Chatham University.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program.

NUR702 Developing Evidence-based Practice.

Assignment Guidelines Integrative Review of the Literature.

Students will complete a review of the research literature specific to the problem of interest in order to uncover possible interventions that can be utilized in evidence-based practice.  The submitted paper will include relevant research findings that are offered as an intervention to address the clinical problem identified in the first assignment. The student is to critically appraise the studies that are shared in the paper. In addition to identifying 3-5 strong studies that will serve as the evidence base for evidence based practice, the student will also share general study findings related to addressing the problem using alternative interventions. Following your literature review, the student should be able to be knowledgeable about what the studies have found with regards to addressing a clinical problem and be able to ultimately identify the intervention they plan to use. This paper will briefly address the clinical problem, but mainly focus on studies found in the research literature that intervene upon the problem. This paper is NOT about the project you will design in NUR 704, but rather on the intervention you find in the research literature. This assignment will be used to support Chapter 2 in the final written capstone document.

The basic outline for the integrative review of the literature is as follows. This scholarly written assignment is to be formatted following the APA (6th edition).

  1. Introduction (5 points). This section should be a very succinct introduction of the clinical problem, the proposed intervention (which will be supported by this paper). You will need to share some background information to help the reader understand why the clinical issue must be addressed. The section should conclude with a statement that states “The purpose of this paper is to….”  Total length of this section is no more than two paragraphs.

*Note, this section is the first section of your paper which is preceded by a level one heading which is the same as the title of your paper.  Do not use “Introduction” as a level one header.

  1. Literature Search Methods (Total 10 points) – This section should discuss two major areas of content:
    1. Sampling Strategies (5 points) – you used to conduct the search process, such as the databases accessed, year restrictions used, types of studies you focused on, and key terms (PICO elements) used in the search. You need to justify or help the reader understand why you used these strategies (ex. data bases and key terms).  Utilize the search strategy matrix you have been using during your search to write this paragraph. Refer to this document in this section (“see Appendix A” or B…).
    2. Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria (5 points) – you need to discuss the criteria you used when evaluating and deciding to utilize a piece of literature. For example, article needed to be “published within the last 5 years” or only certain “levels of evidence” would be accepted.
  • Literature Review Findings (Total 25 points) – this section is composed of two parts:
    1. General Findings –

This section generally highlights all possible interventions found in the literature, but should not focus on your chosen intervention. That goes in the next section.  This is a broad list of possible interventions found in the literature supported by a brief description of a few of the studies. If there were a lot of interventions found, it is not expected that you describe all of them but a sampling of them. Remember, this is NOT where you are describing your chosen intervention. This should not include the intervention used in your PICO statement but others you have uncovered during your literature review. Be sure to carefully cite all the studies found. Briefly explain why you aren’t using any of these interventions. Add additional level headings as appropriate.

  1. Chosen Intervention

Now introduce/present the 3 to 6 studies that support the exact practice change intervention you are considering. Each study should be presented sharing a clear, thorough description of the study including the setting, the sample, the methodology used including the intervention and the study’s outcomes (*Note you must share actual statistical data to reflect the positive outcomes achieved as a result of using the intervention).  Utilize your Evidence Matrix you have been completing to write this section. Attach the Matrix in the Appendix. Add additional level headings as appropriate. Be sure to cite your studies. **Remember, there must be evidence to support a practice change initiative.  The evidence table-matrix must be submitted with the final version of the assignment as an appendix. There must be at least 3 to 6 pieces of evidence that strongly support your chosen intervention/project.


  1. Discussion – (Total 15 points) – This section discusses three parts:
    1. Limitations-Identify limitations of the literature review process – some examples could be you only located literature that seems dated by our standards, there was a lack of published empirical studies on the topic (offer a rationale for using non-empirical studies), there was a lack of studies in nursing but did locate studies in another disciplines, etc. Explain why you needed to expand your search to other disciplines. You cannot say there wasn’t any support for your chosen intervention or else you cannot use it!!
    2. Conclusion of Findings– Briefly highlight your chosen intervention. How robust was the evidence? Why did you choose it?
    3. Potential Practice Change– Considering the information you provided in section B above, describe a potential practice change you can design for your problem using this intervention –remember, this is just a lead off to what you will actually design in NUR
    4. 704


  1. Conclusion (5 points) – a short summary of what was presented in the paper. Address “key take aways.” Do not introduce new information in the conclusion.
  2. References
  • Appendix (Total 10 points)
    1. Search Strategy Log– 5 points
    2. Evidence Matrix– 5 points
  • Structure and Format of Scholarly Writing Assignment (Total 30 points)
    1. Written in APA (6th edition) format (10 points)
    2. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation (10 points)
    3. Organization and presentation of content (10 points) – Be sure to use transitioning sentences when moving between sections of the paper. You need to help your reader follow your thinking.
    4. This paper should be 12-15 pages (Not including cover page, references or appendix). Maximum pages:


Total Possible Points=100 Points (40% of final grade)

The final problem and research evidence supporting the selected intervention must be approved by course faculty in order to pass the course and move on to NUR704 (second capstone course).


Grading Criteria Possible Points Student Score
Introduction  5  
Methods = 10 total

–          Sampling Strategies = 5

–          Criteria used = 5

Findings = 25 total

–          General findings

–          Chosen intervention

Discussion = 15 total

–          Limitations

–          General conclusions

–          Potential project

Conclusion 5  


Written in APA format 10  
Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation 10  
Organization and presentation 10  
Total = 100 points 100  


Important Tips for Successful Writing

(not just for this paper but for all formal writing assignments):

As doctoral level students, please plan to pay close attention to: grammar, spelling, sentence structure, paragraph development, format, word usage, and style of writing. 


*Your paper should have a title page and a reference page.

*You should also have page numbers and subject level headings. (use the level headings provided to you in this guideline!)

*All citations and the reference page should follow the APA Manual (6th edition) guidelines.

*The text should be 12 font, Times New Roman.

*Your paper should be double-spaced.

*There should be one inch margins.



*Refer to yourself at the Project Implementer or Project Manager.

Whatever you use, plan to use this through all 8 chapters of your final capstone.

*Do NOT write any formal paper in this program in first person (I, me, my, our, we) unless specifically asked for as a personal reflection.  This paper is not a personal reflection and should be written very formally.

*A paragraph should have at least three sentences.  A paragraph leads off with a single idea (first sentence) and then the rest of the sentences in that paragraph support the main idea. A single paragraph should not contain multiple topics.

*New information (cited information) should not be introduced in the summary/conclusion.  This is a summary of the entire paper/section/chapter.

*There should be a brief paragraph (at least three sentences) under each level heading introducing the section.

*Try to avoid writing  “Results showed…. or do not show……”, but “Results indicate, suggest, demonstrate, report, etc.

*Never state “Investigators or studies conclude….” for there is always some bias in results (except in the strictest of lab environments). Investigators or studies may suggest, indicate or demonstrate.


Misc tips

*Faculty may allow drafts for certain major papers in the program. Not all courses allow for drafts. This is a courtesy and should be taken full advantage because the feedback you get on the draft will greatly improve your paper. However, this does not mean that additional drafts or re-writes will be accepted or that all papers in the program will be preceded by a draft submission.

*Drafts are not complete corrections of every aspect in your paper by the instructor.  Rather, it is expected the student will investigate further, then apply suggestions offered in their drafts throughout future writing revisions.

*Many faculty use MS Word “Track Changes” to provide feedback. Be sure to familiar yourself with this feature using the resource available in the course. When reviewing feedback in Track Changes, view the feedback showing “All Markup”, not “Simple Markup”.  Most importantly, REMOVE all track changes when submitting final papers by selecting “Accept all changes-Stop Tracking” and remove all faculty comments by right clicking on the comment and selecting delete. Some faculty will not accept assignments if Track Changes is visible on the paper.

*Save all work and papers from each course on a separate drive for future use. For papers that will eventually be chapters in your capstone, make the changes suggested by your course faculty RIGHT AWAY so they are ready to go when you get into NUR 799. Your capstone will be graded in NUR 799 so you will want it to be the best it can be.



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