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A summary of your area of interest, an identification of the problem that you have selected, and an explanation of the significance of this problem for nursing practice


For the Course Project, you identify and apply relevant research to a specific nursing topic or problem. You begin by formulating an answerable question that is relevant to nursing and evidence-based practice. In later weeks of this course, you continue the Course Project by conducting a literature review and then determining how the evidence from the literature can be applied to nursing practice. 

Before you begin, review the Course Project Overview document located in this week’s Learning Resources.

Course Project: Part 1—Identifying a Researchable Problem

One of the most challenging aspects of EBP is to actually identify the answerable question.

—Karen Sue Davies

Formulating a question that targets the goal of your research is a challenging but essential task. The question plays a crucial role in all other aspects of the research, including the determination of the research design and theoretical perspective to be applied, which data will be collected, and which tools will be used for analysis. It is therefore essential to take the time to ensure that the research question addresses what you actually want to study. Doing so will increase your likelihood of obtaining meaningful results.

In this first component of the Course Project, you formulate questions to address a particular nursing issue or problem. You use the PICOT model—patient/population, intervention/issue, comparison, and outcome—outlined in the Learning Resources to design your questions.

To prepare:

  • Review the article, “Formulating the Evidence Based      Practice Question: A Review of the Frameworks,” found in the Learning      Resources for this week. Focus on the PICOT model for guiding the      development of research questions.
  • Review the section beginning on page 71 of the course      text, titled, “Developing and Refining Research Problems” in the course      text, which focuses on analyzing the feasibility of a research problem.
  • Reflect on an issue or problem that you have noticed in      your nursing practice. Consider the significance of this issue or problem.
  • Generate at least five questions that relate to the      issue which you have identified. Use the criteria in your course text to      select one question that would be most appropriate in terms of      significance, feasibility, and interest. Be prepared to explain your      rationale.
  • Formulate a preliminary PICO question—one that is answerable—based      on your analysis. What are the PICO variables (patient/population,      intervention/issue, comparison, and outcome) for this question?

Note: Not all of these variables may be appropriate to every question. Be sure to analyze which are and are not relevant to your specific question.

  • Using the PICOT variables that you determined for your      question, develop a list of at least 10 keywords that could be used when      conducting a literature search to investigate current research pertaining      to the question.

To complete:

Write a 3- to 4-page paper that includes the following:

  • A summary of your area of interest, an identification      of the problem that you have selected, and an explanation of the      significance of this problem for nursing practice
  • The 5 questions you have generated and a description of      how you analyzed them for feasibility
  • Your preliminary PICOT question and a description of      each PICOT variable relevant to your question
  • At least 10 possible keywords that could be used when      conducting a literature search for your PICOT question and a rationale for      your selections

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