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Family Nursing Network
  • Topic/Focus: 

    Creating a poster presentation related to a family construct (find out more about Family Constructs on the About page)

    Intended Audience:

    Undergraduate students*

    International Family Nursing Association Competency:

    Student Learning Outcomes:

    1. Review current literature related to a family construct
    2. Synthesize literature related to a family construct
    3. Identify evidence based nursing actions related to a family construct
    4. Develop confidence regarding professional nursing practice knowledge dissemination


    The purpose of this activity is to introduce beginning nursing students to the scholarly foundations of family-focused nursing practice and what it means to practice family-focused care.  The aim is to generate enthusiasm in students and an appreciation of family-focused nursing care and evidence-based nursing practice. The end result of this learning activity is a poster presented to peers. 

    Description in course syllabus:

    Students are assigned a family construct, search the literature for related information, and develop a poster to present to peers. 

    1)  Review the literature
                   a) Look at concept/construct first
                   b) Add family
                   c) Add family nursing
    2) Summarize research findings related to the family construct

    3) Define family construct and relate why it’s important
    4) Provide exemplar case(s) that shows all facets
    5) Make recommendations for nursing practice
    6) Pose questions that you feel still need to be answered
    7) Provide a reference list

    Notes to instructor:  

    This learning activity can be completed individually or in small groups; we have used groups of four students. Depending on the level of student, they may need additional guidance on conducting a literature search, synthesizing findings, and relating it to family theory. The construct could be depicted within a particular health and illness experience or more broadly. 

    An important aspect of this activity is the final poster presentation session during which students are socialized to knowledge dissemination in the profession.  Students are encouraged to wear business casual attire.  All nursing faculty and students are invited to attend the poster session presentation. We are able to hang posters in our School of Nursing hallways—we typically have 10 posters created by 40 students. At the poster session, two students stand by the poster and interact with session attendees while the other two students are free to view the other nine posters. After half the time has passed, the students change roles. This way all students have the opportunity to describe, and defend, their work, as well as to learn about other family constructs.  A video of the presentation is also an option, see examples below.

    We do not make these examples available to students as it tends to limit their thinking and creativity. The examples provided are only meant to give you as an instructor something to gauge your expectations of what is possible.

    Possible Family Constructs:

    A list of Family Constructs can be found on the Forums Tab

    Family Struggling

    Family Anxiety

    Family Burden

    Family Care Strategies

    Family Beliefs

    Family Engagement

    Family Protection

    Family Uncertainty

    Family Balancing

    Family Resiliency

    Family Caregiving

    Family Communication

    Family Coordination

    Family Coping

    Family Crisis

    Family Fear

    Family Inquiry

    Family Relating

    Family Reintegration

    Family Stress

    Family Information Keeper



    We evaluate this activity on a pass/fail basis, upon achievement of the learning outcomes. For instructors wanting to evaluate posters using criteria for judging a poster, a sample of possible criteria is included below. We may include up to four “bonus” questions, each related to a family construct, on the final exam.


    *This activity can easily be adapted for practicing nurses or graduate students.

    Poster Design Template

    Tips for creating an effective poster found here:  http://www.ncsu.edu/project/posters

    Poster Project Evaluation

    Poster projects will be evaluated on the following criteria (1 point each):

    ·        Effectiveness of title in conveying the poster’s subject matter

    ·        Adequacy of background information

    ·        Significance of construct to nursing practice

    ·        Clarity of purpose

    ·        Breadth and depth of literature review

    ·        Clarity of construct definition and relevance to family

    ·        Quality of exemplars in furthering understanding of family construct

    ·        Strength of implications for practice

    ·        Creativity of questions posed

    ·        Appropriateness of references

    ·        Overall visual appeal (balanced and pleasing use of colors, text, graphics)

    ·        Explicit organization and flow of information presented

    Students may need more assistance with how to review the literature—we include a link to our librarian’s 15 minute overview of how to conduct a search in CINAHL. We review the importance of looking at evidence-based articles, and that nursing actions students may recommend are stronger when based in research.

    Students are shown an example of how one could record a search strategy, for instance:

    Vieira, Bachion, Mota & Munari (2013).  A systematic review of the interventions for nipple trauma in breastfeeding mothers. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45, 116-125.


    One of the hallmarks of scholarship and being a scholar is making your work public. There are many ways of doing this—most of them are listed here. Students are familiar with the published literature and books. At nursing conferences typically there are three modes of presenting: podium presentations, symposiums, and poster sessions. Podium presentations can be anywhere from 20-45 minutes and address one topic or recently completed study. A symposium is a presentation of three or more related papers addressing a common topic and may run 90 minutes. Poster sessions are opportunities for many people to show their work at once, with conference attendees free to wander and view the work of interest to them.

    You should be prepared to speak about your topic when attendees visit your poster. It is a good idea to have some speaking points in mind, such as those listed here. You do not want to read your poster, but you might further explain a graphic if you have one. Be sure to allow attendees some silent time to view and read the details of your poster as well. It is great fun when questions lead to a dialogue about your topic and your enthusiasm shines through! This is your opportunity to showcase what you know and what you believe is important for others to know.


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