NURS 6600 Week 2 Introduction to the Practicum Project and the Professional Portfolio Essay Assignment

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NURS 6600 Week 2 Introduction to the Practicum Project and the Professional Portfolio Essay Assignment

In Week 1, you began preparing for your practicum as an avenue for professional growth and development.

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. This week, you consult with your practicum Faculty Member and Preceptor to identify a focus for your project. There is no Discussion this week so that you can concentrate on generating up to three ideas for your Practicum Project to discuss during your scheduled phone call.

As you continue to engage in your practicum, remember to record your hours and activities and reflect on your experiences in your practicum setting. Your Practicum Time Log and Journal (including Journal Entry 1) is due in Week 3.

In addition, this week you reflect on the benefits of creating a Professional Portfolio and give thought to how you can use an electronic Portfolio to showcase your achievements in this MSN program. You examine the guidelines for assembling your Professional Portfolio, which is due in Week 11.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this week, students will:
  • Analyze a Practicum Experience in the context of nursing leadership and management or nursing informatics*
  • Construct a detailed practicum time log*
  • Evaluate evidence that demonstrates professional growth for inclusion in a Professional Portfolio**

*You continue working on the Assignments related to these Learning Objectives, introduced in Week 1 and submitted in Week 3.

**The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 11.

Consider the following scenario:

For Veronica, the thought of developing a project for her practicum was exciting. She had so many ideas that she was unsure where to focus her attention. For instance, the nurses at Veronica’s practicum setting often expressed concerns about patient hand-offs, something that she had apprehensions about as well. Veronica had also heard the Chief Financial Officer discuss the need to reduce costs associated with over-ordering supplies that expired before they could be used. In addition, through her coursework Veronica had studied an evidence-based practice that she thought the nurses could use to improve quality and safety for geriatric patients, but she had not seen any indications that it was currently applied at her practicum setting. She wondered which, if any, of these could provide a good starting point for her Practicum Project.

The Practicum Project is a critical component of this course. What problems, situations, issues, or potential areas for improvement are evident at your practicum setting? What needs would you most like to address?

This week, you discuss your interests with your practicum Faculty Member and Preceptor and, together, identify a focus for your Practicum Project.

To prepare for the phone call:

  • Review the information related to the Practicum Project in the School of Nursing Practicum Manual. The project may take up to half of your practicum hours to complete, and it must be completed on or before Day 5 of Week 11. If you include any sort of data-gathering tool as part of your project, you must receive IRB approval, and this type of project therefore will be difficult to complete on time. If you desire to extend your project timeline, you may discuss this option with your Instructor. However, if you desire to complete your project on or before Day 5 of Week 11, your project should not include surveys, focus groups, collection of data, or any activities that require 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?
  • Identify two or three topics for a Practicum Project to discuss with your practicum Faculty Member and Preceptor. Each of these topics 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.
  • Consider any questions you may have about practicum guidelines or what the Practicum Project entails. Plan to discuss these questions with your practicum Faculty Member and Preceptor during your phone call this week.

Assignment 2: Practicum Time Log and Practicum Journal

Time Log

Continue to record your practicum hours.

Journal Entry 1

Instructions for completing Journal Entry 1 are provided in Week 3.

Your Time Log entries and Journal Entry 1 are due on or before Day 7 of Week 3.

Assignment 3: Professional Portfolio

What are the benefits of creating a Professional Portfolio? How can you use a Portfolio to demonstrate your strengths and accomplishments?

According to Jeanne Floyd, PhD, RN, CAE, ANCC Executive Director, “nurses need to track more professional development information today than ever before” (HealthStream, 2013). Creating and maintaining a digital Professional Portfolio allows nursing professionals to provide employers and others with documentation quickly and easily.

In this course, you draw from your previous coursework in this Master of Science in Nursing program to develop your Professional Portfolio.

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