An innovative DNP post-doctorate program to improve quality improvement and implementation science skills.



Doctor of Nursing Practice programs prepare nurse leaders for unique roles to address healthcare needs across the quality spectrum. However, additional mentoring and training in implementation science and analytical skills is needed to effectively lead system-wide quality initiatives.


The purpose of this article is to describe the planning, implementation, and evaluation of an innovative post-doctoral DNP Quality Implementation Scholars Program developed through an academic-practice partnership to address this need.

Project method

Throughout the one year post-doctoral program, we evaluated student experiences qualitatively using focus groups and quantitatively using standardized course and instructor surveys to assess overall programmatic goals. Program outcomes were evaluated from the perspective of the academic-practice partnership planning committee through a Qualtrics© survey.


Strengths of the program included the in-depth mentoring by faculty and relationships built across the larger health system. Both scholars and the planning team noted that the system-wide project implemented by the scholars was relevant, timely, and quality-focused.


This innovative DNP post-doctoral program leveraged the skill-sets of DNP-prepared nurse leaders to lead system-wide quality improvement initiatives tailored specifically to healthcare organizations.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Reynolds, Staci S, Valerie Howard, Diane Uzarski, Bradi B Granger, Mary Ann Fuchs, Leslie Mason and Marion E Broome (2021). An innovative DNP post-doctorate program to improve quality improvement and implementation science skills. Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 37(1). pp. 48–52. 10.1016/j.profnurs.2020.12.005 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Staci Reynolds

Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Staci Reynolds joined Duke in January 2016.  At DUSON, Dr. Reynolds teaches in the ABSN Program (neuroscience nursing) and DNP program (healthcare quality improvement methods). Previously, she clinically served as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at DUH within the neuroscience inpatient units and Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology department. In January 2023, Dr. Reynolds was appointed the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality.  Before coming to DUSON, she was a neurocritical care nurse and a neuroscience CNS at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.

Dr. Reynolds received a baccalaureate degree in nursing science from Indiana University (IU) in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She earned a Master’s degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at IU in 2011, and completed her PhD at IU in May 2016.  Dr. Reynolds’ dissertation focused on implementation of clinical practice guidelines, and her current research interests includes evidence-based practice implementation and quality improvement.


Diane Uzarski

Consulting Associate in the School of Nursing

Dr. Uzarski serves as the Senior Staff Director of Strategy and Planning for the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She provides programmatic and administrative leadership of the Integration and Strategic Partnerships pillar, including development and implementation of the strategic plan. Dr. Uzarski is responsible for creating, growing and sustaining cross-disciplinary collaboration, integrating priorities across CTSI pillars, and measuring success of CTSI activities. 

Dr. Uzarski is a Clinical Associate at the Duke University School of Nursing, teaching nursing leadership and in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. As Chief of Staff from 2016-2021, Dr. Uzarski managed special initiatives in the Dean's Office, including the implementation of DUSON's strategic plan, the Education pillar of the Duke Health strategic plan, and other strategic initiatives that advanced the mission of the School under Dean Marion Broome. Dr. Uzarski served as Associate Director of the Biobanking Program, Duke Translational Research Institute. She provided business development, planning, and operations consultation to support researcher and organization-based biorepositories at Duke, in addition to project management support of biomarker research projects. She provided protocol development and operations consultation for Duke’s MURDOCK Study on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC, and was responsible for managing Duke’s partnerships with commercial biobanking partners.  Dr. Uzarski also served as lead project manager of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network (PCORNet) national Biorepository Task Force.

Dr. Uzarski’s healthcare career spans over 35 years. Her areas of expertise include strategic plan implementation, business development and health services planning, in addition to a nursing career in emergency and critical care nursing. 


Bradi Bartrug Granger

Research Professor in the School of Nursing

Dr. Bradi Granger is a Research Professor at Duke University School of Nursing, Director of the Duke Heart Center Nursing Research Program, and adjunct faculty at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She is also a core faculty at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. Dr. Granger received her doctorate in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her MSN from Duke University, and her BSN from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Dr. Granger has extensive clinical experience in cardiovascular nursing, and her clinical work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist has been dedicated to overcoming barriers to the use and conduct of research in the service setting through the development of pragmatic tools that change the way nurses learn about, apply, and conduct nursing science. She has developed an innovative model for clinical inquiry and research in the hospital setting, which has been adopted in clinical settings across the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Granger is an active member of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Heart Association, and the European Society for Patient Adherence, Compliance, and Persistence. 


Marion English Broome

Ruby Wilson Distinguished Professor Emerita of Nursing

Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN, is Ruby F. Wilson Professor of Nursing and former Dean for Duke University School of Nursing, 2014-2021.  She served as Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs at Duke University and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Nursing at Duke University Health System during that same period. 

Prior to joining Duke in August 2014, Dr. Broome was Dean of the Indiana University School of Nursing and Associate Vice-President for Nursing at Indiana University Health for 10 years, where she was awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Widely regarded as an expert, scholar and leader in pediatric nursing research and practice, Dr. Broome was funded externally by the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and various foundations for two decades. Her research developed and tested interventions designed to assist children to cope with acute and chronic pain, informed consent and assent for children in research, research misconduct in clinical trials and, most recently, ethical dilemmas in publishing and leadership of nurse executives. Dr. Broome’s research is published in more than 129 papers in 58 refereed nursing, medicine and interdisciplinary journals. She also has published seven books and 21 chapters.

Since 2004, Dr. Broome co-led academic-practice partnerships in two leading academic health centers, at Indiana University Health and Duke Health. She and her colleague, Linda Everett, CNO for IU Health were awarded the highly competitive Sigma Theta Tau International award for academic-practice partnerships in 2013. In 2017 Duke University CNO, Dr. Mary Ann Fuchs, and Dr. Broome were again selected for the highly competitive Sigma International award for academic-practice partnerships. She has published several papers, chapters and books on leadership in nursing. Her two most recent books related to practice setting leadership include Sitterding, M. C. & Broome, M. (Eds.) (2015). Information overload: Framework, tips, and tools to manage in complex healthcare environments, which was selected as an AJN Book of the Year for 2016. Her text Marshall, E., & Broome, M. E. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert clinician to influential leader. Springer Publishing Company is used in Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs all over the U.S.

 Dr. Broome has held several leadership positions in the field.  She served a four-year term as an appointed member of the Nursing Science Study Section at the NIH, was President of the Society for Pediatric Nurses and served on governing boards of the Association for the Care of Children's Health and the Midwest Nursing Research Society. She is currently a member of the Board of Commissioners for the National Council for Accreditation and a board member of the Institute for Child Success headquartered in Greenville, SC. Currently, Dr. Broome is editor-in-chief of Nursing Outlook, the official journal of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science. She has consulted for a variety of educational and health systems to develop leadership capacity including the NIH Clinical Center, University of Alabama Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, John F Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia, University of Technology in Sydney, Australia and the STTI Maternal-Child Leadership Academy.

Dr. Broome received her BSN from the Medical College of Georgia, her MSN from the University of South Carolina and her PhD from the University of Georgia. Her formal leadership training includes a variety of leadership training courses while serving in the Army Nurse Corp (1973-2000), a Management and Leadership in Education (MLE) Certificate from Harvard University in 2006 and the Center for Creative Leadership “Leading for Organizational Leadership Course” in 2013.

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