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Quality Improvement Project: Learning the Model for Improvement

Quality Improvement Project: Learning the Model for Improvement

Author: Gerry Altmiller, EdD, APRN, ACNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN

For Use in: Prelicensure, RN-BSN
Pre-Licensure ADN/DiplomaPre-Licensure BSN

Learner Setting: Didactic 2-page paper assignment

Learner Objectives

  • Discuss quality improvement process in class
  • Implement a quality improvement project for 3 PDSA cycles over 3 weeks
  • Submit a 1 page essay describing quality improvement project with a 1 page graph to show data points.

Strategy Overview

This teaching strategy is designed to teach prelicensure or RN-BSN students how to implement and evaluate a quality improvement project. It can be implemented in any class but lends itself to an Introduction to Nursing Course or a Management and Leadership Course. Students are taught about quality improvement in class using the attached 15-slide presentation. The assignment begins after the presentation and lasts for a total of 4 weeks. Students choose something about themselves or their school that they would like to improve. Ideas could include, sleeping more, studying more hours, drinking more water daily, eating healthier-whatever would be important to the student. The student conducts the improvement for three PLAN, DO, STUDY, ACT (PDSA) cycles, one cycle per week over the next 3 weeks, recording data to measure the change. On the fourth week, the student writes a 1-page essay meeting the criteria of the grading rubric and attaches a graph to demonstrate the data points. Through this assignment, the student learns how to 1) develop an aim statement, 2) implement change using the Model for Improvement (PDSA cycles), 3) collect data to measure change/improvement, and 4) report data using charts or graphs. The presentation includes all the information the student needs to be successful, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement tool kit for reporting data.

Evaluation Description

The grading rubric is attached. The assignment requires the student submit a 1-page essay to describe the quality improvement project, include an aim statement, use a meaningful measure, describe the changes made with each PDSA cycle, and create a graph or run chart to illustrate the change over time. I have used this teaching strategy in Introduction to Nursing successfully. Having this assignment at the beginning of the nursing education program allows students to learn the principles of quality improvement so that they can identify and participate in quality improvement at their clinical settings throughout their nursing education.

Download Slide Presentation:Quality Improvement

Download Assignment and Grading Rubric:Quality Improvement Project

Altmiller, G.  (2020). Teaching quality improvement in prelicensure education. Nurse Educator, 45(1), 9-10. Link to Publication in Nurse Educator