The I&I module at level 7 is an unusual module in that there are few formal sessions and the outcome (the assessment) is based on interaction with your facilitator. There are no set answers, no formal frameworks, and no ‘right’ answers. I appreciate this can be daunting for students who are used to essays with definitive guidelines but you are all coming to the end of a Master’s degree and it is expected at this level you should show novelty and critical thinking in your work.
Each student is going to create a piece of work that focuses on something they are interested in. To support you in this you will have a designated facilitator who will be your main source of support. Facilitators can not be chosen – they will be allocated.
The assignment is split into two parts (both 2,500 words +/- 10%):
In order to ‘succeed’ in this module you are required to meet the learning outcomes in your project write up and these are detailed under each heading.
Part One: Project proposal
Relevant learning outcomes:
Knowledge and Understanding
- Critically analyse the literature, contextualising the rationale behind the work-based practice project proposal, demonstrating initiative and decision making.
3. Demonstrate how the underpinning module knowledge, skills and attitudes apply to their specific fields of nursing and to the essential needs of all service users.
Skills and attributes
- Show mastery in systematically accessing and critiquing the relevant literature and evidence base related to the work-based practice project proposal.
- Use principles and approaches of evidence-based nursing practice and initiative to design a work-based practice project proposal within their specialist field of nursing which is underpinned by appropriate evidence.
The first thing you will need to do is to identify a gap in the care of the service users in your particular areas. This is where the innovation comes in.
- The gap must be nursing related (not medical and then justified by saying ‘nurses are Involved’). This is a nursing Masters.
- The gap can be anything that will improve care – and this includes helping nurses with their workload/resilience/education. For instance, a previous project reported on the possibility of ‘huddles’ in improving safety (though there has been an argument for resilience huddles as well – which seems to be a form of debrief).
- The ‘innovation’ of the gap can be something that is already implemented elsewhere (geographically or in another field of nursing) that you think would be useful in a particular area. For instance, students have previously used both Mental Health and Learning Disability nursing ideas and transferred them to the adult nursing field.
- Don’t make the project too big – it is better to think at unit level, rather than county wide or bigger.
- If you think you have a gap/innovation then my advice is to go to Google scholar and do a quick ‘scoping’ search. If Scholar returns few hits then there is probably not enough literature for you to write the first part of the project. Too much may be okay but be aware you need to find your gap and it may have been filled if there is that much research out there.
- Once you think you have an idea and have done a scoping review then please review the concept with your facilitator Once you have your gap, and a go ahead from a module staff member, you will need to show that the gap exists and how you could close that gap. In this case government reports, guidelines, best practice, and editorial/opinion pieces are acceptable.
Once you have your gap you can then put together a collation of published literature that will help you both prove there is a gap but also support your proposed ‘solution’. As a master’s level student it is expected that you will critically analyse the published literature but please note: critical analysis is not just pointing out what is ‘wrong’ with the research, the strengths of the research must be explored (otherwise why are you using it). Students often ask how many pieces of published literature they should include, and I am afraid there is no definite answer to this. This is a choice you will need to make; the literature review must be comprehensive enough to support the proposed innovation whilst allowing sufficient depth of analysis within the word count.
• Each piece of literature critiqued should be used to back up your particular project. Please do not just review research in that general area.
• At the end you should have a discussion that shows that your particular innovation is valuable to the improvement of patient care.
• Sometimes students create a project that is truly unique. That can be good – but be warned that will require the use of literature that is not directly related to your project. For instance, one student wrote a project about creating pressure cushions for commodes. Needless to say there is NO research in this area (in the end it is too much of an infection risk and would be far too costly). In order to write this up the student looked at research on how pressure sores develop and the material used in pressure relieving materials. In the end she passed the assignment BUT it was a hard journey. I would only recommend this route if you are good at writing as it does require some very focussed thinking.
The literature review is the first piece of work you will be required to submit – see assessment table below. Requests for extensions should be sent to the appropriate field lead (Karen, Emmanuel or Debra).
Part two: Project Plan
Relevant learning outcomes:
Knowledge and Understanding
2. Critically explore how the work-based practice project proposal will be guided to a successful conclusion, identifying strategies of evaluation to evidence this.
The principle behind the project plan is to create a usable management plan for the implementation of the proposed innovation. One of the reasons it is best to avoid a large scale innovation is that the management of the project become very complicated and thus it is best to undertake a small project at ward/unit/team level. Please note this is not a pilot project – avoid using terms such as pilot project as they tend to take you down the route of research literature.
As there is a significant time gap between this piece of work and the project proposal you will be required to submit a short summary (maximum 500 words) of the original proposal at the beginning of the management plan (do not submit it separately) using the identified template. This will aid the marker when marking the project plan. The summary is not marked and does not count towards the word count.
- It is expected the change management plan will be based on a change management model – there are many models available but always keep in mind that this piece of work is reasonably short and the more complex the model the greater the explanation will be required for the marker.
- Many nursing management texts have guides on change management and they are all
valuable resources. Please do not use websites such as “businessballs.com” as academic references.
- Be practical in your plan, remember this is a small project with limited resources. We are trying to get you to create a project that is feasible for a newly qualified nurse and nationwide projects involving multiple staff are not suitable.
- Change management is primarily about people and it is expected that the change management plan will be focus on that.
- Money and resources required do not require a detailed breakdown but if there is a significant cost implication to the project then this should be acknowledged in light of the potential benefit.
Evaluation is the final aspect of the management plan.
• The measures that you use to perform the evaluation can be varied but don’t use too many. It is probably best to use one main model and, if useful, mention other models for comparison. The project is to improve patient experience/safety so focus on measuring how those are affected. For many projects the actual measure will be of the implementation of the concept. For instance, in creating a discharge passport it is better to audit the passport use itself rather than its effect. Thus, you would audit whether the passport is used for every discharge and if all the sections of the passport are completed.
• The audit cycle is a common tool in the NHS and may be of value, there are a lot of resources/examples out there.
• DO NOT create a research proposal. If it requires ethics approval it is research.
The change management plan is the second piece of work you will be required to submit – see assessment table below. Requests for extensions should be sent to the appropriate field lead (Karen, Emmanuel or Debra).
It is your responsibility to make sure you know your submission dates as they are based on the practice line you are on.
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|Submission date (by 10:00)||Marking complete for internal moderation||Marks released to students|
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Each student will be allocated a facilitator at the start of their teaching block (depending on practice line). The purpose of the facilitator is to advise based on student work – they will not tell you what topic/project to write, nor will they give any indication of the potential mark any project may attain.
Students are expected to come to tutorials prepared – attending a tutorial without having done any prep work is a waste of time for the student and the facilitator.
Normally students will be allowed one hour’s tutorial support per piece of work (2 hours in total) plus discussion time to decide on a project topic. No tutorial can be booked in the week before a submission date. Facilitators will look at a 500-word draft once per piece of work and give feedback on it. Again, this must not be sent in the week before a submission is due. Students must expect up to 5 working days to read and comment on a draft.