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Family Construct Poster Presentation Assignment

Lynn Kuechle

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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. The topic is introduced with the Family Construct Project PowerPoint (see below), which touches on searching the literature, describing the search methodology used, and how to organize the poster. Students are provided a template of the poster design (see below) and a web link for tips on how to create an effective poster (see below). (Email patricia.young@mnsu.edu to obtain actual template.) 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.  Prior to the poster session, the Poster Presentations PowerPoint (see below) informs students about professional etiquette at a poster session. 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.



We have provides some sample posters below, but do not make these available to students and caution you about providing too many examples 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.

Here are a few examples of student poster presentations:










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