Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
This component will consist of a 10 to 20-page narrative (double-spaced and submitted to your chair as a
separate document). Your chair may require a table of evidence (please use the NMSU SON Table of
The goal of the literature review is to provide a descriiption of the context for your problem with evidence
obtained from the available research and other peer-reviewed literature. The descriiption should include
the focus and scope of the project (i.e., clinical microsystem, health care network, professional group, etc.).
The literature review should start off by providing more information on the significance of the problem.
How many people are affected? How much is the problem costing? What types of patient care outcomes or
population health outcomes affected by the problem? (i.e., Why should we care about this problem?)
What is the relevance of this problem to advanced nursing practice? You may use published benchmarks to
compare current practice/outcomes and identify gaps. The literature review can then provide the rationale
for your chosen intervention and selected outcome measures in your evaluation plan.
The literature review for the DNP project will be focused on the use of primary research articles,
systematic/integrative reviews, meta-analyses, peer-reviewed guidelines (e.g., governmental reports, NCBI
clinical guidelines, white papers from professional organizations, etc), and other sources of data that have
been compiled and published. Please use current sources (e.g., in the past 5 years) unless citing a seminal
article on the topic or if no current source is available.
Remember: Your proposal defense PowerPoint will have a summary of your written literature review
presented with bulleted key points.
Tips for conducting the written literature review
• Findings from the literature should be synthesized, rather than presented in piece-meal fashion (e.g.,
Jones at al. said this, Garcia et al. said that).
• Findings from the literature should be interpreted, rather than simply presented, where appropriate.
• Include an evaluation of the evidence if it will affect the strength of your argument (e.g., identify study
weaknesses such as small sample size or use of non-validated outcome measures).
• Use subheadings to organize the different topics in your literature review. For example, an
implementation of a patient agreement for opioids in a primary care practice might cover the following
topics: the increase in opioid use in the nation, state and region; unintentional overdose and death due
to opioids; the role of primary care providers in prescribing opioids; challenges that primary care
providers encounter when prescribing opioids; national guidelines for monitoring requirements when
prescribing opioids; and effectiveness of these guidelines in preventing overdose and death.
Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review (NIH/NCBI): Although this article was written for
researchers, it provides simple guidelines for conducting and writing a literature review.