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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Last Updated 2017-08-21

Nursing Practice DNP

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


The Post Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares advanced practice nurses at the highest level of practice for the current health care environment based on a strong scientific foundation for practice; flexibility and emphasis on evidence-based practice, leadership and organizational analysis; and analysis of practice including completion of the Doctoral Project.


The objectives of the DNP program in nursing are to prepare graduates to:

  • Critically analyze complex clinical situations and practice systems.
  • Assume leadership roles in the development of clinical practice models, health policy and standards of care.
  • Demonstrate advanced diagnostic reasoning skills and clinical judgment through scholarship and nursing practice
  • Analyze the social, economic, political, epidemiological and other scientific data to improve individual, aggregate and population health.
  • Demonstrate information fluency and advanced communication skills to lead quality improvement initiatives to improve patient care and health care systems.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive care to clients within an area of advanced practice specialization.

Effective in the 2017-2018 academic year, the College of Nursing will implement a student information database and repository, LEAP*RN (Project Concert). This database will house information regarding student course work, plans of study, clinical placements, clinical hours, logs, and all evaluation data. The database will assist us in maintaining standards required for CCNE accreditation, facilitate course planning and student progression, and enhance clinical tracking. Upon graduation, students will continue to have no-cost subscription access to their records, including their logged hours. The College of Nursing will continue to contact you through this system for follow-up employment surveys and to forward you information pertaining to Alumni events and opportunities. All students will be responsible for an annual subscription rate of less than $100, depending on the program. Subscription access will be payable directly to Project Concert at the following link: This URL will guide students through the payment process and activates their account for use. Subscriptions must be up-to-date by the last day of the drop/add period each semester to avoid a “hold” service indicator being placed to prevent students from registration, enrollment, and other progression functions.


    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curriculum requirements vary according to the track chosen by the student. Please see the information for each track. Additional details about this program are located in the Nursing DNP Handbook 

    Students will take course work corresponding to the eight essential competencies delineated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The competencies address the following:

    1. Scientific underpinning for practice
    2. Organizational and systems leadership for quality improvement and systems thinking
    3. Clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice
    4. Information systems/technology and patient care technology for the improvement and transformation of health care
    5. Health care policy for advocacy in health care
    6. Inter-professional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes
    7. Clinical prevention and population health for improving the nation’s health
    8. Advanced nursing practice

      DNP Project—6-9 Credit Hours

      The DNP Project is the product of the culminating or comprehensive experience of an independent project that demonstrates application of advanced clinical and evidence-based practice. The DNP Project is guided and evaluated by an academic committee and is derived from the practice immersion experience (residency). It will serve as a foundation for future scholarly practice.

      The DNP Project is related to advanced nursing practice and benefits a group, population or community rather than an individual patient. It addresses identified needs and builds on an evidence base. DNP projects may include but are not limited to:

      • Translate research into practice and evaluate outcomes
      • Quality improvement (care processes, continuity of care, patient outcomes)
      • Implement and evaluate evidence-based practice guidelines
      • Analyze policy: develop, implement, evaluate, or revise policy
      • Design and use databases to retrieve information for decision making, planning, evaluation
      • Conduct financial analyses to compare care models and potential cost savings, etc.
      • Design and evaluate new models of care
      • Design and evaluate health promotion and disease prevention programs
      • Assess integration of technology in care

      The theme that links these forms of scholarly experiences is the use of evidence to improve either practice or patient outcomes. Additional examples of DNP projects can be found on the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) website under Practice Doctorate Resource Center.

      Progress to Degree

      Students are required to maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Grades below B are not acceptable in the doctoral program in the College of Nursing.  Students who receive a grade of below B in any course are subject to dismissal from the DNP program and will be reviewed by the DNP Admissions, Progression and Graduation Committee for continuation in the program.  Students who do not maintain a 3.0 GPA will be put on probation or dismissed from the program.

      Graduation Requirements

      • All course work completed with a minimum grade of “B”
      • A satisfactory DNP Project
      • Clinical performance evaluated at a satisfactory level
      • A satisfactory public presentation of the DNP Project

      Equipment Fee

      Full-time students in the Nursing Practice DNP program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $45 each semester.

      Timeline for Completion

      Degree Plan of Study

      A plan of study must be completed and kept in each student's file. Students will be sent an initial plan of study with their admission packet. The faculty advisor will collaborate with each student prior to their first term to review their initial plan of study to meet degree requirements. The initial plan of study is entered into the graduate program database, which is used to plan course schedules. Any changes to the initial plan of study must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Affairs. Plans of study are used to plan for resources, therefore, students who change their plans of study late in a semester may find courses in the following semester to be full.

      If students cannot follow the plan of study, students must contact the Office of Graduate Affairs to revise the plan and may be required to submit a petition to the MSN-DNP APG Committee. This must be done prior to registration. Students who enroll in a course not in their plan of study may be required to drop the course.

      PLEASE NOTE: Changes in plans of study may result in student delay in program completion because of course scheduling. The College of Nursing strives to have the resources needed for faculty assignments. Therefore, any change in students’ progression must be discussed with the advisor and the Office of Graduate Affairs. Plan of study revisions must be verified with the Office of Graduate Affairs to determine if there is space available in the courses.


      All academic progression as well as admission and graduation decisions are made by the DNP Admission, Progression, and Graduation Committee (APG) of the College of Nursing and recommended to the Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs.

      A grade point average of 3.0 is required for continued study in the DNP program. Grades of below B or U are not acceptable in the DNP program. Students that receive a grade of below B or U in any course are subject to dismissal from the program. Students will be given the right to petition to remain in the program, and a final decision on dismissal will be made by majority vote of the DNP APG Committee. If the student is allowed to continue in the program, any courses that have a grade of below B or U must be repeated with an earned grade of “B”, S or better. In addition, anytime a student’s graduate status GPA falls below 2.0, they are automatically dismissed from the program. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for further information regarding the graduate status GPA.

      The Graduate College of Nursing uses the plus/minus grading scale as follows:

      A   96-100
      A-  92-95
      B+ 87-91
      B   83-86
      C+ 79-82
      C   75-78
      D  70-74
      F   69 and below

      Procedure for Proctoring of Major Examinations in Graduate Courses

      • All major examinations in graduate courses in the UCF College of Nursing will be proctored.
      • Faculty will announce at the start of the semester
        • If there are major examinations in the course
        • If there will be proctored testing available at the CON or on campus
        • Dates and times for proctored exams
          • The test will be available during a fixed time period during the scheduled class time for sections of classes that are web-mediated classes.
          • The test will be available for no longer than 12 hours for sections of classes that are fully web-based. 
      • ProctorU, an online test proctoring service, will be used for major course examinations if a CON or on-campus testing option is not used. ProctorU examinations are limited to no more than three per course.
      • Students are responsible for setting up an account with ProctorU, scheduling the examination, having required technology and paying any associated costs (instructions will be provided within webcourses). The current cost per examination is $25.
      • Current courses that use ProctorU testing are: NGR 5141, NGR 5003, NGR 6172, NGR 6201, NGR 6263, NGR 6305, NGR 6334, NGR 6210, NGR 6211, NGR 6212, NGR 6715.

      Independent Study

      Students who wish to do an independent study must meet with the instructor and complete the College of Nursing Special Registration form: Course Request for Independent Study. This must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Affairs to create the independent study in the schedule. As soon as the course is in the schedule, the student will receive registration instruction.  Students may have no more than 12 hours in a doctoral plan of study.

      Preceptored Clinical Practice


      Preceptored clinical assignments offer a unique opportunity for students to observe and practice in the specialized advanced role, adding to their clinical expertise while in the DNP program at UCF.

      DNP clinical placements will be individualized and negotiated with the faculty advisor and/or DNP Program Coordinator. Documents for evaluation of the experience will include at least:

      1. Clinical Activities Log - Documents all hours completed at each clinical practice with each preceptor.
      2. Clinical Summary Spreadsheet – individualized to document activities in the clinical site that support the individual goals of the student experience
      3. Preceptor/Site Evaluation - Documentation of student’s comments related to various aspects of the preceptor and the site in which the student completed their clinical learning experience. In addition, all NP students will be evaluated by a standard set of criteria from their clinical instructor and each preceptor.
      4. Preceptor evaluation of student.

      Student documents must be current in order to participate in any clinical practice learning experience that involves patients. The following items are required upon admission into the program in order to participate in any clinical:

      • Completed LiveScan Fingerprints
      • Completed Drug Test
      • Completed Background Check
      • Copy of current BCLS certification card (course C for healthcare providers)
      • College of Nursing Health Form
      • Proof of HIPAA Training
      • Current Florida RN License
      • Proof of health insurance

      All of the items above require an account with Castle Branch for a fee of $170.00.

      Drug Screening Policy

      All incoming students in the University of Central Florida College of Nursing shall undergo a 14 panel drug screening prior to the start of nursing clinical experiences.

      All students must agree, at the time of admission into the program, to be drug screened on demand at any time during the program. A negative drug screen completed at an approved lab which can directly report results to the College of Nursing, which was completed not more than 3 months prior to admission to the College of Nursing, will also be accepted. Students are responsible for the cost of all drug screenings.

      Evidence of substance abuse may result in disciplinary action up to and including administrative withdrawal from courses and dismissal from the program. Information about drug screenings process will be conveyed to students at the time they are approved for admission into the nursing program. The College of Nursing will have access to the results of the drug screenings and these results may be shared with the clinical sites at which the student is placed.

      Expected Behaviors

      Students are expected to exhibit behaviors consistent with safe practice as nursing professionals under the direction of the faculty member and/or preceptor.  The student must have a satisfactory performance in each clinical behavior by the last clinical day or the student will receive an unsatisfactory grade in the course.  All documentation must be accurate, reflecting care rendered.

      Students must notify their instructor and the clinical agency if they will be absent or late.  Failure to do this may result in an unsatisfactory grade in a clinical course.

      Disciplinary action, including clinical failure and possible dismissal from the program, will be taken for students whose behavior is unacceptable.  Examples of unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to the following actions: 

      • Provide nursing care in an unsafe or harmful manner. For example:
        1. To perform a procedure without competence, or without the guidance of a qualified person.
        2. To willfully or intentionally do physical and/or mental harm to a client.
        3. To exhibit careless or negligent behavior in connection with care of a client.
        4. To refuse to assume the assigned and necessary care of a client, and to fail to inform the instructor with immediacy so that an alternative measure for that care can be found.
      • Disrespect the privacy of a client (breach of confidentiality). For example:
        1. To use the full name or position of a client in written assignments, and/or patient data of any sort, e.g. computer-generated forms retrieved from the clinical area. (All identifying information must be obliterated from documents).
        2. To discuss confidential information in inappropriate areas including social networking or other online sites.
        3. To discuss confidential information about a patient with third parties who do not have a clear need to know.
        4. To remove any record or report (or copy) from the area where it is kept, except in the performance of student nurse assignments.
        5. To violate HIPAA and/or FERPA guidelines (as appropriate to setting).
      • Falsify patient records or fabricate patient experiences.
      • Fail to report omission of, or error in, assessments, treatments or medications.
      • Use, possess, sell, or distribute illicit drugs; to illegally use, sell, possess, or distribute any drugs or alcohol; or to use prescribed, over the counter, or illicit substances in such a manner as to impair one’s judgment or performance as a nursing student.

      Social Networks

      Professional conduct extends to all forms of social networks, including Facebook, MySpace, You-Tube, texting, emailing, photographing, videotaping and any other means of communication. Students must follow HIPAA guidelines when dealing with information about clients and patients. Students must also follow privacy laws when exposed to information about other students, faculty, staff, and others they may meet during their time at the College of Nursing. Information regarding students and others may not be saved or broadcast in any form without written release by the individuals involved and the agencies identified. Permission prior to recording or taping must be obtained and filed with the College of Nursing, Office of Graduate Affairs. Failure to follow these rules, may result in administrative action, including dismissal from the College of Nursing. Disrespectful behavior by students towards other students, faculty, staff, patients, clients, agencies, etc. will not be tolerated.

      DNP Project

      Description: The DNP Project is a multi-semester project (9 credits) that reflects the culmination of practice inquiry, knowledge, and competencies. The DNP Project entails student engagement in partnership building with inter-professional colleagues, consumers, and /or faculty to examine a clinical question or issue that involves translating evidence to everyday practice in health care systems, and ultimately informs and influences health care, and enhances health care outcomes as well as raising clinical questions for future exploration.

      • DNP Advisory Committee Composition: The DNP project is directed by a DNP Committee selected by the student based on the qualifications and expertise of the committee members. The committee is composed of at least 3 doctorally prepared members. Whenever possible, the three members of the Committee should possess complementary areas of expertise to guide the content and methods of the DNP project.
      • Chairperson: The chairperson of the committee must hold regular rank faculty status at UCF CON, have an earned doctoral degree and be available to the candidate on a regular basis during the academic year. The chairperson provides consultation to the student on the selection of the remaining committee membership and serves as the academic advisor to the student for the duration of the DNP program.
      • Committee Members: After consulting with the Chair, a minimum of two committee members shall be selected. One member must have an earned doctoral degree with knowledge and/or expertise related to the DNP project. One committee member should be from the practice setting. If the DNP project would benefit from the inclusion of a member who is not doctorally prepared; the individual can be reviewed for approval.
      • Constituting the Committee: To constitute the DNP project committee, the candidate must file the DNP Project Committee Form, available from the Office of Graduate Affairs and obtain signatures from all committee members. Any new committee membership must be filed on a new committee form.

      Role of the DNP Advisory Committee:


      1. The faculty member who is invited to become chairperson of the committee may defer acceptance until the candidate has submitted a specific area of inquiry or a beginning DNP project problem which the candidate has independently identified;
      2. The faculty member who accepts the role of chairperson becomes the candidate’s academic advisor;
      3. The chairperson will assure IRB compliance, guide the preparation of the DNP project proposal, the project development, implementation, and evaluative process, and the final project write-up.

      Committee Members

      1. Critique drafts of the developing DNP project proposal; participate actively in the committee meeting(s) on the DNP project proposal; review drafts of the final DNP project, and the final DNP project product; share critique and concerns with the student and the chairperson; and,
      2. Participate actively in the conduct of the DNP project presentation as needed.

      DNP Project Proposal


      The candidate is required to submit a DNP project proposal for review, which should be developed under supervision of the Chairperson and members of the DNP project committee. The required elements of the proposal are:

      • Title page
      • Background and significance of the proposed topic.
      • Literature review and synthesis
      • Congruence with organization strategic plan
      • Project objectives
      • Intervention evidenced based project
      • Patient or system oriented outcome measures
      • Timeline for the phases of the project
      • Resources- Personnel, equipment, supplies, travel, consultants, renovations, other items
      • As appropriate - market analysis, strategic analysis that justifies the need feasibility, and sustainability of the project
      • Letter of support from the site
      • Evaluation plan and timetable

      The DNP project proposal should adhere to APA guidelines and should not exceed 25 pages, double-spaced, exclusive of table of contents, references, and appendices. The proposal is presented and evaluated by the committee and the committee gives feedback to the student. Approval is need before proceeding. 

      DNP Project Proposal Review

      1. The chairperson, and members of the candidate’s committee must review the proposal and a formal proposal defense must be scheduled. The Office of Graduate Affairs must be notified at least 2 weeks prior to intended defense date.
      2. The candidate should prepare a presentation of the entire proposal and be prepared to answer any questions by the committee.
      3. At completion of the proposal review meeting, the chairperson will summarize the major points raised by the reviewers and ask for their recommendations. The committee may choose to: 1) accept the proposal as is or with minor revisions and no re-review; 2) require minor or major revisions and re-review; or 3) reject the proposal. Examples of reasons for rejection include major safety or ethical rights for participants; major theoretical or methodological flaws that would preclude valid or interpretable findings; or a non-feasible plan that cannot be implemented within a reasonable time frame. Majority vote by the committee is needed to proceed.
      4. In the case of approval with minor revisions required, the candidate must submit notification of the completion of the revised proposal that has the approval of the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee to the Office of Graduate Affairs within one month of the proposal review. At this time the properly signed DNP Project Proposal Approval Form must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Affairs. The candidate must send copies of the revised proposal to each Committee member in a timely fashion.
      5. In the case of major revisions required or approval denied, the candidate must develop a significantly revised or a new proposal. The Chairperson will work with the candidate. The Committee will review the new proposal and all prior steps will be repeated.
      6. If a candidate does not put forth a proposal that is considered acceptable by the committee after two tries, the candidate can be dismissed from the program.

      Required Procedures

      1.  When a DNP student and advisor are planning a DNP Project Proposal meeting, the advisor should notify the CON Graduate Affairs office, and a Project Committee Appointment Form must be completed.   Two weeks’ notice prior to the scheduled Meeting data is required in order to prepare appropriate paperwork and to reserve a room. After a successful DNP Project Proposal meeting, the DNP Project Proposal Defense Outcome Form is signed by all members of the committee, and attests that the entire committee has met as a whole and approved the proposal. The completed form is submitted to the Office of Graduate Affairs within 10 days of a successful proposal review meeting. 
      2. After approval of the DNP project proposal, if human subjects or their data are required for the project, the student must apply for IRB approval at the site(s) of data collection (if required) and at UCF. No data can be collected until IRB approval has been obtained. 

          Protocol for Communication between Candidate and Chair re the DNP Project

          Prior to Graduation 

          • Since any external communication or reporting about the DNP project reflects on UCF and the College of Nursing, it is important that the candidate keep the Chair informed as follows:
            1. Communicate with Chair of DNP Project Committee before submitting any research grants to fund all or part of DNP project.
            2. Communicate with Chair of DNP Project Committee before submitting any abstracts for conferences or publications that will report findings.
            3. Communicate with Chair of DNP Project Committee before submitting to the public domain any materials that are an integral component of the DNP project.
            4. Determine the appropriateness of copyrighting the DNP project with the inclusion of any instruments (e.g. in Appendix) authored by another (whether copyrighted or not).

          Final DNP Project Written Format

          The final DNP Project can take a variety of forms. It can be submitted as a publishable paper or as a manuscript that includes elements from the proposal including the list below and the findings of the project with practice and policy implications.

          •  Title page 
          •  Background and significance of the proposed topic.  
          •  Literature review and synthesis 
          •  Congruence with organization strategic plan 
          •  Project objectives 
          •  Intervention carried out that was evidenced based  
          •  Patient or system oriented outcome measures 
          •  Timeline for the phases of the project 
          •  Resources- Personnel, equipment, supplies, travel, consultants, renovations, other items 
          •  Findings of the project which may include baseline and outcome data or other data forms appropriate to the design of the project 
          •  As appropriate - market analysis, strategic analysis that justifies the need feasibility, and sustainability of the project 

           The paper should be presented in the format of the target journal for a publishable paper or in APA format. 

          Final Oral Presentation of the DNP Project


          The final public oral presentation of the DNP project culminates the DNP program.


          1. The final draft of the DNP project should be prepared in strict adherence with APA or journal guidelines and submitted to the College of Nursing, Office of Graduate Affairs by the established deadline. The deadline for public defense of the DNP project is the same as the deadline for Dissertation Defenses listed on the university academic calendar. The project chair must run the final project through iThenticate prior to final defense.
          2. The DNP Project Defense Notification Form must be filed with the CON Graduate Affairs office two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date. The DNP Project Committee is responsible for final approval of the project and will hold a public meeting for the student to defend the project. 
          3. The final public presentation shall be held under the auspices of the candidate’s DNP project committee. The candidate may be questioned by members of the audience on issues related to the DNP project. The DNP Project is approved by a majority of positive votes by membership of the DNP Project Committee. In the event of a majority of negative votes, the candidate fails the DNP project presentation. The Committee must make recommendations regarding next steps. The Committee may recommend significant revisions of the DNP project or additional study/coursework in the area of the knowledge deficiency. A timeline will be set. The candidate will be given a second opportunity to successfully complete the oral presentation. In the event of two failures, the candidate will be dismissed from the program.
          4. The Committee Chair must submit the DNP Project Defense Outcome form to the CON Graduate Affairs Office within 10 days of defense.
          5. After the committee accepts the DNP project outcomes, the student files a copy of the final written project with the College of Nursing Graduate Affairs office.

          Graduate Research

          DNP Projects are subject to the same policies and ethical conduct as research studies.

          Research is integral to doctoral study and to the development of scholarship in the discipline of nursing. Doctoral students are encouraged to meet with their advisers to discuss their research interests. Advisers and other faculty members will apprise students of societies and organizations that promote research. The College of Nursing provides a website link and a guide to research resources. The CON Graduate Office maintains a file of resources for funding for research for students and faculty. In addition, the faculty of the College of Nursing strongly supports doctoral student research and invites students to discuss the faculty member’s research with each of them.

          DNP Projects are subject to the same policies and ethical conduct as dissertation studies.  

          Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. Students must complete CITI training in Social/Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel prior to submitting IRB applications for approval of studies.  The CITI certificates have an expiration date and student may need to renew their certification before their final project is complete. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: Compliance.

          UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: Policies > General Graduate Policies.

          Financial Support

          Financial Aid/Scholarships

          Financial assistance for graduate students is limited. Scholarship information is posted monthly outside the UCF Student Financial Assistance Office. Scholarships and research grants are available from many professional organizations such as the Florida Nurses Foundation, Florida League for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, and specialty organizations. 

          • Review the requirements to receive doctoral fellowships, assistantships, and tuition support in the current UCF Graduate Catalog and the College of Graduate Studies website.
          • Review the requirements and award details for doctoral and/or graduate fellowship programs. Most university fellowships do not require students to complete a separate fellowship application. The university and graduate programs award fellowships are based on admission application data and accompanying documents. Some fellowships, however, do require a fellowship-specific application.
          • Graduate fellowships (or scholarships) are awarded to outstanding graduate students based on academic merit. They are payments to students that defer tuition and fees up to the amount of the fellowship and do not require the student to work.
          • Search for funding outside of UCF. Use the free search services available through the Internet (see Other Funding Resources on the Graduate Funding Website).

          Graduate Assistantship Positions

          A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Graduate assistant (GA), graduate teaching assistant (GTA) or graduate research assistant (GRA) positions are available each Fall and Spring for full-time doctoral and master’s students (enrolled in at least 9 credits each semester). GAs are assigned to assist faculty and staff with course and College-related activities, and GTAs may be assigned to teach a course, or assist a faculty member with teaching a course with large enrollment.

          All GTAs are required to complete the UCF GTA training requirement, as described in the Graduate Teaching section of the Graduate Students website. GTAs who are assigned as instructors of record must have completed 18 credits of master’s level nursing course work. GTAs who are assigned as graders must complete the grader training requirement provided by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. GRAs will be assigned to faculty members who are engaged in funded research or who are preparing a research proposal for funding.

          GTAs/GRAs are paid a stipend and receive full tuition remission, plus advanced nurse traineeship funds if available. These positions are for fall and spring semesters, and require a separate application that may be obtained from the Doctoral Program Assistant.  

          Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant Responsibilities

          Graduate Teaching /Research Assistants (GTAs/GRAs) have an important role in the College of Nursing. This position description was developed to help professors and GTAs/GRAs to better understand their roles and responsibilities. The following are some activities that GTAs/GRAs may be expected to carry out in working with assigned professor members. Not all GTAs/GRAs can perform the entire activities list – this is a guide. Please note realistic time expectations. No GTA/GRA is to be assigned to do any personal or non-UCF related activity. GTAs will need to complete the GTA training required by UCF Graduate Studies before doing certain functions.

          GTA Responsibilities

          1. Assist professor with course management
            • Assist professor update syllabi and course reference materials
            • Assist professors with lecture presentations
            • Proctor and collect exams and deliver/retrieve exams to/from Test Center
            • Grade course assignments according to established criteria set by the professor
            • Communicate with students as required by the professor 
          2. Assist in online course instruction (GTA may require instruction for this)
            • Assist professor update syllabi and course reference materials
            • Search Web for pertinent URLs related to the course
            • Grade online course requirements according to established criteria set by the professor
            • Communicate with students as required by the professor
          3. Assist professor with on-campus lab experiences for clinical and health assessment courses
            • Set up on-campus lab experiences according to plan provided by professor
            • Review/Supervise students’ skills during lab sessions
            • Work with students individually if requested by professor and if time permits
            • Evaluate students during basic skills testing
            • Assist the professor in grading projects associated with on-campus lab
            • Assist the professor with open lab activities
            • Assist the professor in sessions for dosage calculation practice and review 

          GRA/Research and Scholarly Work Activities

          1. Update references for the professor’s research and other scholarly projects
            • Conduct literature searches as directed by the professor
            • Obtain journal articles and references from library
            • Develop PowerPoint and other materials for the professor 
          2. Assist the professor with research activities
            • Assist with research intervention activities
            • Assist with data collection
            • Conduct data entry, cleaning, and management
            • Conduct statistical analyses as requested by the professor
            • Help manage correspondence associated with research and scholarly activities 

          GTA: General Information

          • All GTAs must have completed the UCF Graduate Studies GTA Workshop.
          • Assignments cover 10-20 hours/week. GTA/GRAs are expected to be on campus for at least 5-10 hours each week. For web courses, time on campus is negotiable with professor(s).
          • GTAs/GRAs may be assigned to work with more than one professor for the semester.
          • GTAs are assigned to professors based on course needs and numbers of students.
          • GRAs are assigned to professors based on research agenda and potential for funding.
          • GTA/GRA appointments occur on a semester basis by the graduate program coordinator in consultation with CON Director and Undergraduate Program Coordinators.
          • GTAs/GRAs must report on a weekly basis to their assigned professor and must schedule mutually agreed upon times that they are available for the entire semester. Any changes in the agreed upon times must be approved by the professors.
          • GTAs/GRAs report directly to the professor(s) to whom they are assigned for the semester.
          • GTAs/GRAs must manage their time well, particularly if they are working with more than one professor. Should assignments take longer than the allotted or expected time, GTAs/GRAs must communicate the information ASAP to the assigned professor so that proper adjustments in assignments can be made.
          • If GTA/GRA is overwhelmed, please discuss work with professor and if not resolved, please meet with graduate program coordinator.
          • No GTA/GRA is to be assigned to do any personal or non-UCF related activity.
          • GTAs/GRAs must be evaluated mid-semester and end of each semester by the assigned professor(s). The evaluation must be submitted to the graduate program office. GTAs/GRAs with multiple instructor assignments must be evaluated by each professor.
          • Professors who do not complete the evaluations in a timely manner may not be assigned a GTA/GRA in the following semester.
          • GTA/GRA schedules are to be submitted to the graduate program coordinator by the GTA/GRA by the end of the second week of the semester.
          • GTAs/GRAs who are not responsible, whose work is below expectation, and/or who are not punctual or have not completed their required hours of work may be terminated during the semester – thus losing their assistantship for the semester – or will not receive any additional assistantships.

          Graduate Student Associations

           The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

          Organization of Doctoral Student Nurses (ODSN)

          Students are encouraged to participate in activities of the ODSN. It is composed of doctoral students in the College of Nursing from both PhD and DNP tracks. Information about the organization stage of the ODSN will be provided by the student representatives.    A representative is a nonvoting member of the PhD Curriculum Committee. For more information about the ODSN, please contact Dr. Angela Ritten, or Dr. Loretta Forlaw, .

          Scholarly Affiliations for Doctoral Students

          Sigma Theta Tau (STT): Sigma Theta Tau International is devoted to the scholarship and leadership in nursing.  UCF College of Nursing is home to the Theta Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.   Doctoral students who are not members of Sigma Theta Tau may discuss this with their advisers and apply for membership. STT- Theta Epsilon events are sent to doctoral students via the graduate nursing listserv.   Non-members are invited to events.

          American Association of Colleges of Nursing Graduate Nursing Student Academy is an organization that offers programs, supports and networking with Graduate Nursing students around the country.

          Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) presents annual research conferences. This is an excellent venue to present evolving research for students:

          Professional Development

          The CON strongly supports doctoral student development. Inherent in the philosophy of the faculty, students are mentored closely to learn about professional opportunities and how to develop those necessary skills. Professional development begins with meeting with assigned advisers.

          Opportunities for professional development are sent via the doctoral listserv. In addition, the UCF Graduate Students Website offers numerous opportunities for professional development. 

          University Funding for Doctoral Student Presentations

          Funds may be available from the College of Graduate Studies and Student Government Association to support student travel to present posters and/or presentations. 

          Co-Authorship with Faculty

          Students may collaborate with faculty members and/or fellow students on publications and research presentations. Degree of work on the project determines authorship designation. If faculty members substantially contribute to the paper or presentation, they should be co-authors. It is important to discuss authorship when beginning papers and projects.   

          Instructional Strategies and Resources

          The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning provides classes and programs designed to assist graduate students with the educational issues they face in the classroom as teaching assistant or as instructors. These resources include assistance in course design and syllabi development, learning theories, and the use of different technologies in the classroom or on the internet. Further information on these resources is available at

          Pathways to Success Workshops 

          Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit  

          Graduate Research Forum

          The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

          The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

          The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact  

          Graduate Excellence Awards

          Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

          Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

          Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.


          For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see


          Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at

          For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website:> Awards.

          For grant-proposal writing resources:

          The Florida Board of Nursing  is the top resource for all professional information relating to the field of nursing including information on license and certification, continuing education and more.

          Visit the Career Network webpage  available through for available jobs and internships in the nursing field.

          The Florida Nurses Association (FNA)  serves and supports all registered nurses through professional development, advocacy and the promotion of excellence at every level of professional nursing practice.

          American Assembly for Men in Nursing provides a framework for nurses as a group to meet, discuss, and influence factors which affect men as nurses.

          National Black Nurses Association, Inc. provides a forum for collective action by African American nurses to investigate, define and determine what the health care needs of African Americans.

          National Association of Hispanic Nurses promotes Hispanic nurses to improve the health of our community.

          Philippine Nurses Association of Central Florida promotes and upholds a positive image of Nursing and Professional Excellence through active participation in educational programs, community health service projects, and networking with other allied health care professionals while maintain social, cultural and humanitarian endeavors.

          Job Search

          UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

          For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.

          Visit the Career Network webpage  available through for available jobs and internships in the nursing field.

          Healthcare Jobsite  is an excellent online resource for searching health jobs, medical jobs, hospital employment postings, healthcare career opportunities & nursing careers.



          Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

          1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
          2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
          3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
          4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
          5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

          When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

          Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

          Paraphrased Material

          Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

          Use and Adaptation of the Material:

          You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


          The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

          The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

          Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

          For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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