Every BSN graduate from your program has successfully completed their graduate project. So, do not stress out about this. The Learning Contract is a method to lay out the project and manage it step-by-step!
The focus of your leadership project should be on evidence-based practice in a nursing unit.
There should be no direct patient contact, no patient data collected, no patients interviewed, and no electronic or paper medical records accessed on patients.
The project is NOT a research study, so please work with your mentor to select a project. Do not describe your graduate project as a “research study” to anyone.
Program to design a bedside report process and put it into place with nurses.
Program to improve unit quality of care outcome indicators by working or training nurses.
Organize a health fair based on a community need (church, public, work).
QSEN Competency education is based on the staff’s performance needs.
CEU presentation directed at correcting a knowledge deficit for staff.
Multidisciplinary workshop/CEU offering to resolve a unit-based problem that is multidisciplinary in nature (e.g. medication/pharmacy; PT; RT, etc.).
Organize and initiate a unit-based journal club.
Actively participate in a nursing research study at work as a data collector or other team member of a study that is in process and already approved by the organization. Multidisciplinary workshop/CEU offering to solve a multidisciplinary unit-based problem (e.g. medication/pharmacy; PT; RT, etc.).
Create and launch a journal club for your unit.
Participate actively in a nursing research study at work as a data collector or other team member of a study that is already underway and has been approved by the organization.
Where do I start? (This contract will be for a psychiatric unit)
Each student begins the planning (learning contract) phase of the practicum with a broad consideration of all alternatives they have. Where do you work? What are the resources there for a scholarly product (project)? Where does my Project Mentor (PM) work? What do I need to know (learn) before I can implement the project I have in mind? What are my strengths and weaknesses in an area of practice that I need to improve on? What are my future career goals and could I do something in that area? Be sure to use the template in the course resources folder.
Step 1: Decide what you want to do
Step 2: Decide where you want to do it
Step 3: Mentor Documents: Have a primary mentor to support the project and collect their resume, and RN license (From the online board of nursing website using a screenshot, and completed Mentor Qualification Record). Give the mentor packet to your mentor now.
Step 4: Write your overall practicum goal
Step 5: Writing the strategies (steps) that help you meet your objectives
The Strategies column of the learning contract contains the steps you take to meet each objective. Each objective will have different steps because everyone’s objectives will be different. First, consider what you’ll need to actually DO to meet your objective…
Once you know what you will need to do, write those steps down in order. What do you need to do first, second, third, etc? Consider things like getting permission to do something in the facility, and who needs to approve a document or in-service you are planning. Also, plan where your mentor needs to review something, be consulted on the project, or just simply need to review and give you feedback. Each strategy should have a tangible outcome (the next column on the learning contract). We will get to the outcomes shortly.
When writing down the steps you need to take, remember to write them out in a sentence. Put in as much information in 1 sentence as you can. This way, in a couple of months when you go back to the contract to see what steps you were supposed to be taking….you can easily recall exactly what you meant. If your steps are not clear now, they will not be clear in a few weeks when you are ready to implement the contract.
Examples of Approved Learning Contracts are available in the course.