NURS 600: Scientific and Ethical Foundations


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Megan Peterson
Krueger Library
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The Paper: Instructions


The following are criteria and scoring rubric for your written paper. This paper consists of several segments, each with a unique due date (refer to course schedule). Each segment will be reviewed by the course faculty, with comments and suggestions to enhance your writing and content. It is expected you will incorporate those edits and writing/APA/grammatical suggestions for the next segment. This paper is intended to start you on your journey toward your Thesis or Scholarly Inquiry Paper (SIP) for Master’s students (refer to these guidelines) and the DNP Scholarly Project for Baccalaureate to DNP students (refer to these guidelines).  

Your topic may change throughout your program, but applying the research critical appraisal process, beginning a literature search, analyzing theory, creating a conceptual map, and practicing scholarly analysis offers insight into the scholarly inquiry process. These are skills you will use throughout your graduate program – and beyond. Beginning in the next course sequence (NURS 614), you will work with your advisor to delve further into a topic for a Thesis, SIP, or DNP Scholarly Project.


  • Part I- Begin with determining a nursing phenomenon of interest (for this course, the focus is research). Look around your daily nursing practice for ideas. This topic may or may not be continued in the future, but you will learn the process for future scholarly work. Dip into the literature to see potential evidence, methods, theorists/frameworks, or instruments used.  State the purpose, at this time, realizing it may evolve later in your paper. Your database search is very limited at this time, and is a merely a draft to practice using the template.
  • Part II – Define a potential research question. Explore a theorist that fits with this research question.
  • Part III – Synthesize the literature found (this is limited, not exhaustive for this paper). Define variables. Follow the template for a literature review table for each research article related to the question (5 max). Create conceptual mapping from the literature reviewed as it relates to your concept.
  • Writing and format is important for each segment. You may revise or change earlier segments (such as changing or revising your database table or research question), as each segment is an improvement of the earlier drafts. Incorporate instructor comments and suggested edits into subsequent segments. Writing is a process.

The following includes the criteria/scoring rubric for each segment of this assignment. Hand in all segments as the paper progresses with suggested changes or revisions. Total of all segments is 90 points.

Resources for Standards of Practice

Research documents

Course documents

Other guides of interest