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An essential part of project management is evaluation. Evaluation enables measuring the project’s effectiveness and success (Roussel et al., 2016). In this essay, the framework that will be used to assess the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) project will be identified and discussed. Preceptors will be the focus of this DNP study. In comparison to nurses who do not understand precept, can precepting in a dedicated education unit or as a devoted student teacher increase the preceptors’ feeling of professional practice? This paper’s discussion of assessment techniques, budgetary concerns, data collecting, data analysis, and project goals is another goal.

The evaluation model

There are many well-known evaluation models. The models are the goal-free model, the transaction model, the decision-making model, and the goal-based model, among others. These models all have different approaches, philosophies, and techniques for gathering data.

To select the best model, project or program planners must be aware of the evaluation’s goal. Selecting the right model enables the program’s stakeholders to get the program’s results (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2011).

The discrepancy model is based on the idea that programs are not autonomous from the organization and that it is more important to address the why than the cause-and-effect relationship. The goal-free model focuses on evaluating the entire program rather than specific targets. The goal-free model is regarded as being challenging to apply because no clear objective is established at the outset. The transaction model emphasizes constant back-and-forth communication between the staff and the evaluator. The decision-making approach focuses on utilizing the data to decide how the project or program will be used moving forward. The goal-based model focuses on explicitly stated objectives or aims, is simple to implement, and is most similar to the research methodologies (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2011).

The purpose of the DNP project is to determine if serving as a preceptor in a dedicated educational unit (DEU) or as a dedicated student instructor (DSI) enhances a nurse preceptor’s professional practice in comparison to those who do not precept. The success and longevity of this project depend on selecting the right evaluation methodology. Which evaluation model is most appropriate for this project will be determined by evaluating the project’s goals and purpose in light of the needs assessment.

The project does not lend itself to back-and-forth exchanges over a lengthy period of time. Therefore the transaction model would not be advantageous and would not give the stakeholders the essential data. Although the goal-free approach would yield intriguing data, it would be challenging to put into practice. In order for the stakeholders to support the project, the aims, and objectives must be stated. The project is unlikely to be implemented or supported without the goals. The discrepancy model, which would offer a special viewpoint on why, is not in line with the project’s goals. However, for this project, the emphasis is on specific objectives, even though looking at why may be a suitable way for future evaluation of the preceptors. The decision-making methodology might be beneficial for upcoming initiatives as well. The decision-making model can be utilized in future projects to decide how, when, and where to apply precepting if the project finds that the act of precepting enhances professional practice.

The goal-based model is the best suitable model for this project’s program evaluation. The project’s objective is to ascertain whether precepting enhances professional practice, which may improve nurse retention and increase the number of preceptors.

The information required to inform the stakeholders will be obtained by evaluating this project using the goal-based model. The information will be valued by the nurses, unit management, hospital administration, college administration, and nursing faculty, especially if it helps them with their precepting activities. It will enhance support and the chance that nurses will want to take part. It may make it easier for the hospital and nursing college to build a cooperative relationship.

Goals for Evaluation

It will be required to evaluate a number of objectives in order to ascertain whether preceptors working with students in a DEU or as a DSI are effective. Precepting’s effects on preceptors are not well understood; instead, the majority of knowledge focuses on these effects’ effects on students. The main goal is to ascertain the advantages of precepting for the preceptor. Eight facets of the professional practice environment will be assessed to ascertain the benefits. The eight elements are clinical leadership and autonomy, physician-staff interactions, practice control, patient communication, teamwork, handling conflict, internal work motivation, and cultural sensitivity (Erickson et al., 2009). All eight of these elements could be viewed as objectives, and they offer information that can be used to assess the impact that precepting nurses in a DEU or DSI had on their professional practice.

Financial Dimension

For the project to be effective and sustainable, it is critical to evaluate the financial element of the project. Stakeholders will look for proof that the project is based on value. Value, in the words of Roussel et al., “= quality/cost” (2016, p. 152). Examining the advantages of precepting for the preceptor and its potential effects on nurse retention is necessary to assess the project’s value in terms of preceptors and the advancement of professional practice.

The ability to prepare nursing students for the industry and nursing turnover are significant factors affecting the nursing shortage. The salary and overtime costs of facilities may be significantly impacted by the anticipated nursing shortage. According to projections, the nursing field will soon face a severe shortage of almost 500,000 nurses (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2017). It is imperative to take action to address the shortage by expanding nursing student acceptance and entry into the field. Preceptors are more necessary as student enrollment rises. The aforementioned initiative might offer data that would motivate nurses to serve as preceptors. This will make it easier for students to find placements and have an impact on the nursing shortage by avoiding qualified applicants from being denied admission owing to problems with clinical placement.

The cost of turnover for a registered nurse was determined to be between $37,700 and $58,400 in 2016, which can result in annual losses for hospitals of $5.2 million to $8.1 million (Nursing Solutions Inc. [NSI], 2016). This has a substantial impact on the project’s ability to increase nurse satisfaction and lower turnover. The project’s finances are still being worked out, but starting it will be inexpensive while potentially yielding significant cost savings and loss minimization. Giving this information to stakeholders could encourage support and involvement.

Assessment Tools

The Revised Professional Practice Environment (RPPE) Scale is the measurement instrument for this project (see Appendix A). This instrument measures the eight elements of the professional practice environment using a 39-point survey. A valid and trustworthy tool for assessing the professional practice environment is this one. The scoring guidelines include the operational definitions of the eight components, which are crucial for evaluation (see Appendix B for definitions). The budget and anticipated cost benefits are two additional evaluation tools that must be prepared for the project’s overall evaluation.


Pre-survey data will be gathered using the RPPE scale (see Appendix A). All nurses on the DEU will get the pre-survey through email. Then, nurses will offer to serve as preceptors for the unit’s students. After the precepting experience is over, the nurses who served as preceptors will complete the RPPE scale as a post-survey. In order to examine the data, a two-sample independent t-test will be used. Data dependability could be assessed using Cronbach’s alpha. In a study employing the RPPE measure, Jones and Hendricks (2017) evaluated how well nurse preceptors’ professional growth had improved in a DEU. The study by Jones and Hendricks will serve as the foundation for this project’s intended methodology and statistical analysis (2017). The data can be compared to see whether the goals were achieved or not. The number of preceptors available to the college and the turnover and retention rates of the staff nurses is two additional data sets that will be collected. The goal-based assessment methodology can be used to assess the efficiency and worth of the project by making use of the data, and the information gathered.

Evidence-Based Interventions

There is currently a void in the literature on nurse preceptors and how precepting affects a nurse’s practice. The suggested project might offer some evidence of such a gap. This evidence might encourage nurses to precept.

As research reveals, there is a severe shortage in the nursing workforce. This shortfall is brought on by the astonishing amount of applicants who are rejected from nursing programs (AACN, 2017). The evidence also points to current nurses’ high levels of job discontent and the effect this has on patient outcomes. Excessive discontent can also have an impact on nursing turnover, which would exacerbate the shortage (McHugh et al., 2011). To boost satisfaction and expand the pool of preceptors available to students and new nurses, the nursing profession requires solutions. The proposed DNP research might offer proof in favor of using nurses as preceptors to advance their professional practices, which might lower turnover and nurse unhappiness.


In conclusion, project assessment is a crucial part of project management and is required to guarantee stakeholder support and sustainability. It is crucial to assess the program or project as a whole. The project or program manager will find it easier to collect the data required for an accurate evaluation of the program by using the suitable evaluation model for the project. The goal-based method will provide the framework for this DNP project’s evaluation of the advantages and worth of precepting for preceptors. These data will be used to assess the project’s worth and efficiency.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2017). Fact sheet: Nursing shortage. Retrieved from

Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2011). The ABCs of evaluation: Timeless techniques for program and project managers (3rd ed.). Retrieved from

Erickson, J. I., Duffy, M. E., Ditomassi, M., & Jones, D. (2009, May). Psychometric evaluation of the revised professional practice environment (RPPE) scale. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 39(5), 236-243.

Jones, E. A., Simpson, V., & Hendricks, S. (2017). Enhancement of professional development of front-line nurse preceptors in a dedicated education unit. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 48(1), 40-46.

McHugh, M. D., Kutney-Lee, A., Cimiotti, J. P., Sloane, D. M., & Aiken, L. H. (2011). Nurses’ widespread job dissatisfaction, burnout, and frustration with health benefits signal problems with patient care. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 30(2), 202-210.

Nursing Solutions Inc. (2016). 2016 National healthcare retention & RN staffing report.

Retrieved from

Roussel, L., Polancich, S., & Beene, M. S. (2016). Using findings from the clinical needs assessment to develop, implement, and manage sustainable projects. In J. L. Harrris, L. Roussel, C. Dearman, & P. L. Thomas (Eds.), Project planning and management: A guide for nurses and interprofessional teams (2nd ed., pp. 143-169). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


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