.

Posters for Pre-Implementation of DNP Projects

Outline of Project Proposal

For pre-implementation posters, outline the project proposal, including the problem statement, objectives, and significance of the project. Clearly define what you aim to achieve and why it matters.

Literature Review and Theoretical Framework

Provide a brief literature review and theoretical framework that supports your project. This helps establish the evidence base for your proposal. Highlight key theories and models that inform your project.

Project Design and Methodology

Detail the project design and methodology, including the planned interventions, data collection methods, and analysis plan. Use diagrams or flowcharts to illustrate the project timeline and processes.

Anticipated Outcomes and Impact

Discuss the anticipated outcomes and potential impact of your project. This can help justify the need for the project and garner support. Outline how your project will improve patient care, healthcare processes, or policy.

DNP Project Poster Examples

  1. Example 1: Improving Patient Outcomes Through Enhanced Nurse Training Title: “Enhancing Patient Outcomes through Advanced Nurse Training on New Medical Technologies” Objective: To evaluate the impact of advanced training for nurses on patient outcomes, specifically focusing on the use of new medical technologies in a hospital setting. Background
    • The introduction of new medical technologies requires nurses to be proficient in their use to improve patient care. Previous studies suggest that training programs can significantly improve the efficacy of these technologies.
    • Participants: 50 nurses from the cardiac care unit. Training Program: A 6-week intensive training on the use of new cardiac monitoring equipment. Assessment Tools: Pre- and post-training surveys, patient health records, and direct observation.
    • Pre-Training: 60% of nurses reported confidence in using the new equipment. Post-Training: 95% of nurses reported confidence. Patient Outcomes: 20% reduction in adverse cardiac events within 3 months of implementation.
    • Graphs: Line graph showing the increase in nurse confidence levels. Charts: Bar chart comparing patient outcomes before and after the training program. Images: Photos of training sessions and new equipment in use.
    Conclusion: Enhanced training programs significantly improve nurse proficiency with new technologies, leading to better patient outcomes.
  2. Example 2: Reducing Hospital Readmissions Through Telehealth Interventions Title: “Telehealth Interventions to Reduce Hospital Readmissions in Chronic Disease Management” Objective: To assess the effectiveness of telehealth interventions in reducing hospital readmissions for patients with chronic diseases. Background
    • Chronic diseases account for a significant proportion of hospital readmissions. Telehealth has the potential to provide continuous care and monitoring, reducing the need for readmission.
    • Participants: 100 patients with chronic heart failure. Intervention: Weekly telehealth consultations and remote monitoring for 6 months. Data Collection: Readmission rates, patient satisfaction surveys, and health metrics.
    • Readmission Rates: 15% reduction in hospital readmissions within 6 months. Patient Satisfaction: 85% of patients reported high satisfaction with telehealth services. Health Metrics: Improvement in blood pressure and weight management in 70% of patients.
    • Charts: Pie chart showing the reduction in readmission rates. Graphs: Line graph depicting health metric improvements over time. Images: Screenshots of telehealth consultations, patient testimonials.
    Conclusion: Telehealth interventions are effective in reducing hospital readmissions and improving patient satisfaction and health metrics for chronic disease management.
  3. Example 3: Enhancing Patient Safety Through Electronic Health Record Optimization Title: “Optimizing Electronic Health Records to Enhance Patient Safety by Reducing Medication Errors” Objective: To investigate how optimizing electronic health records (EHR) can enhance patient safety by reducing medication errors. Background
    • Medication errors are a significant patient safety concern. EHR optimization can streamline medication administration processes and reduce errors.
    • Participants: 75 healthcare providers in a multi-specialty clinic. Intervention: Implementation of an optimized EHR system with enhanced medication management features. Data Collection: Error reports, user satisfaction surveys, and patient safety metrics.
    • Medication Errors: 30% reduction in reported medication errors within 3 months. User Satisfaction: 90% of healthcare providers reported improved usability and efficiency. Patient Safety: Improvement in overall patient safety metrics, with fewer adverse drug events.
    • Graphs: Bar graph showing the reduction in medication errors. Flowcharts: Diagram illustrating the optimized medication administration process. Images: Screenshots of the EHR system before and after optimization.
    Conclusion: Optimizing EHR systems significantly reduces medication errors, improving patient safety and provider satisfaction.
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Final Tips for Creating an Effective DNP Project Poster

  • Keep it simple and focused. Avoid overloading your poster with too much information.
  • Use visuals to enhance understanding. Ensure that charts, graphs, and images are relevant and clearly labeled.
  • Practice your presentation. Familiarity with your content will help you present confidently and engage with your audience.
  • Be prepared to engage with your audience and receive feedback. Constructive feedback can help refine your project and improve future presentations.


Creating an effective DNP project poster involves careful planning, attention to detail, and a clear understanding of your objectives and audience. Key elements include a compelling title, clear sections for introduction, methods, results, and conclusions, and engaging visuals. Effective posters are those that communicate complex information in a concise and visually appealing manner. 

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