Assessing the Problem: Leadership, Collaboration, Communication, Change Management, and Policy Considerations

In a 5-7 page written assessment, define the patient, family, or population health problem that will be the focus of your capstone project. Assess the problem from a leadership, collaboration, communication, change management, and policy perspective. Plan to spend approximately 2 direct practicum hours meeting with a patient, family, or group of your choice to explore the problem and, if desired, consulting with subject matter and industry experts. Document the time spent (your practicum hours) with these individuals or group in the Core Elms Volunteer Experience Form.

Introduction
Nurses in all professional roles work to effect positive patient outcomes and improve organizational processes. Professional nurses are leaders in problem identification, planning, and strategy implementation—skills that directly affect patient care or organizational effectiveness.

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Too often, change agents jump to a conclusion that an intervention will promote the envisioned improvement. Instead, the ideal approach is to determine which interventions are appropriate, based on an assessment and review of credible evidence. Interventions could be patient-facing or involve a change in policy and process. In this assessment, you’ll identify and make the case for your practicum focus area, then explore it in depth from a leadership, collaboration, communication, change management, and policy perspective.

This assessment lays the foundation for the work that will carry you through your capstone experience and guide the practicum hours needed to complete the work in this course. In addition, it will enable you to do the following:

Develop a problem statement for a patient, family, or population that’s relevant to your practice.
Begin building a body of evidence that will inform your approach to your practicum.
Focus on the influence of leadership, collaboration, communication, change management, and policy on the problem.
Preparation
In this assessment, you’ll assess the patient, family, or population health problem that will be the focus of your capstone project. Plan to spend approximately 2 hours working with a patient, family, or group of your choice to explore the problem from a leadership, collaboration, communication, change management, and policy perspective. During this time, you may also choose to consult with subject matter and industry experts about the problem (for example, directors of quality or patient safety, nurse managers/directors, physicians, and epidemiologists).

To prepare for the assessment, complete the following:

Identify the patient, family, or group you want to work with during your practicum The patient you select can be a friend or a family member. You’ll work with this patient, family, or group throughout your capstone project, focusing on a specific health care problem.
Begin surveying the scholarly and professional literature to establish your evidence and research base, inform your assessment, and meet scholarly expectations for supporting evidence.
In addition, you may wish to complete the following:

Review the assessment instructions and scoring guide to ensure that you understand the work you’ll be asked to complete and how it will be assessed.
Review the Practicum Focus Sheet: Assessment 1 [PDF], which provides guidance for conducting this portion of your practicum.
Note: Remember that you can submit all, or a portion of, your draft assessment to Smarthinking Tutoring for feedback, before you submit the final version for this assessment. If you plan on using this free service, be mindful of the turnaround time of 24–48 hours for receiving feedback.

Instructions
Complete this assessment in two parts.

Part 1
Define the patient, family, or population health problem that will be the focus of your capstone project. Assess the problem from a leadership, collaboration, communication, change management, and policy perspective and establish your evidence and research base to plan, implement, and share findings related to your project.

Part 2
Connect with the patient, family, or group you’ll work with during your practicum. During this portion of your practicum, plan to spend at least 2 hours meeting with the patient, family, or group and, if desired, consulting with subject matter and industry experts of your choice. The hours you spend meeting with them should take place outside of regular work hours. Use the Practicum Focus Sheet [PDF] provided for this assessment to guide your work and interpersonal interactions. Document the time spent (your practicum hours) with these individuals or group in the Core Elms Volunteer Experience Form.

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