Paper Type

Doctoral Project


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. M. Catherine Hough

Second Advisor

Dr. Nancy L. Davis

Third Advisor

Dr. Barbara Olinzock


Background: Emerging evidence suggests that interactive CE activities will have the most effect in terms of knowledge and practice. Using technology to provide interactivity via computer-based applications is as effective an educational strategy as traditional education formats.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted to test the effectiveness and satisfaction of educational activities provided within an online community of practice(CoP) on nurse practitioner (NP) knowledge and practice behavior. The online interactive website combined certified continuing education, professional forum, Ask-the-Experts, national guideline links, patient education tools, and professional resources. A Two-Group Control Group design was used. Study participants were assessed on knowledge and practice behavior prior to and after the six month study.

Results: A sample of 66 NPs was randomly assigned to an online education only control group (n=33) or a CoP group (n=33). NPs in both groups had similar pretest knowledge assessment scores: 46% (control) vs. 49% (CoP), and pretest clinical vignette scores: 51%(control) vs. 57% (CoP). After the intervention, there was no significant increase in the posttest scores of the CoP group at 6 months compared with the posttest scores of the control group (knowledge assessment: 67% vs. 60%, p =.17; clinical vignettes: 67% vs. 74%, p =.28).

Conclusions: The pilot test did not demonstrate that the intervention (CoP access) had a more positive effect on knowledge or clinical performance than access to online CE activities alone. It did however confirm the effectiveness of online education in improving knowledge.

Included in

Nursing Commons