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Strategy Submission

Writing Assignment Linking QSEN competencies with a Perioperative Clinical Experience


Nicole Hall






Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare


Competency Categories:

Evidence-Based Practice, Informatics, Patient-Centered Care, Quality Improvement, Safety, Teamwork and Collaboration

Learner Level(s):

Pre-Licensure ADN/Diploma

Learner Setting(s):

Clinical Setting

Strategy Type:

Paper Assignments

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the value of seeing healthcare situations through patient eyes. 2. Discuss principles of effective communication. 3. Describe roles of healthcare team member during the perioperative phases. 4. Identify whether evidence-based practice (EBP) was implemented in actual practice. 5. Discuss the value of their and others contribution to patient care experience in the care setting. 6. Discuss the effect of the hospitals medication administration systems use on safety. 7. Discuss information input into the electronic health record. 8. Develop scholarly writing skills. 9. Seek necessary resources to complete the assignment.

Strategy Overview:

The purpose of this assignment is for the student to write a professional paper, utilize APA formatting, enhance understanding of hospital systems, and have the opportunity to reflect on a surgical experience from the patients perspective.

First year nursing students are assigned a patient in the preoperative period and are expected to follow this patient until they have arrived to the postoperative unit.  The following day students provide postoperative care to this same patient.  Students are instructed to review the criteria for the paper so they are familiar with what they are observing for.  Students then write a professional paper addressing all the required components explicitly laid out in the assignment instructions.  Students are encouraged to seek information from staff and clarification from faculty when needed.

This assignment addresses each of the six QSEN competencies.  The competency of patient centered care is met by students remaining with the patient throughout their surgical experience enabling them to understand the healthcare situation through patient eyes and when they evaluate communication they observe.  The competency of teamwork and collaboration is addressed when students describe the roles of healthcare team members.  By reviewing an article and identifying whether actual practice matched evidence based practice students meet the competency of evidence-based practice.  Quality improvement is met when students discuss the value of their and others contribution to patient care experience in the care setting.  The competencies of safety and informatics are addressed when students discuss the system used for medication administration.  Students must also discuss the use of the electronic health record in the preoperative period.  In all this assignment allows students to see the patient’s perspective while also being introduced to the systems perspective of hospital care.


Submitted Materials:

Additional Materials:

Students are provided 5-10 evidence based practice articles that are applicable for a patient undergoing surgery. These articles are reviewed by faculty prior for relevancy, accuracy, and to confirm they are current.

The text boxes available would not allow for appropriate formatting. I chose to add the information in a separate document for reviewers to access. It is strategy materials File 1.

File 2 is that assignment provided to students.

I appreciate your time and consideration.

Evaluation Description:

This writing assignment is graded using the same rubric student’s use for self evaluation.  This rubric has been submitted under additional materials and is available for review.  Each of the 14 categories has a maximum point value that is awarded if the student exceeds expectations for addressing the required component.  The total number of points a student can earn is 129.  The earned points are divided over the total points providing a grade percentage. 


This is a new writing assignment that has yet to be implemented.  In the past a different professional paper was coupled with the student’s perioperative clinical experience.  That assignment was lengthier and had criteria that mirrored some care plan components.  While student evaluations and comments supported the need to change the assignment the faculty still supported having a professional paper.  The need for a written assignment is a necessary activity to aid learners in becoming professional nurses.  Their ability to summarize observations and present information in a clear manner is part of their advancement in academia. 


Instruction on APA format is provided in the previous semester.  Students often have significant difficulty applying APA format when writing their papers.  While APA is a component of this writing assignment it is less than10% of the overall grade.  This provides the students an opportunity to apply principles learned without significant detriment to their overall grade. 

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