DNP Student Projects


MatthewMatthew Arenibas
DNP, BSN, RN

Title: Educating Hispanic Parents about Obesity: A Framework for the Use of a Fotonovela in a Pediatric Clinic

Abstract: In the United States, the total combined population meeting criteria for obesity is more than 90 million individuals.  The Hispanic population has one of the highest rates of being overweight and obese. In Southern New Mexico in the County of Dona Ana, Hispanics make up 66% of the total population.

The focus of this Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to change clinical practice and increase knowledge and awareness of obesity among Hispanics.  By implementing a culturally appropriate educational tool which embraces the thoughts and attitudes of the Hispanic culture. An in-depth literature review focused on the prevalence of obesity, Hispanic culture, parental influences, health literacy and the use of fotonovelas helped establish the foundation for this project. By implementing the Health Promotion Model by Pender and Transcultural Model by Giger & Davidhizar established the framework to addressing current beliefs along with the misconceptions and issues of obesity among Hispanic parents and caregivers.  

The survey of 60 participants using a single group pretest/posttest design was implemented in a pediatric clinic. All participants identified themselves as Hispanic with children ranging in age 3-12 years old. Using a developed fotonovela “Rosa Out of Control,” as the educational tool, addressed cultural barriers and beliefs concerning obesity.  The implementation of the fotonovela revealed an increase in knowledge and understanding when measured by the participant’s pre and posttest results. The project supported the need for change in clinical practice by introducing a fotonovela as an effective tool, to increase knowledge and understanding of obesity among Hispanic parents.

Final Project


Placeholder for no imageDesiree Martinez
DNP, BSN, RN

Title: Universal Screening for Adolescents Using the Just Health Questionnaire in a High School Based Health Center

Abstract: Adolescence is a developmental milestone when a young person is growing from a child into an adult.  During developmental changes, adolescents are becoming independent, learning more about themselves and may be involved in high risk taking behaviors. 

According to the Adolescent Wellness Exam (2010), there are at least three out of four adolescents who engage in one risk taking behavior.  Adolescents are at risk for conditions such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, physical and emotional abuse, unsafe sexual behaviors, and illegal use of drugs which may lead to drug addiction.  Screening students using the Just Health electronic application at High School Based Health Centers, is an effective method to prevent risk taking behaviors and long term effects. 

Throughout the United States, High School Based Health Centers provide comprehensive care for students to address acute conditions, assist in managing chronic diseases, perform risk screening, and deliver mental health services as needed.  Prior to this project, there were only two High School Based Health Centers located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, providing universal screening for all students. Requiring each student who visits the School Based Health Center to complete the Just Health at least once per academic year, can provide a quick and accurate assessment of risk taking behaviors and provide an opportunity for providers to offer appropriate interventions to prevent immediate problems and future complications.  The problem was a lack of universal screening among high school students for early identification and prevention of high risk taking behaviors. 

Final Project


LiyaLiya Asghedom
DNP, BSN, RN

Title: Health Program Planning and Evaluation

Abstract: The homeless and indigent are the most vulnerable populations in any community. The primary focus of this population is survival yet they also face environmental and psychosocial barriers that limit their access to appropriate health care services (Asgary, Garland, Jakubowski, & Sckell, 2014; Hauff & Secor-Turner, 2014; Stefaniak, Mi, & Afonso, 2015). St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic (SLHCC) is the newest Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Las Cruces, New Mexico funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide basic health care services to the homeless and indigent population in Dona Ana County. As an FQHC, SLHCC is required to conduct a community health needs assessment.

The precede-proceed model was used to conduct the needs assessment. Survey distribution was carried out at Workforce Solutions and the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope where SLHCC is located. For data analysis Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and frequencies for each question were obtained.

Risk factors contributing to limited access to health care services were predisposing factor (limited knowledge), enabling factor (limited transportation, difficulty getting an appointment, cost of health care) and reinforcing factors (social support). The community members identified diabetes as the major health concern.

Going forward SLHCC should focus on providing on-site health education to provide knowledge on how to better manage health problems, to extend clinic hours to the weekend, collaborate with the local public transport agencies and mini-clinics at the local daycare center to increase access to delivery health care services to underprivileged community members.

Final Project