As Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs prolifer-ate, effective collaboration with institutional review boards (IRBs) is important to protect human subjects. It is particu-larly important that faculty and students recognize which DNP students' projects should be considered as "human subjects research" or "quality improvement." The former require IRB review, whereas the latter may be eligible for expedited review or may be considered exempt. We report outcomes following implementation of a combination of didactic training, one-to-one consultation, and a decision support protocol to improve preparation for and collabo-ration with the IRB at a large university. In the first year of using this protocol, 53% of projects were deemed human subjects research and received IRB review. The other 47% were deemed quality improvement projects and did not re-quire IRB review. We offer our experience as an approach for teaching students how to protect the subjects included in their quality improvement activities.
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