Capstone Project

The purpose of the Capstone Project clinical assignments is to use the principles and context of evidence based practice (EBP).  The Capstone Project will consist of three clinical assignments:  Clinical Practice Inquiry, PICO Question, and Capstone Project Proposal. Be mindful of evaluator comments made by faculty with each assignment, ensuring that you address gaps in content on future assignments.  This will keep you on track for the best success. Grading rubrics for each are embedded in each assignment located under the “Assessments” tab on the course in Blackboard.

Clinical Assignment One: Clinical Practice Inquiry

The Clinical Practice Inquiry assignment involves problem identification, verification as a problem, and research into best practices related to that problem. The assignment requires an APA formatted paper that uses (APA 6th ed.) guidelines for page setup, headings, citations, and references.

Begin this assignment with a curiosity and a drive for improvement, gathering information on current nursing practices, processes, and or policies that have patient health, safety, efficiency, or effectiveness implications.  Next, discuss your findings and brainstorm with your mentor to identify one idea that has the potential for investigation and improvement through change, research, and or EBP in your clinical organization.

In a 250-500 word APA formatted paper briefly describe the current state around the project idea, providing scholarly evidence that supports an improvement project. The assignment describes the data gathered at the clinical site that supports the need for the identified change. It describes the target population and setting the project will impact. (50 points)

Included in your assignment, provide three learning objectives from the competencies in the Course Syllabus to address in your Capstone Project. These learning objectives will be used throughout the entire to enhance your learning and strengthen the evidence. You may cut and paste these into your paper. For example:  Learning Objective: Examine ethical principles and theories as they pertain to healthcare administration issues, including patient autonomy and end of life decision making. (30 points)

Include a brief introduction with thesis and brief conclusion recapping main points into the assignment (10 points)

Scholarly writing expected with title page and reference page. (10 points)

Be mindful, if your solution warrants a system change, it will be under the auspices of your clinical organization not under the provisions of this course or program. Once your organization decides if it wants to implement the Capstone Project Proposal, you will have professionally advanced your place of employment but it will need the authority of the organization for implementation. We do hope your project is adopted, but it needs your Faculty approval before any implementation.

Places to seek out EBP information to include: The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals, Professional Organizations such as AORN, AACN, ENA, and Academy of Medical/Surgical Nursing as examples. Here is a link to a list of Nursing Organizations:

Also provided is additional information on an Evidence Based Practice Toolkit for Nursing to better understand what is asked of you:

 Clinical Assignment TWO: PICO Question

The PICO Question assignment involves formulation of the PICO question. Using the PICO document provided in the assignment located under the “Assessments” tab on the course Blackboard, answer the following questions next to each category: Population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome.  Then write out your constructed PICO in one sentence.  

Population (20 points)Who comprises your population to be studied? Patients? (Disease or Health status, age, race, sex)Nurses/Healthcare professionals (HCP)? (specify participants – e.g. members of a specific nursing unit, interdisciplinary team, leadership group, etc.)Public/Healthcare Consumers (specify participants: members of a specific community, school, healthcare support group, etc.)  
Intervention (20 points)What do you plan to do for the patient/HCP/community members? (specific tests, therapies, medications, cost-saving project, time-saving process, quality improvement, etc.)
Comparison (20 points)What is the alternative to your plan? (such as: not performing the change, other options of change, etc.)  
Outcome (20 points)What outcome do you seek? (better health, reduced cost, better process flow, worktime-savings, compliance to policy/regulations, etc.).  How will the outcome be evaluated?  
PICO Question (20 points)Write out your answerable PICO Question in one sentence.

Clinical Assignment Three: Capstone Project Proposal:

The Capstone Project Proposal assignment requires an APA formatted paper that uses (APA 6th ed.) guidelines for title page setup, running head, level headings, citations, and references.  Utilization of level headings will provide organization. The assignment length will be a maximum of 10 pages and will address the following criteria:

  1. Introduction (5 points)
  2. Provide introduction with a thesis statement.
  3. Clinical Practice Inquiry (5 points)
  4. Describe clinical practice inquiry process  (data collection and problem identification procedures)
  5. PICO (5 points)
  6. Provide PICO statement in proper format
  7. Strategy for Change (30 points).  (This section should be several paragraphs. Scholarly source citations are expected in this section)
  8. Discuss the change strategy for addressing PICO, including specific steps and protocols used in the Capstone Project.
  9. Identify personnel involved in the change process (job titles, no names), who will provide intervention or innovation and the training and resources for the Capstone Project.  Indicate why these team members were chosen. 
  10. Describe planned approach for gaining support from the administrators and staff for the Capstone Project.
  11. Describe how implementing the Capstone Project will improve patient health, safety, efficiency, or effectiveness. 
  12. Describe the population affected by the Capstone Project (patients, families, nursing staff, and ancillary staff.)  Include population demographics, where that population is on the continuum of care and how they are affected by the change process (titles, not names).
  13. Describe how the benefits of implementing the Capstone Project outweigh maintaining the status quo of the current practice. 
  14. Describe the anticipated outcome, and or results expected; and how will they be measured. 
  15. Evidence Appraisal (25 points)
  16. Compare and contrast two primary research studies (published within previous 5 years) that support the best practice implementation strategies for the Capstone Project.
  17. Discuss strengths and limitations of each study including the following information:
    1. Name of author, date, title of study, journal
    1. Problem or purpose:  issue addressed in the study
    1. Sample size, important demographics, inclusion and exclusion criteria
    1. Interpretation of findings: statistical/clinical significance
    1. Implications/conclusions related to adoption to practice
  18. Learning Objectives (10 points)
    1.  Discuss how Learning Objectives were integral to the project and studies. Give specific details on their use. Were they the same ones identified in the Clinical Practice Inquiry
  • Conclusion and Personal Reflections (5 points)
    • Conclude with main points and briefly discuss what you learned through the Capstone Project process.
    • Include how the experience will influence your future professional nursing practice.
  • Scholarly Writing (15 points)

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