Clinical Guideline Development: Students Putting the Process into Practice
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Session presented on Friday, July 24, 2015: Purpose: The 2014 National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) Core Competencies, expects faculty to impart Scientific Foundation Competencies to our students in nurse practitioner programs. Students should be equipped to critically analyze evidence, integrate and translate research into practice for the purpose of improving patient processes and outcomes. The educator's challenge is to identify assignments where scientific foundation competencies are understood and practiced by the student with such acumen as to be translated to their clinical practice behavior. Methods: A process evaluation was undertaken for a graduate teaching-learning assignment to develop a national clinical guideline. Faculty and inter-professional team members mentored students through the scientific rigor of the development, review, submission, and acceptance of a National Clearinghouse Guideline. The faculty and students met weekly as a research team for 15 face-to-face meetings. During the working meetings, the evidence-based approaches of an integrated literature review, article evidence-grading, and clinical guideline development were implemented. On-line shared documents fostered continuous editing by the team members. Independent professional reviewers provided expert and editorial advice. Faculty submitted the guideline for the educational institution. The team also developed a manuscript for peer-reviewed publication on the guideline topic. The faculty led the journal publication process. Results: The program assignment met the expected course and national NONPF outcomes. Students, faculty and mentors authored a National Clearinghouse Guideline. Additionally, the team's manuscript was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Formative evaluation of the course assignment was positive, with student's expressing pride in their published guideline and excitement at adding a publication to the curriculum vita. Faculty admitted to increased workload of mentoring, yet benefited from the publication. Conclusion: The process evaluation determined that the assignment met the national scientific foundation competencies that will likely benefit the Advance Practice Nurses and the patients they serve. Future evaluation should address the long term goal of continued scholarly activities of our graduates.