By now you have completed your interview with your nurse or community leader and submitted your written summary of the interview for evaluation.  During the interview process you were to discuss possible project ideas with that leader.  That process of listing possible ideas is referred to as “brainstorming” and may involve a few topics or a great many.  This is part of the quality improvement process that was first identified by W. Edwards Deming, founder of the Total Quality Management movement. 

Following brainstorming, it is possible to prioritize all of the possibilities for a project and then narrow it down to one. There can be many factors which influence this decision making process including urgency for safety or quality purposes, feasibility, cost, or an important practice change, etc.

 After selecting the project topic, the student should address the purpose of the project using the following words: “The purpose of XYZ Project is to….” and “The target population of this project is….”

As to the ‘target population’, who will benefit most from this project? If the project’s intent is to reduce falls, infections, etc for patients, then identify specifically who these at-risk patients are. Describe in the paper what facility/unit is involved and then what special characteristics exist among those who generally have the problem you seek to eliminate. It may not be patients- maybe you seek to improve orientation or skill evaluation methods for new registered nurse (RN) staff. Whoever your target population is, focusing attention on the details of the target population can help you to develop a project aimed at that group.

 A needs assessment is the process of identifying performance requirements and the “gap” between what performance is required and what presently exists. Need can be validated through interviews with key stakeholders such as nurse leaders or patients, through analysis of data that is readily available, through the collection of new data such as survey results from staff nurses, or from other reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, etc.  The article below, a research study, also validates the need for a hand off tool via interviews and surveys (Gibney, et al, 2017). 




PROMPT: For this week’s assignment you will write a narrative which contains the tittle of your project, its purpose, the target population for the project, and a description of the ways that you have validated need.  You may use professional journal articles which support your project as well as your interview from a key leadership person, and any data that you find from reliable sources such as government entities like the Center for Disease Control or the National Institute of Health, etc. 

A quality improvement project “improves a program/process/system that results in greater safety, efficiency, or satisfaction” (Hickey, et al., 2019, p. 32). The similarities and differences between research and quality improvement are clearly laid out in a Table 1 on page 32 of the article (Hickey, et al).






Gap Analysis:

As mentioned earlier in Module 1, a gap analysis as “a tool or process used to explore the difference between what a system is currently doing and what it seeks to do in the future…The primary intent of a gap analysis is to identify the steps required to bridge the gap between where a system currently is and where people ideally want or need it to be (Doyle, p. 4).”

 You will need to provide a gap analysis of your project problem.  You may use a format similar to the one in the example below or you may write a short narrative about the gap.  

An example of a simplified gap analysis is provided below from the QSEN website.




Below is a longer video explaining how to formulate an effective PIO and use the P and I to conduct an effective literature search using various databases. You will need to review this to help get the best evidence for your quality improvement project proposal. If you want, there are three optional tools from John Hopkins used with permission you may want to keep records of your literature search, decide upon the level of the evidence, and summarize what you find in an evidence table to help you when getting essential information on the poster you will make later on: Dang, D., & Dearholt, S. (2017). Johns Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice: model and guidelines. 3rd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International. 



Save your article(s) as they will be used for your evidence based practice/literature review in the next module.  You will need 3 evidence- based practice  peer reviewed journal articles for this, which have been published within the past 5 years, if at all possible.




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