DNP Capstone Project Proposal Template
- June 27, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: DNP
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NOTE: This is a template and guide. Delete all directions as you build your proposal.
[The abstract should be one paragraph of between 150 and 250 words. It is not indented. Section titles, such as the word Abstract above, are not considered headings so they don’t use bold heading format. Instead, use the Section Title style. This style automatically starts your section on a new page, so you don’t have to add page breaks. Note that all of the styles for this template are available on the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Styles gallery.]
Keywords: [Click here to add keywords.]
[Directions – a dedication provides the author with the opportunity to thank people who may have special meaning in the author’s life. For example – you may want to thank you spouse or a specific family member for their support during your doctoral education. The deduction does not need to be long but it should convey your appreciation for the contribution this or these individuals made in your life while you were a doctor of nursing practice student. The dedication is written as a part of your final DNP writing in NR709.]
[Directions – the acknowledgement page is reserved for the author to acknowledge the important role specific professional people have made toward the successful completion of the project. In the acknowledgement page, you may want to thank your professors, your preceptor, and members of your DNP committee. This is the perfect place to acknowledge the practicum site and your colleagues that supported you through the completion of your doctoral education. Again – the acknowledgement page does not need to be long, but it does need to include professionals that helped you during your education. This page is generally completed in NR709 as a part of your final writing.]
[Directions: this section will be completed as a part of your NR709 course as you write about the conclusion of your project. By this time, you will have sufficient information to develop a concise and accurate executive summary of your project.]
Purpose: The purpose of this project was …
Background and Significance: .……
[Directions: this section is written as a part of your project proposal in NR702. However, when you enter NR709, you will need to revise the tense as your project will be completed and you will be writing from a retrospective perspective. When you review this section in NR709 – you will want to update the introduction and subsequent headings with information you learned as a part of your project implementation.]
Note there is no heading that says Introduction. The paragraph or two following the title on the first page of your text is assumed to be your introduction. Your introduction follows the title of your paper (note it is not bolded). You should start your introduction with a powerful statement or two to stimulate interest. You should identify the purpose of your paper and provide a preview of what the paper will include. Remember formal papers are in third person so no I, me, we, etc. Refer to yourself as the DNP scholar or the DNP student. The Introduction must be 1-2 paragraphs.
Your introduction section should smoothly transition into your problem statement. It should flow logically from the information you provided. Include your inquiry question, which will provide direction for your work. Explain your approach to the problem and how your intervention will address it.
Explain the aims and objectives of the project. According to O’Leary (2010), proposals have one overarching aim to capture what you hope to achieve through your project; whereas, a set of objectives, which are a set of more specific goals, supports that aim. Aims and objectives are often written in bullet points as ‘to’ statements, such as, ‘to’ develop, ‘to’ identify, ‘to’ measure, ‘to’ explain, ‘to’ compare.
The Significance of the Practice Problem section must be 2-3 pages. Start this section with identification of the practice problem. This section articulates the issue and its significance from both a global/nationwide perspective, as well as within the practicum site.
From a global/nationwide perspective, how does the issue impact nurses, nursing care, healthcare organizations, the quality of care being provided, society (costs, healthcare policy, etc.), the patient/client (e.g., pain, suffering, quality of life, impact on income potential, etc.), the family, healthcare system (e.g., impact on cost or delivery systems),. Discuss the incidence and/or prevalence and include the financial impact if at all possible. You might discuss the impact on length of stay, readmission, home health care requirements, disability and/or mortality. Also, you should address any quality, safety, legal, and ethical implications. This discussion must be substantiated by citations from professional literature.
The same thing applies in regard to the impact of the issue within the practicum site. Here you need to address how the issue impacts nurses, nursing care, healthcare organizations, the quality of care being provided, society (costs, healthcare policy, etc.), the patient/client (e.g., pain, suffering, quality of life, impact on income potential, etc.), the family, healthcare system (e.g., impact on cost or delivery systems). Discuss the incidence and/or prevalence and include the financial impact if at all possible. You might discuss the impact on length of stay, readmission, home health care requirements, disability and/or mortality. Also, you should address any quality, safety, legal, and ethical implications. This discussion must be substantiated by citations from professional literature.
This section must be 5-10 pages long. Synthesize at least 10 (no more than 5 years old) primary research studies and/or systematic reviews; do not include summary articles. This section is all about the scientific evidence rather than someone else’s opinion of the evidence. Do not use secondary sources; you need to get the article, read it, and make your own decision about quality and applicability to your question even if you did find out about the study in a review of the literature. The studies you cite in this section must relate directly to your PICOT question. This is a synthesis where you address the similarities, differences, and controversies in the body of evidence.
This section should be 1-2 pages long. As you consider the evidence you provided above, what is the answer to your question? This section is for you to summarize the strength of the body of evidence (quality, quantity, and consistency), make a summary statement, and based on your conclusions drawn from the review, give a recommendation for practice change based on scientific evidence. This would logically be the intervention of your PICOT question. Perhaps you found substantiation for usual practice, and you recommend reinforcement and education regarding this best practice.
This section includes a brief statement about the evidence-based practice/s (EBP) [specific practice intervention, program intervention or evaluation, presentation and toolkit, or policy change] QI option that you have chosen and that you will be implementing based on the review of the literature.
[Directions – the theoretical framework is a very important part of your DNP practice change project. You will write this in NR702 and may revise or adjust it as your project matures. When you reach NR709 – be sure you review this chapter in detail and change all tense from future to past as you make your revisions.]
This section needs to be 1-2 pages and it should include the theoretical framework to support your project. Identify the theory that will serve as the foundation for your project. This may be a nursing theory or a theory from another discipline if pertinent and applicable. As you introduce the theory, identify its primary premises (include in-text citations when sharing content from outside sources).
In the following paragraphs operationalize each of the primary premises from your chosen theoretical framework as they apply specifically to your project. Doing this demonstrates you have not only identified a theory, but you have also been able to conceptualize its use as your project’s framework.
Begin with a description of your selected change model and why it was selected as the model for this specific change. You should learn about the model from a primary source (i.e., do not cite a textbook). The model you select should be appropriate to the change that you are recommending (i.e., individual change or organizational change. Use the model to describe the practice change that you recommend even if that is reinforcement and education regarding the status quo. Your change process should be specific to your setting.
Step 1: Name of step. You may make each step of the model a level 2 heading (title case and flush left, as demonstrated above) and then describe how you would implement the step of the change in your selected setting. Your change process must be specific to your question and the answer that you found through your literature review and your setting. It should be a well-thought-out process using the model as a guide.
[Directions – the project design and methods are developed and written in NR702 as a part of your initial project proposal. However, as your project matures and is implemented, you may change some of your design or methods based on feedback you have received from your professors, preceptor, or learned colleagues. During the IRB approval process in NR705 – your PICOT question may change. In the development of your protocol for approval – you may have modified some of your design or methods. These changes will need to be updated. In NR709 as you review your project from a completion perspective, please be sure to revise your design and methods based on the changes you may have made so your project is represented accurately.]
The Plan is the ‘HOW TO’ part of your proposal. This section includes a detailed description about how you will actualize (from set-up to data collection) and complete your project. You will want to proofread this section carefully as, “our minds think much faster than we can type, and we leave out steps in the process” if we do not proof several times. Provide two-three sentences in this particular section to introduce your reader(s) to the chapter.
Describe how organizational need was established. What organizational leaders (include their professional titles only) did you dialogue with? Provide a summarization of the conversation(s) you had.
Describe how organizational support was confirmed. Refer your reader to the Appendices of your proposal in regard to the organizational support letter.
What persons/groups or individuals might be impacted by your project? Ensure you think “outside the box” and consider both internal and external persons/groups, as well as entities.
Within this section you need to provide a brief overview of the SWOT analysis you performed. Note you are not to include your SWOT Analysis table here; rather, refer your reader(s) to the Appendices for the table. Include two-three sentences in this section to not only tell your reader(s) where the table can be found, but to also summarize what the following section(s) will include associated with the SWOT analysis.
Here you need to provide a summary of the various strengths of the practicum site. What strengths does the organization and its staff have? What works well in the site?
What type of weaknesses did you find within the site? What needs to be improved upon? What resources might be missing?
What are the potential opportunities within the practicum site? What can be done in the site to improve the quality of care being provided? Are there certain persons/groups/entities or resources not being taken advantage of, which could be potentially important to “tap into”?
What potential components or conditions might negatively impact the practicum site? Are there any obstacles the organization might face? Are they not following national guidelines as needed?
Here you need to consider potential barriers and/or facilitators, which could impact your proposed project’s implementation. Are the nursing staff resistant to change? Is there currently a culture inherent in the site where the use of evidence-based practice is openly used/welcomed by staff? What strategies might you use to overcome any barriers you might face? How will you capitalize upon any facilitators you have identified?
Include your schedule as an Appendix in the form of a schedule or a Gantt chart. Here you should address the timeframe for the change process and the evaluation keeping in mind that this project needs to be achievable within your last two practicum courses.
Include resources required for your project and a budget. Refer your reader(s) to your budget table in the Appendices.
Discuss your role in the project and the leadership qualities and skills that will be utilized for successful completion of the project.
Explain what will be done to sustain the project over time. What strategies will you put into place for the practicum site to ensure the project has ongoing evaluation and modification as needed to ensure its success after your implementation phase is complete?
This section should be 1-2 pages long and must include the vision, mission, vision, and objectives of your project. Discuss the congruence between your project’s mission and vision statements and the mission and vision of the organization where the project will be conducted. Include discussion of short-term and long-term objectives of the project. Discuss risks and unintended consequences of the project.
The length of this section should be 2-3 pages and fully operationalize your PICOT question. Under this primary heading you need to include your one-sentence PICOT question. Begin this section with a lead-in sentence such as, “The following PICOT question will serve as the basis for the proposed DNP project:”
Here you need to fully elaborate upon who the population will be. Approximately how many individuals will participate? How will you recruit them, and will they be provided with Informed Consent? What are their primary characteristics they share? What inclusion and exclusion criteria will you use?
Provide full elaboration here to explain exactly what EBP change you will implement as part of your proposed DNP project. Do not leave any questions left unanswered and provide your reader with key details so they will understand what you implement and what evidence there is to support it. You should have a minimum of 3 scholarly references to support your intervention in this section. Remember you are not conducting original research but taking already existing research to make a change in practice.
The comparison should explain what is currently taking place in the practicum site, which is either contributing or causing the issue you are addressing. If there is currently nothing being used in the setting such as guidelines, etc., articulate here there is no comparison.
Provide a full discussion in regard to the outcome(s) you will use to determine the impact of the intervention you will implement. What already existing data collection instrument/survey will you use? Have you received permission to use the survey (provide a copy of the permission letter/email as an Appendix and refer to it here). What will it measure? How has the survey been tested for validity and reliability? How many questions are asked? What type of questions are asked (Likert, etc.)? How will you administer the survey (pen/paper or electronically)? When will it be administered? Approximately how long will it take your population to complete? If there are any demographic data collected, what is it and how does it help you to answer your PICOT question?
Articulate the time frame of 8-10 weeks associated with the implementation phase of your project. Please note, you must have a time frame of at least 8 weeks and no more than 10 weeks for the implementation phase of your proposed project.
Discuss the feasibility of your project given the 8-10-week timeframe. How will you be able to complete everything you plan on doing in the allotted time? How will you overcome any barriers you might face? What type of strategies will you use to ensure all tasks associated with your implementation are completed?
This section should include a description of the setting of the DNP project and be 2-3 pages long. Include the type of setting, description of a typical client, and the vision and mission, and organizational structure and culture.
The Implementation Plan is a view into the project which shows what work the project encompasses. The Plan is the ‘HOW TO’ part of your proposal. This section includes is a detailed description about how you will actualize (from set-up to data collection) and complete your project. You will want to proof read this section carefully because, “our minds think much faster than we can type, and we leave out steps in the process” if we do not proof several times (2-3 pages).
Identify the type of data (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval, or continuous) produced by the evaluation tool(s). Discuss how you will control extraneous variables. Discuss planned analysis of your evaluation data. Specify the statistical analyses that will be used to answer the project questions and/or test the project hypotheses. Cite literature sources for your discussion of the statistical techniques. Convince your statistician to assist in statistical methods, depending on the types of variables being investigated, specifics of the sample of the study (groups), research design, etc.
Describe all the steps of your project in narrative form, including your plan for implementation and plan for evaluation. You can use sub headers to define your approach. Include projected recruitment, steps in actualizing the intervention, data collection procedures, and evaluation. You can organize your procedures by stages or phases (pre-intervention, intervention, post intervention) of your project implementation and/or according to a timeline.
Discuss recruitment and selection of participants or subjects including inclusion and exclusion criteria. Discuss the quantitative project design and why it is appropriate. Discuss formative and summative criteria for evaluation and time points for the evaluation.
This section must be 3-5 pages in length and must include how you will evaluate the planned change project. Remember your plan must evaluate the outcome(s) identified in your PICOT question. Fully address how you plan to statistically (quantitatively) analyze the data that you will receive/collect from the measurement instruments you listed above or from other methods you will use to gather data (focus groups, individual discussions, observation, journaling, etc.). In your final work, you will describe the degree to which the results of the project helped you achieve your expected outcomes (met, partially met, and not met).
Describe and include any tool(s) that are to be used in your project evaluation as Appendices and discuss the reliability and validity of the tool(s). Fully address the statistical planning, if applicable, and the methods of collection such as surveys, interviews, or document analysis.
Include a separate section for each instrument adopted or developed for data collection, whether that might be published instruments, researcher-developed instruments, interview schedules, or test results. Be sure to include information for each instrument on (a) form of the instrument, with sample items and scaling/scoring information,
Include assurances, or at least estimates, or the validity and reliability of the instrument, and reference to an appendix in which the reader will find the complete instrument and all correspondence and directions which will be sent to the respondent subjects in the sample.
Discuss how you will protect human rights and ensure privacy of health information. Finally, articulate in regard to how you will protect the data you collect over time (5-7 years).
[Directions – this section is completed in NR709.]
This section provides the reader with the results of their data collection and analysis. To remind the reader why this project was important, begin the section by restating the problem that prompted your project. Present the purpose of this section, which is to interpret and present the findings from your project and relate this back to the purpose of your project. While specific results should be presented in this section, the intent of the discussion is to clearly explain how your project contributes knowledge to the practice and profession of nursing. This section is generally about seven to 10 pages long.
This portion addresses the analytic methods that were actually used and why they were appropriate for this project. Indicate the rationale for changes or additional analyses that deviated from your approved methods in your proposal. Include in this area any special observations about the data set (e.g., only those over 65 participated when it was anticipated that the sample would include persons 55-75).
This portion should describe in detail the setting, the target or accessible population, the number contacted, the percentage participating, and the details of who participated. For inferences, an analysis of the representativeness of your sample characteristics should be done by comparing your sample to your accessible or target population. These data are best presented in tables detailing those demographic details that are important to the study. An analysis of the demographic data is required.
This portion provides an interpretation of the major findings in the context of the overall purpose of the project. Discuss how your major findings provide new knowledge or support previous findings that you found in the literature. Note how these findings add to the body of knowledge on this topic and support or expand on the theoretical framework you provided in Chapter I. There should be a clear relationship between the theory that drove the project to the findings presented and analyzed. Only information related to your research question and problem statement should be presented.
[Directions – part of this chapter can be written as you develop your initial proposal in NR702 and talk about the practice gap and the need for your proposed practice change. However, as you enter NR709 – you will need to look closely at this chapter and provide updates and/or revisions based on the most accurate information you have learned as a result of the project implementation and completion.]
This section should report findings in Section I not reported by any other literature. Why should nursing leaders care? Meanings of any gaps or similarities to literature are critically analyzed and discussed for every unusual finding. What do the findings mean to nurse leaders, and would society care about the results?
Recommendations based on the findings should be for the nursing profession and society in general, and to specific nursing leaders as mentioned in the significance portion. A summary of the major findings concludes the findings and interpretations portion with a transitional paragraph introducing the recommendations portion. Recommendations should follow the same logical flow as the findings and interpretations. Include a narrative of topics that need closer examination to generate a new round of questions. Be sure to make specific recommendations for leaders in the nursing field and policy makers. Recommendations for future research should be detailed and extensive. This is a key area that students often fail to elaborate upon. What could other researchers do with the new information to find out more gaps as indicated by the new results? New doctoral learners often look in this portion for ideas on problems that remain to be solved so elaborating with detail leaves a legacy to new doctoral students to continue.
This is where you can, and should, express your opinions regarding the results, implications, recommendations and the strengths and limitations of your project. Every study has strengths and limitations, so these should be expressly stated.
If your results are similar to those found in previous studies, you may cautiously infer the results beyond your population and setting. However, if your results are completely different and/or contradict previous studies, you should let the reader know that these results cannot be used beyond the study population and setting.
This section should be 1-2 pages long and include your plan for sharing the results of your project within the organization and within the professional community. Discuss who would be invited to the presentation of results at the institution and your plan for how you will present the information. Also, discuss your plans for presentation at regional or national meetings and/or publication. If publication is planned, discuss what journal you will submit your manuscript to and why.
Conclusions should relate directly to your purpose and project question. They are generalizations that loop back to the existing literature on your topic. For each conclusion you make, cite the sources that support or contradict your findings. The conclusion should represent the contribution your practice project has made to the body of scientific knowledge on this topic and they should be related to the significance of the study, which is always, in some way, to improve nursing practice. Conclusions indicate what is now known regarding nursing practice when your results and results from prior literature are considered together.
Remember this is a reference list rather than a bibliography. If there is not a citation for a reference, it should not be here. PLEASE make sure your references and your citations throughout the paper are in APA format. You can go from an A paper to a B paper on APA errors alone. Take the time to make sure they are correct.
NOTE: Order these appendices in the order in which they were referred to in the paper.
Summary of Primary Research Evidence (this table should be single space)
|Citation||Question or Hypothesis||Theoretical Foundation||Research Design (include tools) and Sample Size||Key Findings||Recommendations/
|Level of Evidence|
Summary of Systematic Reviews (SR) (this table should be single space)
|Data Extraction and Analysis||Key Findings||Recommendation/
|Level of Evidence|
|Activity||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Week 8||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Week 8|
|Meet with faculty/preceptor||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐|
|Activity||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Week 8||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Week 8|
|Meet with faculty/preceptor||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐||☐|
Data Collection Tool for Evaluation (Use the name of the tool here)
Place the permission to use the tool here.
Other appendices that are likely to be includes are the data collection tools, consent form, instructional design table for educational component of project.
Plan for Educational Offering
|OBJECTIVES||CONTENT (Topics)||TEACHING METHODS||TIMEFRAME||EVALUATION METHOD|
|Learner-oriented with one measurable behavioral verb per objective.||Outline of the content to be covered that will enable the learners to meet their objectives||
Describe the teaching methods, strategies, materials, and resources for each objective.
|Identify how much time (in minutes) devoted to each objective/content area||Describe how each objective will be evaluated; identify question number that evaluates this objective if using a test, teach back for patient education, or other methods of evaluating learning|
|Salary and benefits||Grants|
|Supplies||Institutional budget support|
|Total Expenses||Total Revenue|
|Column Head||Column Head||Column Head||Column Head||Column Head|
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Figure 1. [Include all figures in their own section, following references (and footnotes and tables, if applicable). Include a numbered caption for each figure. Use the Table/Figure style for easy spacing between figure and caption.]
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