NURS 600: Scientific and Ethical Foundations


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Amanda Pruka
she / her
Krueger Library 126

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 is 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 provide a foundation for learning the process toward your Thesis or Scholarly Inquiry Paper (SIP) for Master’s students (refer to those guidelines) and the DNP Scholarly Project  for DNP students (refer to those guidelines).  

Your topic may change throughout your program. Applying the research critical appraisal process, beginning a literature search, analyzing and applying theory, creating a conceptual map, and practicing scholarly analysis offers insight into the scholarly inquiry process. NURS 614 (Evidence-based Practice), the course following NURS 600 next semester, provides additional skills to analyze and synthesize other types of evidence. These foundational skills will be used throughout your graduate program – and beyond. In future courses you will work with your advisor to delve further into a topic for a Thesis, SIP, or DNP Scholarly Project. The foundations in this course are critical for applying evidence in your advanced nursing roles.


  • 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. State your phenomenon of interest at this time, realizing it may evolve later. Your database search (use Table 1 template) is very limited at this time and is a merely a practice for using the template (might have only 1 or 2 data searches).
  • Part II – Define a potential research question, define variable(s). Explore a theory that is congruent with your research question.
  • Part III – Synthesize the literature found (this is limited, not exhaustive, for this paper).  Use the template for a literature review table (Table 2) for each research article related to the question (5 articles maximum). Create conceptual mapping from the literature reviewed as it relates to your concept.

Writing and formatting 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. See information about writing resources on the course syllabus. Align with the “Student Paper” APA elements (p. 30 in APA, 2020) and follow the criteria for each segment of this paper. The following includes the criteria/scoring rubric for each segment of this assignment. Submit all segments as the paper progresses with revisions based on suggested changes or topic change. Total of all segments is 90 points.

Research documents

Course documents