Utilization of Capstone Project In Nursing Education

Afza.Malik GDA

 Implementations of Capstone Project In Nursing Education

Utilization of Capstone Project In Nursing Education

Whats is Capstone Project and Its Use,Utilization of Capstone Project In Health Care and Nursing,Capstone Project In Nursing Practices,EBP and Capstone Project Benefits.

Whats is Capstone Project and Its Use

    Capstone projects are identified by many different names such as capstone experiences, senior exhibition, or senior project. In a capstone project, the individual is expected to identify a contemporary challenge or issue with a clinical focus that can be evaluated using "evidence based search strategies and critical appraisal of the literature" (Newland, 2013, p. 6). 

    The Great Schools Partnership (nd) defines a capstone project as a complex and intricate assignment that is a concluding academic experience demonstrating a body of knowledge about a topic of interest. A capstone project is characterized by incorporating a strong decision making process to guide the inquiry.

Utilization of Capstone Project In Health Care and Nursing Education

    While capstone projects can be found in any educational setting, they tend to be used primarily in master and/or doctoral programs in nursing education. The fundamental and central target of a capstone project is to investigate problems and issues identified in health care. Through the investigation, evidence related to the identified focus can be confirmed to build on the topic being analysed. The ultimate outcome for each project embraces the idea of improving the quality of care delivered to individuals. 

    A key point in the development and management of a capstone project is mentoring to ensure that each step of the project is carefully and efficiently carried out. Each project is specific to the setting and individual choice. The projects embrace all of the steps of critical thinking. A capstone endeavor can take the direction of a research venture, undertaking quality improvement. or an evidence-based practice venture. It is expected that the entire process results in careful consideration of how to improve an aspect of health care.

    Capstone projects tend to be directed towards a clinical situation. According to Clarke (2013), the linkages between academia and practice need to be directed toward patient/family-centered care, including finance and policy. Attention is directed on merging clinical and best practices to improve health care.

Capstone Project In Nursing Education and Practices 

    In the DNP Essentials developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2006), it is suggested that the final DNP project delivers conclusions that ensued from practice engagement experiences. The entire process should be carefully reviewed and evaluated by experts in the program. While discussion continues on the need for research to be incorporated in the projects, the main focus is that the project demonstrates sound decision making and analytical management. 

    Rutledge and Renaud (2013) list examples of doctor of nursing practice (DNP) capstone projects that include pilot studies, program development and evaluation efforts, quality improvement projects, incorporation of inter professional collaborative models, evaluation of cost effectiveness, and provider outcome efficiency.Over cash (2013) believes that there is a need for small projects to validate nursing research. The outcome of a capstone project is to "cultivate perceptions of empowerment and confidence that pave the way for a career of nursing inquiry" (Overcash, 2013, p. 22). 

    Through a mentor, the capstone project student is moved forward to provide evidence and best practices related to the topic addressed. Active engagement by individuals to manage challenges identified in innovative and creative ways allows new solutions for problems to be studied. The research and/or quality improvement projects can create the essential and crucial evidence imperative for health care.

    The Great Schools Partnership (nd) asserts that a capstone project develops the following skills, critical thinking, precise oral communication, problem solving, media literacy, and self-sufficiency. Each capstone experience is envisioned to result in some form of dissemination. The individual is expected to provide a final product such as a manuscript for publication, oral presentation, and/or poster presentation. 

    For some projects, the dissemination of results must be provided in more than one venue. Some educational goals for the capstone projects are increasing the rigor of the educational aspects of the final year of the program; engaging students to be more motivated and engaged in discovery of solutions; escalating the educational and career aspirations of students; advancing confidence, maturity, and self-perception of students; and documenting learning and proficiency resulting from the project.

EBP and Capstone Project Benefits

    Capstone experiences are opportunities for expanding the evidence available for use in advancing health care. Scholars have the responsibility for seeking the best evidence and knowledge for enhancing and improving methods used for provision of health care. Capstone projects are guided by mentors through successful completion of the project. The mentor is frequently called the capstone adviser. These individuals are strategically placed to provide ongoing support and guidance to effectively develop the skills and expertise needed. 

    Mentors are purposefully selected and used in the process to aid the scholar to thoroughly investigate problems. In addition, experts are identified and used as the project is planned and implemented. These experts provide the scholar with additional insight into the project topic. These networking connections are deliberately selected to augment information provided in conjunction with the mentor.Capstone projects provide support and engagement with students to develop an in depth evidence based learning outcome. 

    An expectation of the capstone project is the commitment to lifelong learning through the use of decision making and evidence based practice.

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