Research Capstone

Research Capstone

Week 2: Capstone Research Companion
 
Introduction to the Practicum Project & the Professional Portfolio
 
1. In Week 1, you began preparing for your practicum as an avenue for professional growth and development. This week, you finalize your professional development objectives and submit your Professional Experience Plan.
 
As part of your practicum, you will also develop and implement a Practicum Project. Your project will address an authentic problem, situation, issue, or potential area for improvement that is significant to your practicum setting. It is your chance to apply and analyze evidence-based change within a healthcare organization. This week, you consult with your practicum Faculty Member and Preceptor to identify a focus for your project.
 
Additionally, you begin to compile your Professional Portfolio, due in Week 10, which represents your academic and professional growth as a nurse executive. This week, you examine the guidelines for this Portfolio.
 
Learning Objectives
Students will:
 
· Construct measurable professional development objectives to be accomplished during the practicum experience
· Organize practicum hours and experiences to meet professional development objectives.
 
 
Learning Resources
Cope, V., & Murray, M. (2018, March 2). Use of professional portfolios in nursing. Nursing Standard, 32(30), 55-63. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.2018.e10985.
 
Hannans, J., &Olivo, Y. (2017, November 28). Craft a positive nursing digital identity with an eportfolio. American Nurse Today. https://wwww.americannursetoday.com/craft-a-positive-nursing-digital-identity-with-an-eportfolio/
Schneider,A. (2016). Building a professional nursing portfolio. https://www.rn.com/nursing-news-building-professional-nursing-portfolio/
 
Webb, T.,Diamond-Wells, T., & Jeffs, D. (2017). Career mapping for professional development and succession planning. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 33(1), 25-32. https://doi.org/10.1097/NND.0000000000000317.
 
Walden University Library. (n.d.-a). Choosing your topic. https://academicguides.walden.edu/library/topic.
 
Walden University Field Experience. (n.d.). Field experience: College of Nursing: Student resources and Manuals. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/fieldexperience/son/formsanddocuments.
 
 
Document: Professional Experience Plan Template Plan (Word document).
 
Document: Guide to Creating the Professional Portfolio (PDF).
 
Document: Practicum Project Plan Overview (PDF).
 
 
Required Media
The Importance of Professionalism & Communication
 
What does it mean to exhibit professional behavior and appearance in the practicum Setting? Drs. Lynn Parsons and Jeanne Morrison provide tips for respecting the health care site’s culture through appropriate dress, mindset, and communication, (5m).
The transcript
Female Speaker: I always tell students that when they’re out in the practicum setting, they may be looking for their future job. But those professionals that they’re working with are also looking at them. It’s very important to know what the culture is of the organization, especially if you’re going into the organization for the first time. So, the relationship between you and your preceptor is extremely important. Ask your preceptors what are the accepted practices in this organization? Know what the dress code policy is. If you’re working in mental health, it might be off-putting to wear a lab coat, whereas if you’re working with a nurse exec in the operating room setting, you might be expected to wear scrubs.
 
 
Female Speaker: We’ve always heard it’s a cliché-dress for success. But that is so important. You are a guest at the facility, and they’re going to be looking at you.
 
Female Speaker: It’s always in good taste not to wear loud makeup and big jewelry. Know what the policy is for piercings and nail polish. That shows respect of the organization and understanding their culture and ways of doing things.
Female Speaker: When you go into that site, you are a guest in that facility. Your behaviors and what you do in that facility in a reflection on not only on you. But on Walden. When you tell somebody, you’re going to be there, be there on time. When you’re not going to be there, let them know as well. Think of it as a job. Many of you may not even know the people at the site. Some of you , it’s your place that you work, but you’re on a different unit.
 
So everything you do is a reflection on you and possibly may affect even how you get employment if you are wanting employment in that facility. Be respectful. Remember, these people don’t know you. So when they ask you do something, work it out and help them out. Also, be motivated. Look for experiences that will help you achieve your objectives.
 
Female Speaker: Early in the course, there will be a call conference between the students, the preceptor, and the professor. And the main purpose of this call is to refine what your project focus will be. So when you’re on the call is to refine what your project focus will be. So when you’re on the call, know in advance what you want to do.
 
Because after that call is done, you’ll have approval to move forward on your project. And you don’t want to waste time saying, oh, I have three ideas. Come to the table with what you really want your idea to be. Already have a conversation with your preceptor so when the calls is over, you’ll know what you’re doing.
Female speaker: To talk about what it’s like to be a student at Walden, what you’re going to be learning in the practicum experience. Many of your preceptors have never taken an online course or even taught in an online course, So we must want to make sure they understand the process. During the practicum experience, communication is so valuable between the preceptor, the student, and the faculty member.
Female Speaker: The instructor has established office hours, know what those office hours are and follow them. Also, share those hours with your preceptor along with your professor’s contact information.
Female Speaker: Your faculty member also can set up a time to talk with you at a regularly scheduled time or an approved time by your faculty member. Your preceptor- you should be keeping in constant contact with them. Every time you’re on-site, let them know. Stop by their office. Let them know you’re there.
 
Female Speaker: I like receiving emails from students. If they’re stuck, that’s a very quick way to get in touch with me or any professor. Another mode of communication the student might want to look at is some professors like text messaging. I like that myself. If it’s not office hours, and it’s an emergent situation, or if you’re stuck and just having a simple question answer would allow you to move forward with your work, go ahead and call your professor. They might have a few minutes to speak with you. And if they can’t, they’ll call you back.
 
Female Speaker: Communication between the three individuals is so important because this is teamwork. This isn’t just the student, the faculty, or the preceptor. It’s all three of you working together.
 
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The Practicum Project
The Practicum Project offers an Opportunity to examine a problem or issue in the practicum setting. Drs Lynn Parsons and Jeanne Morrison share successfully topic ideas from the past and recommendations for carrying out a truly useful project within the time frame. (3m).
The Transcript
Practicum Project
Female Speaker 1: It’s a win-win situation for the site and it’s a win-win situation for the student.
Music Playing: I don’t know of any leader that works in a hospital or a clinic or a health care facility that doesn’t have a stack of to do list. So ask the preceptor, what do you have that I could help you win? Needs to be a leadership project and it needs to be beneficial for you as well, but start with your preceptor. Ask your preceptor.
To give you just a few short examples of projects I can do- I’ve seen nurses look at decreasing pain medication. What can we do other than just give pain medication? Students have looked at that. We’ve seen students look at the transport from maybe emergency room and how fast it gets to the floor. There’s also rounding. There’s also communication, there’s staff scheduling, there’s all kinds of things.
Female Speaker 2: Developing mentor programs for new graduate nurses, handoff communication, retention initiatives for nurses in practice, developing new job descriptions for positions such as director of the operation room suite. The possibilities are endless. Talk to your preceptor. The preceptor will have an idea of what needs to be done for the organization.
Female Speaker 1: You will be doing this project in about 9 to 10 weeks, so don’t think of an big global project like you’re going to write the whole accreditation process, you’re going to solve the nursing shortage around the world. Think specific.
Female Speaker 2: You’re going to want to have something that’s doable within a reasonable time frame, so I would avoid and recommend that the students stay away from projects that need IRB approvals. Because IRB approvals sometimes can take months and you don’t have months to work with.
A great practicum is one that the organization can use. You don’t want to do something theoretical that they can take and work with and put into practice.
 
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The Practicum Project Content Attribution
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Cavan/Adobe Stock
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Assignment 1 Part: Identifying a Focus for the Practicum Project (Conference Call) 2 Pages APA Format 7th ed.
 
Consider the following scenario:
 
1. MSN student Maria entered her practicum unsure of what her project would be. At her site, she noticed that shift changes were challenging for the hospital staff nurses, particularly because of the patient care and risk information that needed to be conveyed to multiple people during this time. It seemed like shift changes were prolonged and inefficient. Moreover, the site had recently experienced a safety incident because vital information had been missed during transition of care. Earlier in her program, Maria had read about huddling as an evidence-based method for improving quality and safety. She wondered if huddling would work as an initiative in her practicum setting to address these issues.
 
 
Photo Credit: Getty Images
 
2. What needs do you see at your practicum site? How might you improve care for patients? What inefficiencies or redundancies do you observe? What does the nursing research say about an issue? What kinds of topics are you passionate about? Each one of these questions could be a pathway for your Practicum Project. For this Assignment, you will coordinate a conference call with your Preceptor and Faculty Member to discuss the practicum and ideas for your Practicum Project.
 
To prepare for the call:
 
· Review the information related to the Practicum Project in the College of Nursing Practicum Manual for MSN Specializations. The project may take up to half of your practicum hours to complete, and it must be completed on or before Day 7 of Week 9. Due to the limited time frame, your project should not include surveys, focus groups, collection of data, or any activities that require Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.
· Think about the current circumstances at your practicum site. What problems, situations, issues, or potential areas for improvement would you like to address through your Practicum Project?
· Discuss your Practicum Project ideas with your Preceptor and select one to discuss with your practicum Faculty Member at the call conference. The topic should relate to a specific, significant need at your practicum setting. Remember, when considering a project topic, you should also be able to identify a body of literature that will guide and support your work.
· Prepare any questions that you or your Preceptor have about practicum expectations and be ready to discuss them on the call. Questions may relate to Assignments, use of the Meditrek system, and communications among student, Preceptor, and Faculty as the term progresses.
· Coordinate a conference call with your Preceptor and Faculty. Reach out to your Faculty for alternative arrangements as needed.
 
 
Assignment 2 Part: Professional Experience Plan(2pages) APA 7th ed.
 
1. For this Assignment, you develop a Professional Experience Plan (PEP) to outline how your involvement in the practicum will contribute to your growth as a professional and allow you to hone your specialization knowledge and skills. The PEP consists of two or three objectives related to professional development that you will address during your practicum experience.
 
 
Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
 
To prepare:
 
· As necessary, review the information related to developing objectives provided in last week’s Learning Resources.
· Revisit the objective(s) you crafted for last week’s Discussion, and reflect on the ideas exchanged in the forum. Refine the objective(s) as needed for the practicum experience, making sure they reflect the higher order domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy (i.e., Application level and above). Note: You will be submitting two to three professional development objectives as part of this Assignment.
· Think more deeply about areas for which you would like to gain Application-level experience and/or continued professional growth. How can your experiences in the practicum help you achieve these aims?
· Discuss your professional aims and your proposed practicum professional development objectives with your Preceptor to ascertain if the necessary resources are available at your practicum site.
· Download and save the Professional Experience Plan Template provided in this week’s Learning Resources.
To complete your Professional Experience Plan:
 
· Record the required information in each area of the Professional Experience Plan Template, including two or three objectives you will use to facilitate your professional development during the practicum. Include your intended Practicum Project focus.
· Include the breakdown of the 144 hours between the practicum experience and the project. Consult your Faculty and Preceptor if less than 50% of the hours is needed for either the practicum or the project.
· As the term progresses and the hours between the practicum and project need to be adjusted, consult your Faculty. Include the rationale for editing hours in the Practicum Experience Journal.
By Day 7
Submit your completed Professional Experience Plan (PEP) for Faculty review and approval.
 
Once approved, you may download a copy of the PEP for your records. You can share an approved copy with your Preceptor. The Preceptor is not required to sign this form.
 
Submission and Grading Information
To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:
 
Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK2Assgn2+last name+first initial. (extension)” as the name.
Click the Week 2 Assignment 2 Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
Click the Week 2 Assignment 2 link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK2Assgn2+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.
 
Grading Criteria
To access your rubric:
 
Week 2 Assignment 2 Rubric
 
Submit Your Assignment by Day 7
To participate in this Assignment: Week 2 Assignment

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