Creating effective scholarly posters: A guide for DNP students


Thomas L. Christenbery, PhD, RN, CNE, Vanderbilt University, School of Nursing, Nashville, TN 37240. Tel: 615-322-2947; Fax: 615-343-7788; E-mail:



Dissemination of scholarly project outcomes is an essential component of Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) education. This article provides guidelines for professional poster development and presentation as well as suggestions for integrating poster development as part of the DNP curriculum.

Data sources

This article was prepared by reviewing both theoretical and research-based literature regarding professional poster development.


Evidence indicates that poster presentations at professional conferences are an excellent venue for DNP students to successfully share the results of their scholarly projects. For posters to be both well perceived and received at conferences, certain guidelines must be followed regarding poster development. Guidelines include emphasizing a consistent message, clear focus, logical format, and esthetically pleasing design. Poster development guidelines and strategies need to be taught early and regularly throughout the DNP student's education.

Implications for practice

DNP scholarly projects provide forward-looking solutions to some of society's most formidable healthcare challenges. The dissemination of knowledge gleaned from the DNP scholarly projects is vital to 21st century global health. Effective poster presentations are critical to the dissemination of scholarly knowledge.