A Guide to Performing a Needs Assessment and a Gap Analysis

A Guide to Performing a Needs Assessment and a Gap Analysis


A Guide to Performing a Needs Assessment and a Gap Analysis

A Needs Assessment is: A systematic process of gathering information that is appropriate and sufficient to develop an effective educational program that will address the groups’ needs and wants (gap). Methods that are frequently used for determining a needs assessment include the following:

• Membership Learning Needs Survey • Patient Care Requirements • Request from Sample of Potential Audience (focus groups) • Changes in Legislation or reimbursement • Review of current professional literature • Evaluation from prior learning activity • Recent trends in patient population • Annual event • Others including: QI data, Morbidity and Mortality data, new methods of diagnosis or

treatment, new technologies.

What  the  Nurse  Does  Now:  

• Current  Practice   • Current  Knowledge   • Current  Skills  

What  is  the  Best  Practice  for  Nursing?  

• Evidence  based  practice   • New  technologies,  diagnosis  or  treatments   • Current  research   • Legislative  or  regulatory  changes  effecting  

patient  care   • Literature   • Clinical  guidelines  for  care  

Gap  noted   between  current  and  

Best  Practice  


A Gap Analysis is: A gap analysis can be defined as the determination of the difference between current knowledge/practices (what we are doing) and current Evidence Based Practices (what we should be doing). Gaps can occur in knowledge, skills or practice.

Steps to Performing a Gap Analysis:

1. Find the need- through conducting a Needs Assessment

2. Is the gap a knowledge, skill or practice? Determine “What is the best practice? “

3. Determine the Purpose of the Activity then develop the learning objectives to “closing the gap”

Copyright © 2012 by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. (2012). All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce this work for educational purpose is granted, provided proper citation is given.

Suggested  citation.  Anthony  J.  Jannetti,  Inc.  (2012).  A representation: Incorporating a needs assessment and gap analysis into the educational design. Pitman, NJ: Author.

Step 1: Perform a Needs Assessment

Step 2: Determine the Educational Gaps in knowledge, skills or practice:

What is the best practice?

Step 3: Determine Purpose of the Activity &

&Program objectives and Design  Step 4: Course Development

Step 5: Implement the Activity

Step 6: Evaluate the Activity

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