ST. JOHN FISHER COLLEGE

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1 ST. JOHN FISHER COLLEGE WEGMANS SCHOOL OF NURSING MASTERS OF NURSING MASTERS CAPSTONE HANDBOOK

2 The purpose of this handbook is to offer guidance to graduate students as they develop their masters capstone (formerly known as the thesis or project). It includes a review of the courses that play a role in the development of the capstone and the roles of faculty that may assist the student in this process. Student sequences of courses will vary if student started the sequence of GNUR 501 and GNUR 502 (previous curriculum) or GNUR 503 and GNUR 504 (submitted proposed curriculum). To be considered for admission to capstone courses, the student must have received at least a B in GNUR 501 and GNUR 502 or GNUR 503 and GNUR 504. COURSE AND STUDENT ACTIVITY GNUR 501 Scientific Inquiry 1 and GNUR 502 Scientific Inquiry 2 Theory Critique and Application: Apply published standards/criteria for analysis and evaluation of nursing or other discipline's theory relevant to human health and behavior and to create an application of the theory to a specific clinical scenario. Problem Statement: Identify a nursing research question and create a testable hypothesis or answerable question. Demonstrate understanding of significance of problem to nursing knowledge and practice reality. Literature Review and Critique: Select at least eight research articles for critique related to one of the variables stated in a specific research questions or problems statement. Review the state of the research knowledge; decide which approach to inquiry (qualitative or quantitative) best fits the research question based on literature review. Statistics review: Use PASW (formerly known as SPSS) or other software program to analyze a clinical data set and present relevant graphs and charts to summarize findings. Expand abilities to read and understand clinical nursing and health-related research studies. Analyze published research for scientific merit and decide if the knowledge is practice ready. Understand the methods necessary to plan, conduct and evaluate a clinical program or intervention. Understand the methods necessary to formulate an evaluation question, design a systematic inquiry process, collect and analyze data, and prepare/deliver written and oral report of the program evaluation project. Write proposal in grant format. OR GNUR 503 Foundations in Nursing Research and GNUR 504 Evidence-based Research in Nursing Differentiate patterns of knowing in the theoretical foundations of nursing practice and research. Analyze the philosophical perspectives, concepts, and propositions in the evaluation of theory for nursing practice and research. Differentiate quantitative and qualitative methods and research designs to explore health related concepts. Explain the links between theory, research, and practice. Use foundational research concepts to provide a rigorous synthesis and evaluation of the scientific merit of research studies from nursing and other health-related disciplines. Explore and apply descriptive statistics used in the research process.

3 Value a spirit of inquiry as part of one s professional role. Explore ethical and cultural dimensions of nursing research. Appreciate the role of evidence-based practice to improve nursing practice and health care. Understand the expectations for evidence-based research in performance improvement.) Apply evolving theories and models of knowledge transformation in advanced practice nursing. Explore the application of descriptive and inferential statistics in the research process. Advocate for the ethical conduct of research. Apply critical appraisal methods to evaluate the evidence. Discuss methods for dissemination of evidence and EPP Outcomes. Identify funding opportunities to support evidence-based practice initiatives. Cultivate a spirit of inquiry as part of one s professional role. Following the completion of GNUR 501/ GNUR 502 or GNUR 503/504 the student will have the following items to include in the masters capstone portfolio necessary for successful completion of the project; Matrices (prepared in the Garrard method) for a minimum of 8 articles pertinent to the chosen topic area and included in the systematic review done in GNUR 501/GNUR 503, an additional 4 articles will be done to update the material in GNUR 502/GNUR 504 (for a total of 12). While additional matrices will not be required as long as the student has not changed the topic, the student will be required to update the pertinent review of literature prior to completion of the project dissemination. Systematic review in the form of an academic poster demonstrating the process of systematic review of the articles, analysis of the findings and synthesis including implications for nursing. The (power point format) poster will be printed out in letter size and included in the portfolio. Proposal in grant format (suitable for IRB application) for proposed research activities. Students may only be considered for Masters capstone if they have received at least a B+ in both GNUR 501/502 or GNUR 503/504 and their concept has received approval from the GPD or designee. In the situations when a student has changed their project topic OR a student has transferred in the GNUR 501/503 equivalent, it does NOT negate the requirement of the matrices and systematic review for the topic being submitted for consideration of the masters capstone. The systematic review may be in the form of a (electronic version and letter-size) poster or paper at the discretion of the GPD or designee. Students should contact the faculty of record for the masters capstone course (GNUR696) for consideration of assignment of an independent study course. This is in consideration of additional work required by the student to meet this requirement included in the 501/502 or 503/504 courses that position the student to successfully complete the capstone seminar requirements, as well as to secure the additional faculty resources necessary for student success. The Graduate Program Director or his/her designee will determine the faculty of record for the independent study. While every effort will be made to assist the student in

4 keeping with their desired timeline for progression, faculty availability may be a factor in the ability to register for GNUR 676, especially during the summer months. While currently these courses (below) are listed separately-they may meet concurrently and have the same requirements for successful completion. GNUR 696 Masters Capstone (formerly Masters Project and Masters Thesis ) This scholarly research project or activity provides the student with the opportunity to synthesize the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the graduate program. The master s capstone allows the student to choose an area of clinical interest and create a project or activity that may include original research, program planning, grantsmanship or program evaluation. Students may choose to implement and evaluate their intervention in their project if the intervention is focused on health promotion and education. The outcome of this course is successful application to the SJFC IRB including letters of support from any collaborating institution. Both the teaching faculty of the courses must deem the IRB application as satisfactory prior to submission to the IRB. A copy of this application in its entirety including all appendices and letters of support will be included in the masters capstone portfolio (along with a letter noting IRB approval from any and all relevant agencies requiring approval.) Certain institutions may require the successful completion of their own IRB process prior to allowing submission to the SJFC IRB. The student will be mentored throughout the duration of the course in completing all required IRB applications as time permits. If additional IRB applications are required after the initial IRB completion (collaborating institution or SJFC), it is the responsibility of the student to request faculty assistance as needed and to submit the necessary IRB applications in a timely manner. Upon obtaining all IRB approvals, a final electronic copy of the IRB application and letter of acceptance must be sent to the GNUR 696 faculty or the GPD designee. GNUR 697 Masters Capstone Completion This scholarly research project or activity provides the student with the opportunity to disseminate the completed results of the project or activity that included original research, program planning, grantsmanship or program evaluation. The outcome of this course is The demonstration of research competencies, ability to write and present their research and findings for faculty and student review. This scholarly activity prepares students for the next level of scholarship at the doctoral level. Students registering for GNUR 697 must be in the final phases of data collection and be actively preparing the dissemination outcome. Students must successfully finish the dissemination process for successful completion of GNUR 697 requirements. The granting of an Incomplete is done only in extreme circumstances and is done solely on the decision of the faculty of record. GNUR 698 Masters Capstone Continuation Students who do not complete the course requirements for their capstone by the end of GNUR 697 will be required to register for the 1 credit capstone continuation course to facilitate continued faculty assistance in the completion of the capstone. Overview: Student Process for Masters Capstone

5 Once finished with both GNUR 501 and GNUR 502 or GNUR 503 and GNUR 504, students must contact the Graduate Program Director or the faculty assigned to advisement of the capstone projects. The faculty, in collaboration with the student, will determine if the student has chosen a viable capstone project and has demonstrated all skills necessary to successfully to complete the undertaking (as determined by grades in GNUR 501 and 502 and writing skills demonstrated). Permission from the faculty advisor for this process is required for the student to register for GNUR696 (Masters Capstone). Student support for the masters capstone may come from both the faculty instructing the seminar course and any specific faculty designated as content or methodology expert. The seminars meet 4 times /semester and attendance is mandatory for successful completion. Students meet with his/her additional faculty support person as often as needed. Once finished with the GNUR 676 (Masters Capstone) seminars and/or obtaining the necessary IRB approval, the student may begin data collection. Students should continue to work with the faculty advisor during this time. Students sign up for GNUR 677 (Continuing Credit) when they are ready to do data analysis and write up their final paper. This can be done any semester after completion of the initial Capstone course until the final semester of study. The milestone of final Capstone (Continuing Credit) is the completed project. It is important that the student not register for the final course until they are ready to do data analysis and finish the written requirements of the capstone portfolio. Since the milestone of the final Capstone course is the completed project-failure to complete the project in a timely manner for course completion may result in an unsatisfactory grade. Students receiving two failing grades (either failure or unsatisfactory grades) will be academically dismissed from the program. Please see the handbook on the policies regarding withdrawal from the class to avoid failure. Incompletes are granted solely at the discretion of the individual faculty of record and can never be assumed. There are two different types of research or related activities that are acceptable for inclusion in the masters capstone portfolio. A project is action-based and intended to address a clinical problem. It is based on robust planning for the project based on theory, with a goal of determining the practical relevance of a potential solution to the clinical problem. The planning is followed by delivery of the project, monitoring of its implementation, and evaluation of outcomes. The project can assist the student in identifying the components of organizational change and learning how to manage, deliver, and control change successfully, including effective engagement of stakeholders. The student can develop an understanding of how and why things succeed (or not succeed) in the work environment. The project could also focus on the development of a clinical resource needed in a particular clinical practice environment. The completed project may be reported in different forms which include a scholarly paper accompanied by descriptive or inferential statistics if appropriate; an educational module, or a program evaluation or a grant. Program improvement projects may require a report back to the collaborating agency. A submission ready manuscript is also an acceptable format for successful completion of these scholarly initiatives. In circumstances when the dissemination of the results is not appropriate for a submission ready manuscript, the GNUR 697 faculty may assign a combination of poster and report dissemination methods necessary to fulfill the capstone requirements.

6 The thesis is a formal and lengthy research paper which is may be organized in the chapter format or may be submitted in a submission ready manuscript. It is the culmination of a research process that includes appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics if quantitative in focus. The thesis reports on a research problem, an area of clinical concern where there is a knowledge gap in what is needed for informing nursing practice around the problem, or replication of a previous study. Quantitative (descriptive, quasi-experimental, and other) designs or qualitative (phenomenological, historical, and other) approaches may be utilized to investigate the questions or hypotheses and an intervention may or may not be tested. Limited descriptive statistics may also be represented in a primarily qualitative capstone project. The faculty of GNUR 697 and GNUR 698 (Masters Capstone and Continuing Credit) along with any consulting faculty on content or methods will assist the student in determining the optimal format for submission of the major written component of the masters capstone. The format may include ; Traditional 5 chapter format Submission ready manuscript with a target journal identified that is appropriate for the topic, scope and level of research intensity prepared according to instructions for authors for the designated journal Outcome report of a program improvement project done for a collaborating institution. Because these reports are generally much shorter than the other dissemination methods, the student will additionally do a poster appropriate for institutional dissemination or a clinical paper closely related to the chosen topic. If the submission ready manuscript format is chosen, the following items will be included in the final Masters Capstone portfolio; Completed matrices (Garrard Method or other format approved by faculty of GNUR 501 or GNUR 503) for a minimum of twelve research based articles consistent with the subject matter in the submitted manuscript. (8 of these completed matrices are outcomes in GNUR 501 or GNUR 503, the remaining 4 are required when updating the literature review in GNUR 502 or GNUR 504). Systematic review demonstrating critique and synthesis of the above articles presented in an academic poster format or paper format if designated by the GPD or designee. Copy of submission ready manuscript. Students transferring in the equivalent of GNUR 501/GNUR 503 must meet with the Graduate Program Director or designee to arrange an independent study or other arrangements for support in completing the above noted requirements. Institutional Review Board (IRB) The student is responsible for knowing the College s Policy and Procedures for Protection of Human Subjects of Research. A copy of the IRB policy and procedures is available on the college intranet. Since some of the graduate nursing student s projects may involve human subjects, the student must consult with faculty regarding the IRB policies and procedures in relation to her/his selected topic. The WSON also has an IRB that reviews projects that are deemed of low risk to human subjects. The proposal is prepared per the SJFC IRB expectations but with WSON accompanying face sheet information. The GNUR 696 faculty will

7 assist the student in determining which process is necessary for their individual capstone. Students should have an IRB packet when they begin to write their project proposal. Students should review the packet and determine which level of review their project requires: exempt from review, expedited, or full review (MS project advisors can assist with this determination). Review & approval from IRB must be obtained prior to data collection from human subjects. SJFC or WSON IRB and any necessary collaborating institution approval is required for ALL masters capstone portfolios. The faculty of GNUR 696 (Masters Capstone I) will assist the student in determining the appropriate level of SJFC IRB approval (exempt, expedited or full) and if other collaborating agencies will require IRB approval of their specific institutions. Collecting data involving human subjects without (all) prior appropriate IRB approval is not acceptable and can be grounds for dismissal from the program. PROCESS OF SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE MASTERS CAPSTONE Faculty Advisor The faculty advisor for the GNUR 697/GNUR 559 will be the primary determinant of successful completion of the masters capstone project. Additional faculty may provide input in the process requirements of successful completion as deemed necessary by the Capstone primary faculty as well as the Graduate Program Director. All project dissemination must be submitted through Turn it In as assigned in GNUR 697/GNUR 559. Second Reader/Consulting faculty The function of the second reader will be done by the WSON faculty member that is assigned by the Graduate Program Director or their designee. This person is frequently the second faculty teaching in the GNUR 696/697 or GNUR 558/GNUR 559 sequence. This person will be chosen for their specific expertise in the content area of the submission or the methodology. This person assures that all the recommendations in the grading rubrics have been met satisfactorily. Should the faculty advisor and the second reader disagree on whether the capstone satisfactorily meets the requirements of WSON, the Graduate Program Director or their designee will hear the concerns of the faculty advisor and the consulting faculty and render the final decision. After completion of the MS capstone project, the student is responsible for having both the primary advisor and the second reader sign the title sheet. A digital version (CD) with the entire project dissemination (not including matrices)and IRB application documents must be delivered to the school of nursing and uploaded to the Lavery Library with all appropriate permissions completed for posting in Digital Commons (SJFC online repository).

8 Wegmans School of Nursing Manuscript Dissemination Project Rubric Student: Advisor: Second Reader: Title of Project: Date of Review: Date of Review: Graded S= satisfactory U=unsatisfactory N/A= not applicable or not always needed Journal chosen is relevant and timely for dissemination of project. Advisor S/U/N/A Second Reader Manuscript dissemination submission is an accurate portrayal of research data. Manuscript dissemination submission is organized per journal preferred guidelines

9 Manuscript dissemination submission follows preferred referencing guidelines (APA, AMA, etc.) including referencing of resources and all tables and graphs Wegmans School of Nursing EBP Protocol/Guideline Project Rubric

10 Student: Advisor: Second Reader: Title of Project: Date of Review: Date of Review: Graded S= satisfactory U=unsatisfactory N/A= not applicable or not always needed Title page: title, student s name and credentials, proposal date, refer to template Advisor S/U/N/A Second Reader Chapter 1 Statement of clinical problem, question or educational Goal Concisely stated Clearly defined Sufficiently narrowed down to be answered by a selected methodology or teaching method Significance to Nursing Background and need for this study Relationship of identified problem or educational goal to previous research is clear. Theoretical or conceptual Framework Provides clarity and easily linked with clinical question/problem Educational/teaching frameworks for health care providers must clearly identify the target population ie: directed at the level of a MS

11 prepared APN. Concepts clearly defined and relationship among concepts identified Chapter 2 Literature Review Provides overview of relevant studies including pertinent work from other disciplines Methods of systematically searching, obtaining and evaluating the literature is clearly defined A number of other sources of evidence (expert opinion, committee reports etc) have been considered The resources evaluated are appropriate to answer the purpose, objectives or goals of this problem Gaps and limitations are identified in the literature and suggestions for future research are identified S/U Methodology and guideline/protocol development A summary of pertinent criteria to be included or excluded for guideline/protocol development has been

12 identified and supported by the literature Protocol/guideline development method clearly articulated A clear link is present between the literature review and the proposed guideline/protocol Health benefits, side effects and risks have been identified when formulating protocol/guideline Data collection methods and/or evaluation methods are appropriate and clearly stated Target population(s) to provide evaluation are identified i.e. : patient, professional organization, guideline/protocol users etc. Reliability and validity issues related to data measures or evaluation methods are identified Human subject protection is considered and IRB requirement or nonrequirement clearly articulated Proposed clinical protocol/guideline attached as an appendix S/U Clinical Protocol/Evaluation Evaluation criteria clearly described

13 and at a minimum should include; Scope, purpose and objectives clearly defined Target population identified including population limitations Stake holder involvement assessed i.e. : patient consideration and preferences, input from relevant professional organizations Systematic methods were used to develop the guideline/protocol and recommendations are linked with supporting resources. Statement on how, when and by whom guidelines are to be updated Guidelines are clear, unambiguous and key recommendations are easy to find Alternatives for guideline application are identified ie: based upon various clinical presentations or target populations If appropriate, tools for application are included Organizational barriers in applying the guideline are discussed Costs of applying the recommendations versus benefits have been considered Proposed changes to department organization or present policy/procedures

14 have been considered Conflicts of interest are clearly stated S/U Interpretation & Discussion of Findings Summary and analysis of evaluation methods and findings Identification of limitations Implications for Nursing Practice Recommendations for future research. Appendices S/U Including but not limited to data collection forms, examples of documentation, flow charts APA-6 format and writing style S/U S/U

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16 Wegmans School of Nursing Educational Program Rubric Student: Advisor: Second Reader: Title of Project: Date of Review: Date of Review: Criterion Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader Title page: title, student s name and credentials, proposal date, refer to template Chapter 1: Introduction General Overview Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader Provides a general description of the educational project Purpose Describes the purpose of the educational program and nature and significance of the specific learning need Learning Theory Identifies and describes the learning theory or other theoretical framework for the educational program design Chapter 2: Literature Review Provides background knowledge of and supports the educational program need from the literature review Validates the educational program content from evidence-based resources Chapter 3: Methods Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader

17 Ethics Describes ethical aspects of implementing and studying the educational program, (i.e., privacy, employment concerns, human protections, potential conflicts of interest), and how ethical concerns were addressed Learners Describes the targeted learner population Setting Describes the targeted site(s) and specifies elements of the learning environment considered most likely to influence learning outcomes Validates organizational support of the program as necessary Needs Assessment Identifies and describes the target audience, learning needs/deficits/assets, barriers to learning, recruitment of learners Completes a learner (and/or organizational) needs assessment (e.g., pretest, focus group, survey, literature review) Identifies resources/supports available for program implementation Educational Program Instructional Design Describes the educational program and its instructional

18 design in sufficient detail to include delivery method (e.g., hybrid, traditional class), curriculum and lesson plans (i.e., outline of objectives, content, teaching strategies, timeframe, instructional materials, evaluation, references) Indicates factors that contributed to the selection of the specific instructional design elements Methods for Evaluating Learning Outcomes Identifies evaluation/assessment methods (e.g., summative and/or formative) and levels of evaluation (e.g., process, content, outcome, impact, and/or total program) Describes aspects of the evaluation design that specifically concerned internal validity (integrity of the data) and external validity (generalizability) Describes instruments and evaluation procedures Reports efforts to validate and test reliability of assessment instruments Explains methods used to assure data quality and adequacy Analysis Provides details of qualitative and quantitative (statistical) methods used to draw inferences from the data

19 Describes analytic methods Chapter 4: Results Demographics Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader Describes demographic characterizes relevant to the learners Review of the Literature Provides accurate and thorough review of pertinent literature relevant for development of program and/or delivery of program to participants. Expert Review Provides accurate and thorough results of pertinent expert review Program Implementation Explains the actual course of the educational program or proposed use of educational program if not being administered Documents degree of success in implementing the proposed educational program components if implementation has occurred. Learning Outcomes Presents process evaluation data (e.g., program objectives met, participant satisfaction) Presents content evaluation data (e.g., knowledge, attitudes, change in behavior) Presents data on other levels of

20 evaluation completed (e.g., outcome, impact, total program) Chapter 5: Discussion Summary Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader Summarizes the most important successes and difficulties in implementing the educational program, and main changes in knowledge/skills/attitudes/behavi ors of learners Highlights the program s particular strength(s) Relation to other evidence Compares and contrasts results of the educational program with relevant findings of others, drawing on broad review of the literature Limitations Considers sources of confounding, bias, or imprecision in design, measurement, and analysis that might have affected program outcomes (internal validity) Explores factors that affect generalizability (external validity) Describes plans for sustaining learning Reviews efforts made to minimize and adjust for program limitations Assesses the effect of program limitations on interpretation and application of results

21 Interpretation Explores possible reasons for differences between observed and expected outcomes Draws inferences about causal mechanisms of changes based on data, paying attention to components of the educational program and context factors that helped determine the program's effectiveness (or lack thereof), and types of settings in which this program is most likely to be effective Suggests steps that might be modified to improve future programs Reviews issues of financial cost of the educational program Conclusions Considers overall practical usefulness of the educational program for nursing practice Suggests implications for further educational programs Appendices Including but not limited to needs assessment and evaluation tools, permissions obtained, recruitment materials, informed consent forms, data collection forms, letters of reference, curriculum, lesson plans APA format and writing style Submitted to TurnItIn Adapted from SQUIRE Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting

22 Wegmans School of Nursing Quality Improvement Project Rubric Student: Advisor: Second Reader: Title of Project: Date of Review: Date of Review: Criterion Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader Title page: title, student s name and credentials, proposal date, refer to template Chapter 1: Introduction Why did you start this project? Background knowledge Advisor S/U/N/A Second reader Summarizes current knowledge of the care problem and characteristics of organizations in which it occurs Local problem Describes the nature and severity of the specific local problem or system dysfunction that was addressed Intended improvement Describes the specific aim (changes or improvements in care processes and patient outcomes) of the proposed intervention Specifies who (stakeholders, champions, supporters) and what (events, observations) triggered the decision to make

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