Danielle Piar, DNP, MSN, AG-ACNP, ANP-C, AACC, has come a long way since her childhood on an Ohio farm. Her nursing journey has led from those rustic origins to a noteworthy 25-year career in health care. A recent graduate of the University of Arizona College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (DNP AG-ACNP) program, Dr. Piar initially wanted to be a large animal veterinarian. When she realized she couldn’t work with animals in that capacity, she set her sights on a career in health care. “My mother was a nuclear medicine technician and when I was young, I always enjoyed going to the hospital with her on the weekends,” she says. “My mother’s career definitely influenced me to pursue healthcare and at 19-years of age I changed my major to nursing.”
A nurse practitioner in cardiovascular medicine for 17 years, Dr. Piar chose to focus her DNP project on pre-procedural frailty assessment and length of hospital stay in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Dr. Piar’s poster presentation to the American College of Cardiology (ACC) was on May 25, 2021. The ACC was impressed enough to award her the College's Cardiology CV Team Section’s APRN work group poster award. The abstract was from her DNP quality improvement project while attending the University of Arizona and titled "Frailty measures in patients being evaluated for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement"
“Being the winner of the American College of Cardiology Advanced Practice Registered Nursing poster presentation solidifies that I can perform quality metrics as a nurse practitioner, and I should not put boundaries on my professional abilities. Nor should anyone else!” ~ Danielle Piar, DNP, MSN, AG-ACNP, ANP-C, AACC
What drew you to the UArizona College of Nursing?
The University of Arizona is a center for academic excellence and the College of Nursing continually ranked amongst the best in the nation.
What drew you to the AGACNP DNP program?
I initially came to the UArizona College of Nursing in fall 2016 as a post-graduate Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) certification student. I had been an Adult Nurse Practitioner for 15-years in cardiovascular medicine and needed to uphold the scholarship of practice which required the AG-ACNP licensure. I met Dr. Rene Love at the Resident Intensive Student Education (RISE), and she immediately told me ‘You need to be in one of the doctoral programs. You are doctoral material and you can begin this semester.’ I went home that night and thought about her recommendation for me to pursue a doctoral degree with the needed nurse practitioner certification. The next day when I returned to RISE, I chose to enroll in the Doctoral of Nursing Practice degree with AG-ACNP track. The rest is history!
How would you describe your experience over the course of the program?
My experience in the UArizona Nursing DNP AG-ACNP program was nothing short of life changing. The faculty, administrative assistants and university learning centers provided me with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to become a nurse practitioner with a much stronger foundation in research and clinical practice. On a personal level, the program helped me to develop a wholistic world view and a stronger self-identity.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time at the College of Nursing?
I had the opportunity to speak at RISE 2019, as the Graduate Assistant for Dr. Rother’s advanced nursing statistic course. As a working nurse practitioner who was enrolled in the program, I spoke to the entering DNP students about the importance of this course in clinical practice. It was fabulous to be part of such a phenomenal team.
Can you describe your research interests and what led to your award-winning poster presentation?
I had been a nurse practitioner in cardiovascular medicine for 17 years and during this time attended many cardiovascular conferences, and in 2018 was awarded my Associate of the American College of Cardiology (AACC). I have a passion for exercise, and have personally completed several half-marathons, Ragnar-relay races, and century bike rides. When I started to design my quality improvement project, I simply combined these two interests. The UArizona College of Nursing has not seen the last of me. I plan to return for more education to complete further research on this topic!
What does it mean to you to receive the American College of Cardiology poster award?
Being the winner of the American College of Cardiology Advanced Practice Registered Nursing poster presentation solidifies that I can perform quality metrics as a nurse practitioner, and I should not put boundaries on my professional abilities. Nor should anyone else!
What are your hopes for the future?
To continue to practice as a DNP and to conduct research that will improve outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease.