[QUOTE=Susy K]As far as the abstract, since I haven't began collecting data so far, should I just provide what I have so far?
Title, question, background, etc?
Yeah ... I would just do a 1-page abstract of the title, basic background information, question, and proposed methodology.
Here's another idea - one that I used to get the job that brought me to my current employer. There were some issues that were discussed in-depth during my interview for the CNS job that brought me here ( a 12-hour interview day, by the way). Those issues concerned the nature of the CNS roles, advanced practice roles in general, reporting relationships, etc. Both my propective boss and the VP for Nursing focused on those issues during my talks with them. Well ... after the interview, I went home and wrote up some of my subsequent thoughts and sent them to those 2 individuals, saying that the interview process had stimulated my thinking and that I wanted to share the results with them. The "essay" also further demonstrated that my views were compatible with theirs, but that I also had additional ideas that would enrich the hospital.
I don't know exactly what they thought of my essay, but I got the job. Recently, one of the nursing student externs that I hired this summer did the same thing. She had struggled to answer one of my questions during our interview. The next day, I received an e-mail from her acknowledging that she hadn't answered that question particularly well ... nobody had ever asked her that before. She had done some additional thinking on the subject and this is what she came up with. She also got the job and has turned out to be a "superstar" among this summer's cohort of externs.