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Unit name: Trends and Issues in Specialty Nursing Practice
Assessment name: Analysis of a trend and issues in a nursing practice
GUIDELINES FOR ASSESSMENT 1
ESSAY: Analysis of a trend and issues in a nursing practice context
You are expected to:
Critically analyse the impact of one trend on specialty nursing practice, using relevant perspectives (socio-cultural, ethico-legal, politico-economic and/or professional- organisational) from the conceptual framework for this unit. Describe and analyse the issues for specialty nursing practice that are a result of this trend.
Length: 2,500 words (+/- 10%)
You may like to consider the following points in your assignment (please note these points are a guide only):
1. Write an introduction that outlines the key trend and resultant issues which will be the focus of the essay.
2. In the body of the essay:
o • provide more detail of the trend and the driving factors (causes) from local, national and international perspectives, using the conceptual framework for this unit. Support the discussion with a synthesis of relevant literature to broaden the analysis. Questions such as why is this trend occurring? can be explored.
o • select 1 or 2 issues and critically examine these for their impact on nursing practice and their relationship to the trend. Questions such as how is this issue a result of the identified trend? can be explored. All statements will be supported by a wide range of seminal, current and relevant sources.
o • briefly offer relevant recommendations for practice improvement aIDressing the resultant issues that will be developed into strategies for Assessment 2. Questions such as what can nurses do? can be briefly explored.
NOTE: To prepare for this assessment you will be required to read all 4 modules so that you may gain a deeper understanding of the conceptual framework that you are required to use. The readings and websites recommended in the modules may be used to support your analysis BUT it is expected you will also provide further high quality sources.
It is anticipated that the on-line discussions will assist you to form ideas and analyses for this essay.
Marking Criteria for Assessment 1
The essay will be marked using a criterion referenced assessment (CRA) rubric. The CRA document will be posted on the Blackboard site. Please read the marking criteria carefully prior to submission of your assignment so that you are clear as to the criteria you must meet.
What is a critical analysis?
A critical discussion/analysis is an approach that you should take to reading, writing and clinical practice. It should take you past the level of accepting everything that is written. In a clinical setting, critical analysis should assist you to find the best solution to a problem by exploring all the options logically and in depth. Applied to your writing, it means that you should analyse rather than describe. Therefore, you do not repeat or reproduce a collection of facts. The goal of writing a critical analysis is to take a position (either agree or disagree) based on a thorough assessment of an issue, not your personal opinion. This assessment should highlight factors such as the differences between two or more approaches to a problem, and the benefits and drawbacks of two or more options or positions on a problem or topic. Most importantly, you should provide strong evidence to support your position. Evidence is, of course, appropriate literature support and logical explanation/argument.
Criticism does not have the same negative connotation as in an appraisal, where the critic may criticise or decry work. Criticism carries with it the broader connotations of discernment. This includes all the interpretations that a number of different writers have contributed to the debate around the particular topic that you are analysing.
Some notes on writing a critical analysis
1. Read widely (that is, from a variety of sources and authors) around your chosen topic. You need to be well informed before you can move into writing a critical analysis.
2. Ensure that you present your position in a logical, organised manner and that there is:
o • Adequate evidence to support your claim/both logical explanation and literature support.
o • Examination of arguments and/or counter-arguments and conflicting viewpoints.
3. In evaluating various viewpoints ensure that you:
o • Identify each author’s perspective.
o • Identify assumptions the author/s makes that aren’t supported.
o • Note where an author appears to be contradictory.
4. Use relevant, scholarly and recent literature:
o • Recent papers (usually within 5–7 years) are acceptable; however earlier papers will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, seminal research may include older references.
o • Use rigorous primary sources, such as research papers and research articles from referred journals. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are also good sources of evidence. You may need to refer to professional body websites. Hospital manuals, ‘because the doctor says’, policy statements, etc. are not acceptable sources of academic writing.
5. The reader should be able to identify from your paper or presentation the following aspects:
o • The objectives of the paper, for example, ‘this paper will critically examine the implicit and explicit issues central to the subject’ or ‘this paper will critically appraise the literature surrounding … and in so doing will distinguish rhetoric from rational argument’. This should then be expanded to provide the reader with clear information on what is covered in the assignment.
o • The most significant conclusions to be drawn from your paper.
o • The major arguments (and, therefore, literature references) that support those conclusions.
Formatting Guidelines for Assessment Submissions
You are expected to present your assignment in a scholarly fashion. It should conform to the following academic conventions. Penalties will apply if these conventions are not adhered to.
Use the following points as a checklist prior to submission:
o You may have plus /minus 10% (250 words) of the designated word count not including in-text references and the reference list.
o Include a footer with page numbers “X of Y” and a header with your name, student number and unit code on all pages.
o Use a separate page for references. The reference page is not included in the word count.
o Reference according to APA conventions only.
o Bullet points and numbering are not appropriate in these assessment items.
o You may use headings to differentiate the areas of your assignment.
o Use size 12 font, Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri font and 1.5 line spacing for all assignments, and ensure margins of 2.5 cm on the right and left of the page.