Population-Focused Project

There are two key parts to this assignment; the project you implement and the documentation you create across the process. This assignment requires the integration of core nursing program concepts through the assessment and development of a project to address a nursing disciplinary need within a clinical setting. You should negotiate the specific topic of work with your preceptor. The topic should address a nursing need identified within your preceptor’s organization, which can be completed during this 7 ½ week course. You will also need to obtain project approval from your faculty member at the start of the term to ensure the project proposed meets course objectives.

The project documentation presents as a series of papers that reflect the process of project planning, development, implementation, and evaluation. There are nearly limitless potential projects, such that it is impossible to identify them all here, or for these guidelines to perfectly fit every potential project. You must work with your preceptor and course faculty to produce a project that meets the intent of these assignment guidelines. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing White Paper on the Expectations for Practice Experiences in the RN to Baccalaureate Curriculum highlights example direct care and indirect care experiences that can help define appropriate projects. Some direct care examples include working in health care provider settings to identify gaps in patient care and implement quality improvement strategies or using an evidence-base to develop and implement new procedures or a nursing care policy that directly impacts patient care.

Some indirect care examples include developing policies and educating other health care providers regarding safe and effective use of new technologies or working collaboratively with interdisciplinary stakeholder groups to develop and implement policies that can improve facility communication within organizations (e.g., electronic medical records, or disaster/emergency preparedness). The course aims to be flexible to address needs of the preceptor’s facility. Throughout the process the student should engage good management and leaderships skills, including demonstrating professional communication with, and engagement of, key stakeholders to facilitate successful organizational implementation.

The Population-focused Project papers serve to document the project work across the course. Details for the papers are found at the end of this document. The directions are also separated within the course Canvas website to reflect their progression. Documentation first serves to identify what the project will be, and gain faculty approval. Next the problem should be clearly discussed regarding its significance and supported using current literature. Current evidence-based literature should be reviewed in support of the development of the project product. A clear plan then is identified for development and implementation of the project specific to the practice site. Following implementation, the final paper is focused on evaluation of the process and final product. Papers are to be typed neatly with attention to grammar, spelling and use of APA format including an appropriate title page, use of headings, and all statements of fact in the text body must be correctly cited within the paper and compiled within a properly formatted reference list.

below is information fro the syllabus

Population-focused Project Assignment Details

Project Identification and Initial Approval

The syllabus discusses and gives some general examples of possible practice projects. Given the advanced preparation requirements for this course, much of this work has been previously completed. As directed by the course handbook for arranging preceptors and practice sites, you should have already identified a potential project with you preceptor that fits with the general guidelines noted in both the handbook and syllabus. During the first week of the course it is time to provide an overview description of your project, which is to be submitted with your participation schedule for practice hours. It is too soon to have the full plan completely detailed and mapped out, but you should be able to clearly summarize the topic (e.g., problem or concern) that you are working on, and the specific product you will complete as your project. This document has been developed in coordination with your preceptor, and once completed you should provide a copy to your preceptor, course faculty, and nursing coordinator for placement in your student file. You should expect your faculty member will also discuss and confirm this plan with your preceptor. Faculty will give you initial approval and may offer guidance relative to your initial plan. Faculty may need to ask follow-up questions to gain further clarity on what you are planning to do. Remember the clearer you can be describing things the better course faculty and your preceptor will be able to understand your intention, and provide you support. It is important to remember the limited timeframe available for completion of the project and the need to balance the identification of a meaningful project with something that is attainable. While many projects can be conceptualized and completed within this course, it may also be true that the preceptor’s institution is working on something of a much grander scale and students may need to identify a meaningful part of such a project.

Investigating the Topic

This section has two key areas to consider, the issue and the proposed solution. Discuss how the topic was identified. Search for literature about this type of issue and discuss its significance. Appropriate disciplinary literature (e.g., nursing practice, nursing administration) should be included here to document the issue and solutions. Why is this topic important? What are the key problems and associated costs? Next present literature you find that discusses best practice/EBP solutions to this issue. You might not always be able to find literature that is an exact match for defining your problem and solutions, but you should then expect to search as needed and reflect on similar literature that is available.

Documenting Planning Details

Creating objectives. You have likely already been thinking about a plan for how to get things done. A key part of that is identifying goals and objectives. You should write a goal and a few objectives that reflect things you aim to personally achieve as part of this process, and you should be able to write a goal and a few objectives that help measure the project outcomes you hope to achieve. Goals might be stated grand in scope, but the objectives you identify should concretely address your major content areas. There is an abundance of literature available online regarding writing good objectives if you need help (e.g., ‘SMART’ objectives). Essentially,
12objectives should be single in purpose and clearly worded, measurable, attainable, focused on knowledge or behaviors specific to your content, and bound to a specified timeframe.

Detailing the steps.
Working with your preceptor document a step-by-step action plan that includes a time-framed schedule that delineates key steps /activities, with clearly assigned roles and responsibilities (i.e., directly naming those responsible) for each item on this plan. This should also include who will be responsible for providing specific resources (e.g., arranging workspace, meeting times, providing specific materials, etc.). Be sure to layout your deadline highlights on a calendar! Ensure your preceptor and faculty member are in agreement with the planning document. Typically, projects required input or support from multidisciplinary personnel. Carefully consider all people involved with the project and be sure that they are kept informed across project planning, implementation, and evaluation. This point is worth repeating, communication is always important, and is critical for effective planning! Content needs to be clear for everyone involved. Often when reflecting back on a conversation people have different interpretations of what was said. To aid in clarity it is wise to provide follow-up documentation of planning communications that are otherwise undocumented (e.g., meetings, phone calls) to ensure people share an understanding of expectations. Be sure you are regularly discussing planning issues with all stakeholders. Preceptors must be provided draft copies of materials you develop and approve them prior to circulation to other project stakeholders. Faculty should be kept informed in regard to developed material drafts and sought for consultation as needed.

Reflections on the organizational culture. Finally, it is wise to always consider how things fit with the organizational culture. In prior courses you should have done some work related to understanding organizational structures. When thinking about your plan, reflect on the organizational structure of where you are working. Think about the support you need and the impact of the project at various points or levels within the organization. Discuss this with your preceptor. Briefly document how well the project outcomes fit with the organization (e.g., as related to things like their mission statement, core values, vision statements/strategic planning, culture, and climate). Such content can be useful when pitching ideas to administrative personnel. Discuss briefly how your plan has considered key stakeholders within the organization, and your expectations of their support or resistance.

Implementation

Following approval from your preceptor and faculty, enact your plan! As discussed above, communication is a key here! Clear communication aids in ensuring project success, including early identification of concerns that need to be managed! Seek consultation from your preceptor and course faculty as needed.

Evaluation Summative/outcomes evaluation.

Once you have completed the project work you had committed to, it is time to reflect on and evaluate your work. An excellent place to begin is the objectives you created earlier. Discuss results for each of the objectives you wrote. Discuss them clearly regarding how they were measured and honestly regarding the results. It is OK if everything was not achieved exactly as planned – it rarely is. What is important is what we learn
13in the process, and the professional practices we engage to work around obstacles to achieve program goals! While it should be an appropriate time to evaluate the objectives you set for yourself, you may have to be more speculative regarding the larger program goals and objectives you developed if they are still in process. For those still in process, reflect on what you would characterize as realistic expectations given your clinical experience.It may be captured in the discussion of the goals and objectives you wrote, but as part of this evaluation be sure you reflect on the state of and future expectations for the project. Clearly this content is dependent on the type of the project. Often programs are established with the intent they continue on long after you are no longer present in the clinical environment. So as appropriate, what are your expectations for the sustainability of your contributions and the program at-large. What thoughts do you have regarding what next steps are needed to support your project work, or to continue facilitation of a solution to the original problem or issue you were addressing?

Formative evaluation. Beyond the actual objectives related to the project outcomes, you should reflect on and discuss the project process. A formative evaluation would consider the process. How was communication between all involved stakeholders? How about access to needed resources? What things were encountered that really helped facilitate the project process? And what things presented as significant challenges or barriers to the project process, and how resolved? What were lessons learned in regard to the project development and implementation?

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