Post-Master’s Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice DNPs Present Research, Receive Scholarships

March 13, 2023

The Yale School of Nursing (YSN) Post-Master’s Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) who have graduated from an MSN program and are interested in pursuing an exceptional course of study to enhance their skills as clinical innovators while developing an advanced area of expertise in their clinical practice area.

YSN launched its first class of Clinical DNP trailblazers at Commencement in May 2022, and the inaugural cohort is already making its presence felt across the healthcare landscape. 

“The program is just starting out, but we can already observe how these students and graduates are applying their YSN education to improve the care of their patients,” said Joanne DeSanto Iennaco PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, Director of the Clinical DNP Program. “Students and alumni are securing grants and scholarships for their work and being saluted as innovators in their areas of clinical expertise.”

Members of the 2022 Inaugural Cohort are actively sharing the knowledge and expertise developed in the program. YSN caught up with a few current students and recent alumni to share some of their recent achievements.

Roxana Bustamante ’23 DNP, MSN, APRN, AGACNP-BC
Hospitalist APRN, Yale New Haven Hospital

Roxana Bustamante '23 DNPBustamante recently obtained approval from the Yale New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Project Grants Committee for an internal auxiliary grant to obtain prediabetes education books for her Clinical DNP project, “Implementing Prediabetes Screening During Hospitalization in an Internal Medicine Unit”. Her doctoral Advisor is Elizabeth Molle PhD, RN. Bustamante’s clinical expertise as an advanced practice provider includes assessment and management of acutely ill-hospitalized adults.

Dr. Gia Santoro ’22 DNP, 11 MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System 

Dr. Santoro, a member of the Clinical DNP Program’s inaugural cohort, recently made a podium presentation on “PTSD and Sleep Disturbance: A Comprehensive Treatment Approach for Veterans,” which built on her doctoral work in the Clinical DNP Program where Lindsay Powell DNP, APRN, PMH faculty, was her doctoral Advisor. Dr. Santoro’s clinical work is based at the West Haven VA and she has served as Lecturer and Preceptor Liaison at YSN. Her clinical expertise includes PTSD and anxiety disorders.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Loma Linda University Health

Kittipha was recently awarded the Terry Miller & Andraya Yearwood Changemaker Scholarship by the New Haven Pride Center in New Haven, Connecticut. Earlier this year, he was the recipient of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. He is currently implementing his Clinical DNP Project, “Multimodal Opioid-sparing Analgesia in Minimally Invasive Abdominal Surgery” at Loma Linda University Health. His doctoral Advisor is Shelli Feder, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, ACHPN. Kittipha’s clinical expertise includes the areas of critical care, neurology, neurosurgery, general/GI surgery, acute care surgery, and bariatric surgery.

Christa Varnadoe ’22 DNP, ’20 MSN, APRN, AGNP-C, OCN, CCRP
Cancer Clinical Trials Office | Tisch Cancer Institute

Another  member of the Clinical DNP’s inaugural cohort, Dr. Christa Varnadoe recently presented her doctoral work completed in the Clinical DNP Program, “Use of Teach-Back During Informed Consent in Cancer Clinical Trials” at the International Association of Clinical Research Nurses 2022 Conference in Atlanta. M. Tish Knobf, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chair of the PhD Program, was her doctoral Advisor on this work. Dr. Varnadoe has more than a dozen years of clinical research proficiency in academic settings specializing in areas of malignant hematology, solid tumor cancers, transplants, and cellular therapy. She is also a Certified Research Professional (CCRP) with expertise in regulatory affairs, research billing and fiscal management (pre- and post-award activities), clinical trial system implementation, research infrastructure development, and oncology research operations.

Upcoming Information Sessions

The program is hosting a series of information sessions on March 15 at 4 pm, April 3 at 12 pm, and April 19 at 4 pm. Register for the next information session here.