Establishing the doctor of nursing practice project ethical review process to improve standardization, efficiency, and timeliness


      • Development of DNP Project ethical review process expedited QI determination.
      • Ethical review process provides scholarly and ethical determination that aligns with the IRB.
      • Review process protects participants, supports students, and empowers faculty.
      • Ethical review combines project management, understanding QI VS. HSR, and expert consensus.
      • Rationale and process for creating and implementing an ethical review committee.



      DNP Scholarly projects require review for scientific merit and human subject protection. Rapid growth of DNP programs and projects has increased Institutional Review Board (IRB) burden and increased the length of project approval time when most DNP scholarly projects are quality improvement (QI) projects and not deemed Human Subjects Research (HSR).


      Develop a process and describe the rationale for creating and implementing a Project Ethical Review Committee (PERC) in the School of Nursing and to evaluate the experience of the first cohort of submissions.


      Committee was formed using expert consensus approach, in collaboration with IRB. Standards of Procedures and training materials created.

      Outcome measure

      100 projects submitted to committee; 95 deemed QI (95%) and 5 projects considered HSR (5%). First 94 projects were reviewed, and approval letters sent within 8 weeks.


      This paper discusses how PERC ensures rigorous and ethical review process for standardization, timeliness, and efficiency.


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