Nursing

The Direct Practice Improvement Project Title Appears in Title Case and Is Centered Comment by Author: NOTE: All notes and comments are keyed to the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association (APA) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, footnotes, and the reference page. For specifics, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For additional information on APA Style, consult the APA website: http://apastyle.org/learn/index.aspxGENERAL FORMAT RULES:Manuscripts must be 12-point Times New Roman typeface, double-spaced on quality standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and right side. For binding purposes, the left margin is 1.5 in. [8.03]. To set this in Word, go to:Page Layout > Page Setup>Margins > Custom Margins> Top: 1” Bottom: 1” Left: 1.5” Right: 1” Click “Okay”Page Layout>Orientation>Portrait>NOTE: All text lines are double-spaced. This includes the title, headings, formal block quotes, references, footnotes, and figure captions. Single-spacing is only used within tables and figures [8.03]. The first line of each paragraph is indented 0.5 inch. Use the tab key which should be set at 5 to 7 spaces [8.03]. If a white tab appears in the comment box, click on the tab to read additional information included in the comment box.Please note: The section citations to APA Manual are provided in brackets throughout template. These brackets are not to be modeled for APA formatting. The information is included to help you locate material. Comment by Author: If the title is longer than one line, double-space it. As a rule, the title should be approximately 12 words. Titles should be descriptive and concise with no abbreviations, jargon, or obscure technical terms. The title should be typed in uppercase and lowercase letters [2.01].

Submitted by

Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Comment by Author: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

Equal Spacing

~2.0” – 2.5”

Direct Practice Improvement Project Proposal

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Equal Spacing

~2.0” – 2.5”

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

December 31, 2018

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

The Manuscript Title Appears in Title Case and Is Centered Comment by Author: If the title is longer than one line, double-space it. The title should be typed in upper and lowercase letters.

by

Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Comment by Author: For example: Jane Elizabeth Smith

Proposed Comment by Author: Please note that this page will change with your final DPI manuscript development. Make sure you begin to use the DPI Project Template after obtaining IRB approval.

[Insert Current Date]

DPI PROJECT COMMITTEE:

Full Legal Name, EdD, DBA, or PhD, Manuscript Chair

Full Legal Name, EdD, DBA, or PhD, Committee Member

Full Legal Name, EdD, DBA, or PhD, Committee Member

Abstract Comment by Author: The abstract is an accurate, nonevaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research project. It is not an introduction, and is usually the last thing written. The purpose of the abstract is to assist future investigators in accessing the project material and other vital information contained in the practice improvement project. Although only a relatively few people typically read the full practice improvement project after publication, the abstract will be read by many scholars and investigators. Consequently, great care must be taken in writing this section of the practice improvement project. The abstract is a concise statement of the nature of the project and content of the practice improvement project. The content of the abstract covers the problem statement, clinical questions, methodology, design, data analysis procedures, location, sample, theoretical foundations, results, and implications. The abstract does not appear in the Table of Contents and has no page number. Abstracts must be double-spaced and no longer than 1 page. The abstract must be fully justified with no indentions and no citations. Refer to the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, for additional guidelines for the development of the practice improvement project abstract.

Rationale/Background: Provide one to two statements describing the nature of the project topic and introducing the problem.

Purpose: State the purpose of the project. Please make sure your purpose statement is the same throughout the manuscript.

Theoretical Framework: Include approximately one to two statements summarizing the theoretical framework.

Project Method and Design: Include approximately two to four statements summarizing the methodology and design.

Data Results: Identify the population and the sample size. Briefly describe the approach for data analysis and results of statistical tests. State whether the results were statistically significant and include numeric values.

Implications: Conclude the abstract with one to two statements describing how the results of your project directly impacted practice at your site, and recommendations for what should be done in the future based on the findings of the project. Comment by Author: You may use these headings to separate the content, or you may remove the headings and make the abstract one single paragraph.

Keywords: Abstract, assist future investigators, 150 to 250 words, vital information Comment by Author: Make sure to add the keywords at the bottom of the abstract to assist future investigators.

Table of Contents Chapter 1: Introduction to the Project 1 Background of the Project 4 Problem Statement 5 Purpose of the Project 6 Clinical Question(s) 8 Advancing Scientific Knowledge 10 Significance of the Project 11 Rationale for Methodology 12 Nature of the Project Design 13 Definition of Terms 14 Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations 16 Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Project 18 Chapter 2: Literature Review 20 Theoretical Foundations 22 Review of the Literature 24 Theme 1. You may want to organize this section by themes and subthemes. To do so, use the pattern below. 26 Theme 2. Chapter 2 can be particularly challenging with regard to APA format for citations and quotations. Refer to your APA manual frequently to make sure your citations are formatted properly. It is critical that each in-text citation is appropriately listed in the References section. 27 Summary 30 Chapter 3: Methodology 33 Statement of the Problem 34 Clinical Question 34 Project Methodology 35 Project Design 36 Population and Sample Selection 38 Instrumentation or Sources of Data 40 Validity 41 Reliability 41 Data Collection Procedures 42 Data Analysis Procedures 44 Ethical Considerations 46 Limitations 48 Summary 49 Appendix A 52 Appendix B 54

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Revised 10/26/2018 DNP Team (Learner: Please remove this footer)

Chapter 1 : Introduction to the Project Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 1 heading [3.03].

The Introduction section of Chapter 1 briefly overviews the project focus or practice problem, states why the project is worth conducting, and describes how the project will be completed. The introduction develops the significance of the project by describing how the project translates existing knowledge into practice, is new or different from other works and how it will benefit patients at your clinical site. This section should also briefly describe the basic nature of the project and provide an overview of the contents of Chapter 1. This section should be three or four paragraphs, or approximately one page, in length.

Keep in mind that you will write Chapters 1 through 3 as your practice improvement project proposal. However, there are changes that typically need to be made in these chapters to enrich the content or to improve the readability as you write the final practice improvement project manuscript. Often, after data analysis is complete, the first three chapters will need revisions to reflect a more in-depth understanding of the topic, change the tense to past tense, and ensure consistency.

To ensure the quality of both your proposal and your final practice improvement project and reduce the time for Academic Quality Review (AQR) reviews, your writing needs to reflect standards of scholarly writing from your very first draft. Each section within the proposal or practice improvement project should be well organized and presented in a way that makes it easy for the reader to follow your logic. Each paragraph should be short, clear, and focused. A paragraph should (a) be three to eight sentences in length, (b) focus on one point, topic, or argument, (c) include a topic sentence the defines the focus for the paragraph, and (d) include a transition sentence to the next paragraph. Include one space after each period. There should be no grammatical, punctuation, sentence structure, or American Psychological Association APA formatting errors. Verb tense is an important consideration for Chapters 1 through 3. For the proposal, the investigator uses present tense (e.g., “The purpose of this project is to…”), whereas in the practice improvement project, the chapters are revised into past tense (e.g., “The purpose of this project was to…”). Taking the time to put quality into each draft will save you time in all the steps of the development and review phases of the practice improvement project process. It will pay to do it right the first time. Comment by Author: Consider where you are in the process when determining past or present tense. If your project has been implemented, and you have finished your data collection, then the entire manuscript should be written in past tense.

As a doctoral investigator, it is your responsibility to ensure the clarity, quality, and correctness of your writing and APA formatting. The DC Network provides various resources to help you improve your writing. Neither your chairperson nor your committee members will provide editing of your documents, nor will the AQR reviewers provide editing of your documents. If you do not have outstanding writing skills, you will need to identify a writing coach, editor, or other resource to help you with your writing and to edit your documents.

The quality of a practice improvement project is not only defined by the quality of writing. It is also defined by the criteria that have been established for each section of the project. The criteria describe what must be addressed in each section within each chapter. As you develop a section, first read the section description. Then review the criteria contained in the table below the description. Use both the description and criteria as you write the section. It is important that the criteria are addressed in a way that it is clear to your chairperson, committee, and an external reviewer to illustrate that the criteria have been met. You should be able to point out where each criterion is met in each section. Prior to submitting a draft of your proposal or practice improvement project, or a single chapter to your chairperson, please assess yourself on the degree to which criteria have been met. There is a table at the end of each section for you to complete this self-assessment. Your chairperson may also assess each criterion when returning the document with feedback. The following scores reflect the readiness of the document:

· 3 = The criterion has been completely met. It is comprehensive and accurate. The section meeting the criterion is comprehensive and clear. The criterion information is very well written. The section addressing a criterion is located in a single spot; it is not distributed across various paragraphs. The criterion is immediately obvious to an external reviewer. In terms of writing, the section is perfect and ready to go into a journal article.

· 2 = The criterion is very close to being completely met. The section meeting the criterion is comprehensive, but may need to be further clarified. The criterion information is fairly well written, but may need minor editing. The section addressing a criterion is located in a single spot; it is not distributed across various paragraphs. It may not be obvious to an external reader and so may require some clarification. In terms of writing it is near perfect, but may need minor edits for clarity or APA formatting.

· 1 = The criterion is present, but the section needs significant work to completely meet expectations. The section meeting the criterion is not comprehensive and may need to be further clarified. The criterion information is fairly well written, but may need minor editing. The section addressing a criterion is not clearly located in a single spot; it appears to be distributed across various paragraphs. It may not be obvious to an external reader and requires some clarification. It needs some changes to structure, flow, paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.

· 0 = The criterion is not addressed because it is missing or is not appropriate.

Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Criterion Comment by Author: All of the criterion tables must be removed prior to all AQR, IRB, and final submissions. Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Introduction

This section briefly overviews the project focus or practice problem, why this project is worth conducting, and how this project will be completed. (Three or four paragraphs or approximately one page)

Practice improvement project topic is introduced.
Discussion provides an overview of what is contained in the chapter.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Background of the Project Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 2 heading [3.03].

The background section of Chapter 1 explains both the history of and the present state of the problem and the DPI project focus. This section summarizes the Background section from Chapter 2 and is two or three paragraphs in length.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Background of the Project

The background section explains both the history and the present state of the problem and project focus. This section summarizes the Background section from Chapter 2. (Two or three paragraphs)

This section provides an overview of the history of and present state of the problem and project focus.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Problem Statement

This section of the final manuscript is two or three paragraphs long. It clearly states the problem or project focus, the population affected, and how the project will contribute to solving the problem. This section of Chapter 1 should be comprehensive yet simple, providing context for the practice project.

A well-written problem statement begins with the big picture of the issue (macro) and works to the small, narrower, and more specific problem (micro). It clearly communicates the significance, magnitude, and importance of the problem and transitions into the Purpose of the Project with a declarative statement such as “It is not known if and to what degree/extent…” or “It is not known how/why and….”

Other examples are:

· It is not known_____.

· Absent from the literature ______.

· While the literature indicates ____________, it is not known in _________. (school/district/organization/community) if __________.

· It is not known how or to what extent ________________.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Problem Statement

This section includes the problem statement, the population affected, and how the project will contribute to solving the problem. (Two or three paragraphs)

This section states the specific problem for investigation by presenting a clear declarative statement that begins with “It is not known if and to what degree/extent…,” or “It is not known how/why and….”
This section identifies the need for the project.
This section identifies the broad population affected by the problem.
This section suggests how the project may contribute to solving the problem.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Purpose of the Project

The Purpose of the Project section of Chapter 1 should be two or three paragraphs long, provide a reflection of the problem statement, and identify how the project will be accomplished. It explains how the project will contribute to the field. The section begins with a declarative statement, “The purpose of this project is….” Included in this statement are also the project design, population, variables to be investigated, and the geographic location. Further, the section clearly defines the dependent and independent variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups for quantitative studies. Keep in mind that the purpose of the project is restated in other chapters of the practice improvement project and should be worded exactly as presented in this section of Chapter 1.

Creswell (2003) provided some sample templates for developing purpose statements aligned with the different project methods. Please see the template for quantitative method as follows: Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.

The purpose of this quantitative ___________ (correlational, descriptive, etc.) project is to ____________ (compare or see to what degree a relationship exists) between/among ______________________ (independent variable) to ___________________ (dependent variable) for ________________ (participants) at ___________________ (project site/geographical location). The ________ (independent variable) will be defined/measured as/by _______ (provide a general definition). The (dependent variable) will be defined/measured as/by ______ (provide a general definition).

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Purpose of the Project

The purpose statement section provides a reflection of the problem statement and identifies how the project will be accomplished. It explains how the project will contribute to the field. (Two or three paragraphs)

This section presents a declarative statement: “The purpose of this project is….” that identifies the project design, population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be investigated, and geographic location. Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.
This section identifies project method as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed, and identifies the specific design.
This section describes the specific population group and geographic location for the project.
This section defines the dependent and independent variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups (quantitative). Describes the nature of the phenomena to be explored (qualitative).
This section explains how the project will contribute to the field.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Clinical Question(s) Comment by Author: Make sure you customize this. It is either Clinical Question or Clinical Questions depending on whether or not you have more than one.

This section should be two or three paragraphs in length, narrow the focus of the project, and specify the clinical questions to address the problem statement. Based on the clinical questions, the section describes the variables or groups. The clinical questions should be derived from, and are directly aligned with, the problem and purpose statements, methods, and data analyses. The Clinical Questions section of Chapter 1 will be presented again in Chapter 3 to provide clear continuity for the reader and to help frame your data analysis in Chapter 4.

In a paragraph prior to listing the clinical questions, include a discussion of the clinical questions, relating them to the problem statement. Then, include a leading phrase to introduce the questions such as: The following clinical questions guide this quantitative project:

Q1:

Q2:

Q3:

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Clinical Question(s)

This section narrows the focus of the project and specifies the clinical questions to address the problem statement. Based on the clinical questions, it describes the variables or groups for a quantitative project or the phenomena under investigation for a qualitative project. (Two or three paragraphs) Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.

This section states the clinical questions the project will answer, identifies the variables, and predictive statements using the format appropriate for the specific design.
This section includes a discussion of the clinical questions, relating them to the problem statement.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Advancing Scientific Knowledge

The Advancing Scientific Knowledge section should be two or three paragraphs in length, and specifically describe how the project will advance population health outcomes on the topic. This advancement can be a small step forward in a line of the current clinical site practice, but it must add to the current body of knowledge in the literature. This section also identifies the gap or need based on the current literature and discusses how the project will address that gap or need. This section summarizes the Theoretical Foundations section from Chapter 2 by identifying the theory or model upon which the project is built. It also describes how the project will advance that theory or model.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Advancing Scientific Knowledge

This section specifically describes how the project will advance population health outcomes on the topic. It can be a small step forward in a line of current project, but it must add to the current body of knowledge in the literature. It identifies the gap or need based on the current literature and discusses how the project will address that gap or need. This section summarizes the Theoretical Foundations section from Chapter 2. (Two or three paragraphs)

This section clearly identifies the gap or need in the literature that was used to define the problem statement and develop the clinical questions.
This section describes how the project will address the gap or identified need in the literature. .
This section identifies the theory or model upon which the project is built.
This section describes how the project will advance the theory or model upon which the project is built.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Significance of the Project

This section identifies and describes the significance of the project. It also discusses the implications of the potential results based on the clinical questions and problem statement. Further, it describes how the project fits within and will contribute to the current literature or the clinical site practice. Finally, it describes the potential practical applications from the project. This section should be three or four paragraphs long and is of particular importance because it justifies the need for, and the relevance of, the project.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3)
Significance of the Project

This section identifies and describes the significance of the project and the implications of the potential results based on the clinical questions and problem statement. It describes how the project fits within and will contribute to the current literature or the clinical site practice. It describes potential practical applications from the project. (Three or four paragraphs)

This section provides overview of how the project fits within other current literature in the field, relating it specifically to other studies.
This section describes how addressing the problem will impact and add value to the population, community, or society.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Rationale for Methodology

The Rationale for Methodology section of Chapter 1 clearly justifies the methodology the investigator plans to use for conducting the project. It argues how the methodological framework is the best approach to answer the clinical questions and address the problem statement. Finally, it contains citations from textbooks and articles on the DPI project methodology or articles on related studies.

This section describes the clinical questions the project will answer and identifies the variables using the format appropriate for the specific design. Finally, this section includes a discussion of the clinical questions, relating them to the problem statement. This section should be two or three paragraphs long and illustrate how the methodological framework is aligned with the problem statement and purpose of the project, providing additional context for the project.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Rationale for Methodology

This section clearly justifies the methodology the investigator plans to use for conducting the project. It argues how the methodological framework is the best approach to answer the clinical questions and address the problem statement. It uses citations from textbooks and articles on DPI project methodology or articles on related studies. (Two or three paragraphs)

This section identifies the specific project method for the project.
This section justifies the method to be used for the project by discussing why it is the best approach for answering the clinical question and addressing the problem statement.
This section uses citations from textbooks or literature on the DPI project methodology to justify the use of the selected methodology.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Nature of the Project Design

This section describes the specific project design (descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental, case project, etc.) to answer the clinical questions and why this approach was selected. Here, the learner discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the problem statement and clinical questions as compared to other designs. You should be focusing on the design rather than the methodology in this section. Briefly describes how the design supports the intervention and solution to the practice problem. This section also contains a description of the project sample being investigated, as well as the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample. In other words, this section provides a preview of Chapter 3 and succinctly conveys the project approach to answer clinical questions.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Nature of the Project

This section describes the specific project design to answer the clinical questions and why this approach was selected. It describes the project sample as well as the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample.

This section describes the selected design for the project.
This section discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the problem statement and clinical questions as compared to other designs.
This section briefly describes the specific sample and the data collection procedure to collect information on the sample. Briefly describes how the design supports the intervention and solution to the practice problem.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Definition of Terms

The Definition of Terms section of Chapter 1 defines the project constructs and provides a common understanding of the technical terms, exclusive jargon, variables, phenomena, concepts, and sundry terminology used within the scope of the project. Terms are defined in lay terms and in the context in which they are used within the project. Each definition may be a few sentences to a paragraph in length. This section includes any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous meanings or technical terms) from the evidence or literature. It provides a rationale for each assumption and defines the variables.

Definitions must be supported with citations from scholarly sources. Do not use Wikipedia to define terms. This popular “open source” online encyclopedia can be helpful and interesting for the layperson, but it is not appropriate for formal academic scholarly writing. Additionally, do not use dictionaries to define terms. A paragraph introducing this section prior to listing the definition of terms can be inserted. However, a lead in phrase is needed to introduce the terms such as: “The following terms were used operationally in this project.” This is also a good place to operationally define unique phrases specific to this project. See below for the correct format:

Term. Write the definition of the word. This is considered a Level 3 heading. Make sure the definition is properly cited (Author, 2010). Comment by Author: This is how each of your terms should be listed in this section.

Terms often use abbreviations. According to APA (2010), abbreviations are best used only when they allow for clear communication with the audience. Standard abbreviations, such as units of measurement and names of states, do not need to be written out.

Only certain units of time should be abbreviated. Abbreviate hr (hour), min (minute), ms (millisecond), ns (nanosecond), or s (second). However, do not abbreviate day, week, month, and year [4.27]. To form the plural of abbreviations, add “s” alone without apostrophe or italicization (e.g., vols., IQs, Eds.). The exception to this rule is not to add “s” to pluralize units of measurement (12 m not 12 ms) [4.29].

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Definitions of Terms

This section defines the project constructs and provides a common understanding of the technical terms, exclusive jargon, variables, phenomena, concepts, and sundry terminology used within the scope of the project. Terms are defined in lay terms and in the context in which they are used within the project. (Each definition may be a few sentences to a paragraph in length.)

This section Defines any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous means or technical terms) from the evidence or literature.
This section defines the variables for a quantitative project.
Definitions are supported with citations from scholarly sources.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations

This section identifies the assumptions and specifies the limitations, as well as the delimitations, of the project. It should be three or four paragraphs in length. An assumption is a self-evident truth. This section should list what is assumed to be true about the information gathered in the project. State the assumptions being accepted for the project as methodological, theoretical, or topic-specific. For each assumption listed, you must also provide an explanation. Provide a rationale for each assumption, incorporating multiple perspectives, when appropriate. For example, the following assumptions were present in this project:

1. It is assumed that survey participants in this project were not deceptive with their answers, and that the participants answered questions honestly and to the best of their ability. Provide an explanation to support this assumption.

2. It is assumed that this project is an accurate representation of the current situation in rural southern Arizona. Provide an explanation to support this assumption.

Limitations are things that the investigator has no control over, such as bias. Delimitations are things over which the investigator has control, such as location of the project. Identify the limitations and delimitations of the project design. Discuss the potential generalizability of the project findings based on these limitations. For each limitation and delimitation listed, make sure to provide an associated explanation. For example: The following limitations/delimitations were present in this project:

1. Lack of funding limited the scope of this project. Provide an explanation to support this limitation.

2. The survey of high school students was delimited to only rural schools in one county within southern Arizona, limiting the demographic sample. Provide an explanation to support this delimitation.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations

This section identifies the assumptions and specifies the limitations, as well as the delimitations, of the project. (3-4 paragraphs)

This section states the assumptions being accepted for the project (methodological, theoretical, and topic-specific).
This section provides rationale for each assumption, incorporating multiple perspectives, when appropriate.
This section identifies limitations and delimitations of the project design.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Project

This section summarizes the key points of Chapter 1 and provides supporting citations for those key points. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2 followed by a description of the remaining chapters. For example, Chapter 2 will present a review of current evidence on the centrality of the practice improvement project literature review in research preparation. Chapter 3 will describe the methodology, design, and procedures for this investigation. Chapter 4 details how the data was analyzed and provides both a written and graphic summary of the results. Chapter 5 is an interpretation and discussion of the results, as they relate to the existing body of research related to the practice improvement project topic.

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Organization of the Remainder of the Project

This section summarizes the key points of Chapter 1 and provides supporting citations for those key points. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2, followed by a description of the remaining chapters.

This section summarizes key points presented in Chapter 1.
This section provides citations to support key points.
Chapter 1 summary ends with transition discussion to Chapter 2.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Chapter 2: Literature Review Comment by Author: This section should be a minimum of 20-25 pages.

This chapter presents the theoretical framework for the project and develops the topic, specific practice problem, question(s), and design elements. In order to perform significant practice improvement projects, the learners must first understand the literature related to the project focus. A well-articulated, thorough literature review provides the foundation for substantial, contributory projects or evidence. The purpose of Chapter 2 is to develop a well-documented argument for the selection of the project topic, formulate the clinical questions, and justify the choice of methodology as introduced in Chapter 1. A literature review is a synthesis of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and investigators. It is not an expanded annotated bibliography or a summary of research articles related to your topic.

The literature review will place the project focus into context by analyzing and discussing the existing body of knowledge and effectively presenting the reader with an exhaustive review of known information. The comprehensive presentation should include as much information as possible pertaining to what has been discovered in research about that focus, and where the gaps and tensions in the research exist. As a piece of writing, the literature review must convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic and build an argument in support of the practice problem.

This section describes the overall topic to be investigated, outlines the approach taken for the literature review, and defines the evolution of the problem based on the evidence to cover the gap or need to improve population health outcomes. Make sure the Introduction and Background section of your literature review addresses the following required components:

· Introduction: States the overall purpose of the project.

· Introduction: Provides an orienting paragraph so the reader knows what the literature review will address.

· Introduction: Describes how the chapter will be organized (including the specific sections and subsections).

· Introduction: Describes how the literature was surveyed, so the reader can evaluate the thoroughness of the review.

· Background: Provides a historical overview of the problem based on the gap or need defined in the literature and how it originated. This section must contain empirical citations. Present strong evidence for the intervention.

· Background: Discusses how the problem has evolved historically into its current form.

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Introduction (to the Chapter) and Background (to the Problem)

This section describes the overall topic to be investigated, outlines the approach taken for the literature review, and defines the evolution of the problem based on the gap or need defined in the literature from its origination to its current form.

Introduction states the overall purpose of the project.
Introduction provides an orienting paragraph so the reader knows what the literature review will address.
Introduction describes how the chapter will be organized (including the specific sections and subsections).
Introduction describes how the literature was surveyed so the reader can evaluate the thoroughness of the review.
Background provides the historical overview of the problem based on the gap or need defined in the literature and how it originated.
Background discusses how the problem has evolved historically into its current form.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Theoretical Foundations

This section identifies the theories or models that provide the foundation for the Direct Practice Improvement (DPI) Project. It also contains an explanation of how the problem under investigation relates to the theory or model. The seminal source for each theory or model should be identified and described. Please note: Models and theories are not capitalized in APA style.

The theories or models(s) guide the clinical questions and justify what is being measured (variables), as well as how those variables are related. This section also includes a discussion of how the clinical question(s) align with the respective theories or models, and illustrates how the project fits within other evidence–based research based on the theories or models. The learner should cite references reflective of the foundational, historical, and current literature in the field. Overall, the presentation should reflect that the learner understands the theory or model and its relevance to the project. The discussion should also reflect knowledge and familiarity with the historical development of the theories or models.

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theoretical Foundations

This section identifies the theories or models that provide the foundation for the project. This section should present the theories or models(s) and explain how the problem under investigation relates to the theory or model. The theories or models(s) guide the clinical questions and justify what is being measured (variables) as well as how those variables are related.

This section identifies and describes the theories or models to be used as the foundation for the project.
This section identifies and describes the seminal source for each theory or model.
This section discusses how the clinical question(s) align with the respective theories or models.
This section illustrates how the project fits within other evidence-based on the theory or model.
This section reflects understanding of the theory or model and its relevance to the project.
This section cites references reflecting the foundational, historical, and current literature in the field.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Review of the Literature

This section provides a broad, balanced overview of the existing literature related to the topic. It identifies themes, trends, and conflicts in methodology, design, and findings. It provides a synthesis of the existing literature, examines the contributions of the literature related to the topic, and presents an evaluation of the overall methodological strengths and weaknesses of the evidence–based research. Through this synthesis, the gaps in research should become evident to the reader.

This section describes the literature in related topic areas and its relevance to the project topic. It provides an overall analysis of the existing literature examining the contributions of this literature to the field, identifying the conflicts, and relating the themes and results to the project. Citations are provided for all ideas, concepts, and perspectives. The investigator’s personal opinions or perspectives are not included.

The required components for this section include the following:

· Chapter 2 needs to be at least 20-25 pages in length. It needs to include a minimum of 50 scholarly sources with 85% of sources published within the past 5 years. Additional sources do not necessarily need to be from the past 5 years.

· Quantitative project: Describes each project variable in the project and discusses the prior evidence-based research that has been done on the variable. Comment by Author: Please note that you may also use seminal works and other relevant literature that supports your topic concept.

· Qualitative project: Describes the phenomena being explored in the project and discusses the prior evidence-based research that has been done on the phenomena. Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.

· Discusses the various methodologies and designs that have been used to provide evidence on topics related to the project. Uses this information to justify the design.

· Relates the literature back to the DPI-project topic and the practice problem.

· Argues the appropriateness of the practice improvement project’s instruments, measures, or approaches used to collect data.

· Discusses topics related to the practice improvement project topic. This section may include (a) studies relating the variables (quantitative) or exploring related phenomena (qualitative); (b) studies on related evidence-based research, such as factors associated with the topic; (c) studies on the instruments used to collect data; and (d) studies on the broad population for the project.

· Set of topics discussed in the Review of Literature demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the broad area in which the project topic exists.

· Argues the appropriateness of the practice improvement project’s instruments, measures, or approaches used to collect data.

· Each section within the Review of Literature includes an introductory paragraph that explains why the particular topic was explored relative to the practice improvement project topic.

· Each section also requires a summary paragraph(s) that (a) compares and contrasts alternative perspectives on the topic, (b) provides a summary of the themes relative to the topic discussed that emerged from the literature, (c) discusses data from the various studies, and (d) identifies how themes are relevant to your practice improvement project topic.

· The types of references that may be used in the literature review include empirical articles, a limited number of practice improvement projects, peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles, and books that are cutting-edge views on a topic, evidence-based research, or seminal works.

The body of a literature review can be organized in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the project. Work with your committee chairperson to determine the best way to organize this section of Chapter 2, as it pertains to your overall project design. This template organizes the evidence –based research thematically, as illustrated below.

Theme 1. You may want to organize this section by themes and subthemes. To do so, use the pattern below. Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 3 heading [3.03].

Subtheme 1Grouped findings related to Theme 1. Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 4 heading [3.03].

Project 1 . Describe the clinical question(s), sample, methodology, and findings of this project.

Project 2 . Describe the clinical question(s), sample, methodology, and findings of this project.

Project 3 Describe the clinical question(s), sample, methodology, and findings of this project.

In a concluding paragraph, provide a synthesis of the evidence–based research studies presented in Subtheme 1. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each project, as well as the variables, instrumentation, and findings of each project as they relate to each other, and use the findings of the studies in the subtheme to build an argument for your project. Discuss what is missing or how the evidence–based research design or methodology could have changed in studies to improve the quality of the project. Discuss inconsistencies or gaps that emerge in the research providing opportunity for additional projects. Provide a transition sentence to the next subtheme.

Subtheme 2Grouped findings related to Theme 1.

Project 1 . Describe the Clinical question[s], sample, methodology, findings Comment by Author: This heading is tagged with APA Style Level 5 heading [3.03].

Project 2 . Describe the clinical question[s], sample, methodology, findings)

Project 3 . Describe the clinical question[s], sample, methodology, findings

Provide a synthesis of the evidence-based research in the subtheme as suggested above. Continue repeating this pattern with other evidence-based research findings that fit with Theme 1 and then provide an overall synthesis of the evidence-based research for Theme 1. Repeat this pattern for the next major theme in your literature review, and continue repeating as needed.

Theme 2. Chapter 2 can be particularly challenging with regard to APA format for citations and quotations. Refer to your APA manual frequently to make sure your citations are formatted properly. It is critical that each in-text citation is appropriately listed in the References section.

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Review of the Literature

This section provides a broad, balanced overview of the existing literature related to the project topic. It identifies themes, trends, and conflicts in evidence-based research methodology, design, and findings. It describes the literature in related topic areas and its relevance to the project topic. It provides an overall analysis of the existing literature examining the contributions of this literature to the field, identifying the conflicts, and relating the themes and results to the project. Citations are provided for all ideas, concepts, and perspectives. The investigator’s personal opinions or perspectives are not included.

Chapter 2 needs to be at least 20-25 pages in length. It needs to include a minimum of 50 scholarly sources with 85% from the sources published within the past 5 years. Additional sources do not necessarily need to be from the past 5 years. It should not include any personal perspectives.
This section describes each variable in the project discussing the prior evidence-based research that has been done on the variable.
This section Discusses the various methodologies and designs that have been used to understand evidence-based research topics related to the project. Uses this information to justify the design.
This section argues the appropriateness of the practice improvement project’s instruments, measures, and/or approaches used to collect data.
This section discusses topics related to the practice improvement project topic and may include (a) studies relating the variables (quantitative) or exploring related phenomena (qualitative), (b) evidence –based studies on related factors associated with the topic, (c) Relates the literature back to the DPI-project topic and the practice problem. d) studies on the instruments used to collect data, and (e) studies on the broad population for the project. Set of topics discussed in the Review of Literature demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the broad area in which the topic exists.
Each section within the Review of Literature includes an introductory paragraph that explains why the particular topic was explored relative to the practice improvement project topic.
Each section within the Review of Literature requires a summary paragraph that (a) compares and contrasts alternative perspectives on the topic, (b) provides a summary of the themes relative to the topic discussed that emerged from the literature, and (c) identifies how themes are relevant to your practice improvement project topic.
The types of references that may be used in the literature review include empirical articles, a limited number of practice improvement projects, peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles, and books that present cutting-edge views on a topic, research-based, or seminal works.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

For a quote within a quote, use a set of single quotation marks. [4.08]. As a rule, if a quote comprises 40 or more words, display this material as a freestanding block quote. Start formal block quotes on a new line. They are indented one inch in from the left margin. The entire block quote is double-spaced. Quotation marks are not used with formal block quotes. The in-text citation is included after the final punctuation mark. [6.03]. Below is an example of a block quote: In an important biography, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, historian H. W. Brands writes: Comment by Author: Caution! Make sure you do not overuse titles in the literature review. You can use them in certain instances, but do not rely on them to convey content.

In February 1731, Franklin became a Freemason. Shortly thereafter, he volunteered to draft the bylaws for the embryonic local chapter, named for St. John the Baptist; upon acceptance of the bylaws, he was elected Warden and subsequently Master of the Lodge. Within three years, he became Grandmaster of all of Pennsylvania’s Masons. Not unforeseeable he—indeed, this was much of the purpose of membership for everyone involved—his fellow Masons sent business Franklin’s way. In 1734 he printed The Constitutions, the first formerly sponsored Masonic book in America; he derived additional [printing] work from his brethren on an unsponsored basis. (Brands, 2000, p. 113)

Summary

This section restates what was written in Chapter 2 and provides supporting citations for key points. It synthesizes the information from the chapter using it to define the “gaps” in or “project needs” from the literature, the theories or models to provide the foundation for the project, the problem statement, the primary clinical question, the methodology, the design, the variables or phenomena, the data collection instruments or sources, and population. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 3.

Overall, this section should:

· Synthesize the information from all of the prior sections in the literature review, and use it to define the key strategic points for the project.

· Summarize the gaps and needs in the background and introduction, and describe how it informs the problem statement.

· Identify the theories or models describing how they inform the clinical questions.

· Use the literature to justify the design, variables, data collection instruments or sources, and population to be evaluated.

· Relates the literature back to the DPI-project topic and the practice problem.

· Build a case (argument) for the project in terms of the value of the project and how the clinical questions emerged from the review of literature.

· Explain how the current theories, models, and topics related to the project will be advanced through your project.

· Summarize key points in Chapter 2 and transition into Chapter 3.

This section should help the reader clearly see and understand the relevance and importance of the project to be conducted. The Summary section transitions to Chapter 3 by building a case for the project, in terms of project design and rigor, and it formulates the clinical questions based on the gaps and tensions in the literature. Comment by Author: Use INSERTPage Break to set new page for new chapter. Do not use hard returns to get there.

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Summary

This section restates what was written in Chapter 2 and provides supporting citations for key points. It synthesizes the information from the chapter using it to define the “gaps” in or “evidence –based practice needs” from the literature, the theories or models to provide the foundation for the project, the problem statement, the primary clinical question, the methodology, the design, the variables or phenomena, the data collection instruments or sources, and population. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 3.

This section synthesizes the information from all of the prior sections in the Review of Literature and uses it to define the key strategic points for the project.

This section summarizes the gaps and needs in the background and introduction and describes how it informs the problem statement.

This section identifies the theories or models and describes how they inform the clinical questions.

This section uses the literature to justify the design, variables or phenomena, data collection instruments or sources, and answer the clinical questions on your selected intervention protocol, clinical setting and patient population.be evaluated.

This section builds a case for the project in terms of the value of the project.
This section explains how the current theories, models, and topics related to the DPI project will be advanced through your intervention and outcomes.
This section summarizes key points in Chapter 2 and transition into Chapter 3.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Chapter 3: Methodology

Chapter 3 documents how the project is conducted in enough detail so that replication by others is possible. The introduction begins with a summary of the project focus and purpose statement to reintroduce the reader to the need for the project. This can be summarized in three or four sentences from Chapter 1. Summarize the clinical questions in narrative format, and then outline the expectations for this chapter.

Remember, throughout this chapter, that verb tense must be changed from present tense (proposal) to past tense (DPI Project manuscript). Furthermore, consider what happened during data collection and analysis. Sometimes, the DPI project protocol ends up being modified based on committee, Academic Quality Review (AQR), or Institutional Review Board (IRB) recommendations. After the practice project is complete, make sure this chapter reflects how the project was actually conducted.

Criterion Comment by Author: All of the criterion tables must be removed prior to all AQR, IRB, and final submissions. Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Introduction

This section includes both a restatement of project focus and purpose statement for the project from Chapter 1, to reintroduce reader to the need for the project and a description of contents of the chapter.

A brief introduction to the chapter describes the chapter purpose and how it is organized and summarizes the project focus and problem statement to reintroduce reader to the need for the project.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Statement of the Problem

This section restates the problem for the convenience of the reader. Copy and paste the Statement of the Problem from Chapter 1. Then, edit, blend, and integrate this material into the narrative. Change future tense to past tense for DPI Project manuscripts.

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Statement of the Problem:

This section restates the Problem Statement from Chapter 1.

This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Clinical Question

This section restates the clinical question(s) for the project from Chapter 1. It then presents the matching of the variables. The section also briefly discusses the approaches to collecting the data to answer the clinical questions. The section should describe the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data for each variable. It also discusses why the design was selected to be the best approach to answer the clinical question(s).

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Clinical Question(s)

This section restates the clinical questions for the project from Chapter 1. It then explains the variables.

This section describes the approaches used to collect the data to answer the clinical questions. For a quantitative project, it describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data for each variable.
This section discusses why the design was selected to be the best approach to answer the clinical questions.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Project Methodology

This section describes the methodology for the project (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) and explains the rationale for selecting this particular methodology. It also describes why this methodology was selected as opposed to the alternative methodologies. This section should elaborate on the Methodology section (from Chapter 1) providing the rationale for the selected project method (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed). Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on research methodology or design. It is also appropriate in this section to outline the predicted results in relation to the clinical questions based on the existing literature. Describe how the methodology selected supports the attainment of information that will answer the clinical questions.

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Project Methodology

This section elaborates on the Methodology section (from Chapter 1), providing the rationale for the selected project method (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) and includes a discussion of why the selected method was chosen instead of another method. Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on project methodology or design. Describe how the methodology selected supports the attainment of information that will answer the clinical questions.

This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Project Design

This section elaborates on the nature of the Project Design section from Chapter 1. It includes a detailed description of, and a rationale for, the specific design for the project. It also discusses the specific project design for the project (descriptive, correlational, experimental, quasi-experimental, historical, case project, ethnography, phenomenology, content analysis, exploratory, explanatory, embedded, triangulation, etc.) and describes how it aligns to the selected methodology indicated in the previous section. Additionally, it describes why the selected design is the best option to collect the data to answer the clinical need for the project.

The section explains exactly how the selected design will be used to collect data for each variable. It identifies the specific instruments and data sources to be used to collect all of the different data required for the project. Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on DPI project methodology or design. This section should specify the independent, dependent, or classificatory variables, as appropriate. Be sure to relate the variables back to the clinical questions. A brief discussion of the type of data collection tool chosen (survey, interview, observation, etc.) can also be included in this section as related to the variables.

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Project Design

This section elaborates on the Nature of the Project Design for the Project (from Chapter 1) providing the rationale for the selected project design and includes a discussion of why the selected design is the best one to collect the data needed. Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on methodology or design.

This section describes how the specific selected DPI project design will be used to collect the type of data needed to answer the clinical questions and the specific instruments or data sources that will be used to collect or source this data. This section discusses why the design was selected to be the best approach to answer the clinical question(s).
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Population and Sample Selection

This section discusses the setting, total population, project population, and project sample. The discussion of the sample includes the project terminology specific to the type of sampling for the project. This section should include the following components:

· Describes the characteristics of the total population and the project population from which the project sample (project participants) is drawn.

· Describes the characteristics of the project population and the project sample.

· Clearly defines and differentiates the sample for the project versus the number of people completing instruments on the project sample.

· Describes the project population size and project sample size and justifies the project sample size (e.g., power analysis) based on the selected design.

Clearly defines and differentiates between the number for the project population and the project sample versus the number for the people who will complete any instruments. Details the sampling procedure including the specific steps taken to identify, contact, and recruit potential project sample participants from the project population.

Describes the informed consent process, confidentiality measures, project participation requirements, and geographic specifics.

· Discusses the intervention protocol to answer the clinical question(s).

· If subjects withdrew or were excluded from the project, you must provide an explanation. This would be added for the final manuscript, and would not be present in the proposal.

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Population and Sample Selection

This section discusses the setting, total population, project population, and project sample. The discussion of the sample includes the project terminology specific to the type of sampling for the project.

This section describes the characteristics of the total (general) population and the project (target) population from which the project sample (sample) (project participants) is drawn.
This section describes the characteristics of the project population and the project sample and clearly defines and differentiates the sample for the project versus the number of people completing instruments on the project sample.
This section describes the project population size and project sample size and justifies the project sample size (e.g., power analysis) based on the selected design. This section clearly defines and differentiates between the number for the project population and the project sample versus the number for the people who will complete any instruments.
This section details the sampling procedure, including the specific steps taken to identify, contact, and recruit potential project sample participants from the project population.
This section describes the informed consent process, confidentiality measures, project participation requirements, and geographic specifics.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Instrumentation or Sources of Data

This section fully identifies and describes the types of data that will be collected, as well as the specific instruments and sources used to collect those data (tests, questionnaires, interviews, databases, media, etc.). Discuss the specific instrument or source to collect data for each variable or group. Use subheadings for each data collection instrument or source of data and provide a copy of all instruments in an appendix.

If you are using an existing instrument, make sure to discuss in detail the characteristics of the instrument. For example, on a preexisting survey tool describe the way the instrument was developed and constructed, the validity and reliability of the instrument, the number of items or questions included in the survey, and the calculation of the score as appropriate.

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Instrumentation or Sources of Data

This section describes, in detail, all data collection instruments and sources (tests, questionnaires, interviews, databases, media, etc.); the specific instrument or source to collect data for each variable or group (quantitative project); and the specific instrument or source to collect information to describe the phenomena (qualitative project). Comment by Author: Please note that most DPIs are quantitative. You may see reference to qualitative and mixed methodologies throughout the curriculum and in the templates as there are rare exceptions. Please consult with your chair if you feel your project is qualitative or mixed methods so that appropriate approvals may be obtained.

This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Validity

This section describes and defends the procedures used to determine the validity of the data collected. Validity refers to the degree to which a project accurately reflects or assesses the specific concept that the investigator is attempting to measure. Ask if what is actually being measured is what was set out to be measured. As an investigator, you must be concerned with both external and internal validity.

For this section, provide specific validity statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how they were developed. NOTE: Learners should not be developing any quantitative instruments without permission from the DNP department.

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Validity

This section provides specific validity statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how they were developed, and explains how validity will be addressed for qualitative data collection approaches. NOTE: Learners should not be developing any quantitative instruments without permission from the DNP department.

This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Reliability

This section describes and defends the procedures used to determine the reliability of the data collected. Reliability is the extent to which an experiment, test, or any measuring procedure is replicable and yields the same result with repeated trials. For this section, provide specific reliability statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how the statistics were developed. Explain specific approaches on how reliability will be addressed for qualitative data collection approaches.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Reliability

This section provides specific reliability statistics for quantitative instruments, identifying how the statistics were developed, and explains how reliability will be addressed for qualitative data collection approaches.

This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Data Collection Procedures

This section details the entirety of the process used to collect the data. Describe the step-by-step procedures used to carry out all the major steps for data collection for the project in a way that would allow another investigator to replicate the project. The key elements of this section include:

· A description of the procedures for project sample recruitment, sample selection, and assignment to groups (if applicable).

· A description of the procedures for obtaining informed consent and for protecting the rights and well-being of the project sample participants, as well as those completing instruments on them.

· A description of the procedures adopted to maintain data securely, including the length of time data will be retained, where the data will be retained, and how the data will be destroyed.

· A description of the procedures for data collection, including how each instrument or data source was used, how and where data were collected, and how data were recorded.

· An explanation of the independent and dependent variables (if applicable), and how the resulting change in those variables is measured (if applicable),

· An explanation of how control variables were maintained as a constant value (if applicable).

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Data Collection Procedures

This section details the entirety of the process used to collect the data. It describes each step of the data collection process in a way that another investigator could replicate the project.

This section describes the step-by-step procedures used to carry out all the major steps for data collection for the project in a way that would allow another investigator to replicate the project.
This section describes the procedures for project sample recruitment, sample selection, and assignment to groups (if applicable).
This section describes the procedures for obtaining informed consent and for protecting the rights and well-being of the project sample participants, as well as those completing instruments on them.
This section describes the procedures adopted to maintain data securely, including the length of time data will be retained, where the data will be retained, and how the data will be destroyed.
This section describes the procedures for data collection, including how each instrument or data source was used, how and where data was collected, and how data were recorded.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Data Analysis Procedures

This section provides a step-by-step description of the procedures to be used to conduct the data analysis. The key elements of this section include:

· A description of how the data were collected for each variable or group.

· A description of the type of data to be analyzed, identifying the descriptive, inferential, or nonstatistical analyses.

· Demonstration that the project analysis is aligned to the specific project design.

· A description of the clinical question(s).

· A detailed description of the relevant data collected for each stated clinical question.

· A description of how the raw data were organized and prepared for analysis. Provides a step-by-step description of the procedures used to conduct the data analysis.

· A detailed description of any statistical and nonstatistical analysis to be employed.

· A rationale is provided for each of the data analysis procedures (statistical and nonstatistical) employed in the project.

· A demonstration that the data analysis techniques align with the DPI project design.

· The level of statistical significance for quantitative analyses is stated as appropriate.

· References to the software used for the data analyses and assurance that the language used to describe the data analysis procedure is consistently used in Chapters 4 and 5.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Data Analysis Procedures

This section describes how the data was collected for each variable or group. It describes the type of data to be analyzed, identifying the descriptive, inferential, or nonstatistical analyses. This section demonstrates that the project analysis is aligned to the specific project design.

This section describes the clinical question(s).
This section describes, in detail, the relevant data collected for each stated clinical question or variable.
This section describes how the raw data were organized and prepared for analysis.
This section provides a step-by-step description of the procedures used to conduct the data analysis.
This section describes, in detail, any statistical and nonstatistical analysis to be employed.
This section provides the rationale for each of the data analysis procedures (statistical and nonstatistical) employed in the project.
This section demonstrates that the data analyses techniques align with the DPI project research design.
This section states the level of statistical significance for quantitative analyses as appropriate.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Ethical Considerations

This section discusses the potential ethical issues surrounding the project, as well as how human subjects and data will be protected. The key ethical issues that must be addressed in this section include:

· Identify how any potential ethical issues will be addressed.

· Provide a discussion of ethical issues related to the project and the sample population of interest, institution, or data collection process.

· Address anonymity, confidentiality, privacy, lack of coercion, informed consent, and potential conflict of interest.

· Demonstrate adherence to the key principles of the Belmont Report (respect, justice, and beneficence) in the project design, sampling procedures, and within the theoretical framework, practice or patient problem, and clinical questions.

· Discuss how the data will be stored, safeguarded, and destroyed.

· Discuss how the results of the project will be published.

· Discuss any potential conflict of interest on the part of the investigator.

· Reference IRB approval to conduct the project, which includes subject recruiting and informed consent processes, in regard to the voluntary nature of project.

· Include the IRB approval letter with the protocol number, informed consent/subject assent documents, site authorization letter(s), or any other measures required to protect the participants or institutions in an appendix.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Ethical Considerations

This section discusses the potential ethical issues surrounding the DPI project, as well as how human subjects and data will be protected. It identifies how any potential ethical issues will be addressed.

This section provides a discussion of ethical issues related to the project and the sample population of interest.
This section addresses anonymity, confidentiality, privacy, lack of coercion, informed consent, and potential conflict of interest.
This section demonstrates adherence to the key principles of the Belmont Report (respect, justice, and beneficence) in the project design, sampling procedures, and within the theoretical framework, problem, and questions.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Limitations

While Chapter 1 addresses the broad, overall limitations of the project, this section discusses in detail the limitations related to the DPI project approach and methodology and the potential impacts on the results. This section describes any limitations related to the methods, sample, instrumentation, data collection process, and analysis. Other methodological limitations of the project may include issues with regard to the sample in terms of size, population and procedure, instrumentation, data collection processes, and data analysis. This section also contains an explanation of why the existing limitations are unavoidable and are not expected to affect the results negatively.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Limitations

This section discusses, in detail, the limitations related to the project approach and methodology and the potential impacts on the results.

This section describes any limitations related to the methods, sample, instrumentation, data collection process, and analysis. This section explains why the existing limitations are unavoidable and are not expected to affect the results negatively.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Summary

This section restates what was written in Chapter 3 and provides supporting citations for key points. Your summary should demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the overall project design and analysis techniques. The Chapter 3 summary ends with a discussion that transitions the reader to Chapter 4. Comment by Author: Use INSERTPage Break to set new page for the reference list.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
Summary

This section restates what was written in Chapter 3 and provides supporting citations for key points.

This section summarizes key points presented in Chapter 3 with appropriate citations.
This section demonstrates in-depth understanding of the overall project design and data analysis techniques.
This section ends with a transition discussion focus for Chapter 4.
This section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, and uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, punctuation, and APA format.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

References Comment by Author: The Reference list should appear as a numbered new page at the end of the manuscript. The Reference heading is centered at the top of the page and is bolded.The Reference list provides necessary information for the reader to locate and retrieve any source cited in the body of the text. Each source mentioned must appear in the Reference list. Likewise, each entry in the Reference list must be cited in the text.This page must be entitled “References.” This title is centered at the top of the page. Do not use bold, underline, or quotation marks for this title. All text should be in 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced. NOTE: References must use a hanging indent of 0.5” and be double-spaced. Examples of common references are provided below. See APA (6th ed.), Chapter 7, 6.22 for specific reference formatting instructions. For more information on references or APA Style, consult the APA website: at http://apastyle.org Comment by Author: After completing the Reference list, it is important to cross-reference the in-text citations with the items in the Reference list to be certain that all in-text citations are in the Reference list and all items in the Reference list have an in-text citation. Using the Ctrl-F function helps to search for references within the manuscript.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Brands, H. W. (2000). The first American: The life and times of Benjamin Franklin. New York, NY: Doubleday.

Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nock, A. J. (1943). The memoirs of a superfluous man. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.

Criterion Learner Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Chairperson Score (0, 1, 2, or 3) Comments or Feedback
References
This section provides a minimum of 50 references with minimum of 85% of the 50 references published within the last 5 years. Additional references do not have to be published within the past 5 years.
Range of references includes founding theorists, peer-reviewed articles, books, and journals (approximately 90%).
Reference list is formatted according to APA (6th ed.). For every reference there is an in-text citation. For every in-text citation there is a reference.
NOTE: Once the document has been approved by your chairperson and your committee and is ready to submit for AQR review, please remove all of these assessment tables from this document.

Score 0 (not present); 1 (unacceptable; needs substantial edits); 2 (present, but needs some editing); 3 (publication ready).

Appendix A Comment by Author: The appendices follow the reference list and typically include materials relevant to the evidence-based research and referenced in the main text, (e.g., raw data, letters of permission, institutional review authorization, surveys, or other data collection materials).Each appendix must begin with a new page, have its own letter designation A, B, C…etc., and a descriptive title. The appendix heading is centered, with a 1″ top margin and is upper and lower case.The content or text for each appendix follows the title and must fit the manuscript margins specifications: 1.5″ left, 1″ top, right, and bottom.Text spacing for appendix content depends on the nature of the appendix material. The format of the material should be clean and consistent.

The Parts of a Practice Improvement Project

GCU requires the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) as the style guide for writing and formatting Direct Practice Improvement (DPI) Projects. . A DPI Project has three parts: preliminary pages, main text, and supplementary pages. Some preliminary or supplementary pages may be optional or not appropriate to a specific project. The learner should consult with his or her practice improvement project chairperson and committee regarding inclusion or exclusion of optional pages.

Preliminary Pages. The following preliminary pages precede the main text of the practice improvement project.

· Title Page

· Copyright Page (optional)

· Approval Page

· Abstract

· Dedication Page (optional)

· Acknowledgements (optional)

· Table of Contents

· List of Tables (if you have tables, a list is required)

· List of Figures (if you have figures, a list is required)

Main Text. The main text is divided into five major chapters. Each chapter can be further subdivided into sections and subsections.

· Chapter 1: Introduction to the Project

· Chapter 2: Literature Review

· Chapter 3: Methodology

· Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results (not included in the proposal)

· Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations (not included in the proposal)

Supplementary Pages. Supplementary pages, which follow the body text, include reference materials and other required or optional addenda.

· References

· Appendices

· Your Ten Strategic Points table will be Appendix A for the proposal. After the proposal, remove the Ten Strategic Points for the final manuscript submission.

· Include a copy of your instruments/tools.

· Include a copy of the permission to use the tools.

· Include your site authorization letter (proposal only).

· Include any project materials.

Keep in mind that most formatting challenges are encountered in the preliminary and supplementary pages. Allocate extra time and attention for these sections to avoid delays in the electronic submission process. In addition, as elementary as it may seem, run a spell check and grammar check of your entire document before submission.

Appendix B

Title of Appendix

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