Before you can start practicing nursing on a professional level, you must undergo a strenuous education process and complete numerous tests to prove that they are indeed fit to become part of the healthcare system. Your skills, competency, and understanding are examined through a serious of evidence-based assessments and health projects.
Conducting evidence-based research and working with facts is one of the most exciting parts of becoming a nurse. However, if you do not have the required skills and understanding in project management, the career can become a challenge to you.
One of the projects you must complete is a capstone project. This is a project that assesses your knowledge of patient risks and disease, management, treatment timing, and your ability to use resources to search for important information online on patients. Writing a capstone project is one of the most challenging parts of a nursing course. Most students find it hard to come up with project ideas and follow through to the end.
Generally, nurses are differentiated from other healthcare providers through their approach to training, patient care, and scope of practice. They are the most versatile of all healthcare workers in that they can work in many medical specialties at different capacities. Most nurses are expected to provide tender care in line with physician/doctor scope. This traditional role is what the public image of nurses as caregivers is built on. Even so, some special conditions and settings allow nurses to practice independently.
In most developed countries, advanced nursing practice allows nurse practitioners and specialist nurses to diagnose health problems and prescribe medication or therapies to patients. Nurses offer help in the coordination of patient care by other members of the healthcare team, such as therapists, dieticians, and specialist doctors.
What is a nursing capstone project?
This is a project required from all nursing students for their undergraduate degree. When working on a capstone project, you are required to research on a chosen theme. The paper should investigate an existing idea as opposed to introducing new information.
A capstone project is a scholarly project with the primary purpose of translating evidence in nurse practice. It is supposed to reflect your area of interest/specialization in nursing. It will allow you to delve deeper into the subject and come up with a project focused on clinical nursing practice.
Capstone projects can take different forms depending on the university/college requirements and also your area of specialization. Even so, the planning, implementation, and evaluation components of all capstone projects are the same.
A successful capstone project should be able to:
- Focus on researching on a change that has a direct or indirect impact on healthcare outcomes
- Implement the required area of practice
- Include an evaluation of outcomes and/or processes.
- Have a system of aggregate/population focus (micro, meso or macro)
- Include a sustainability plan, either financial, system, or political.
Your project should be designed in a way that makes it possible to evaluate the outcomes as a way of guiding policy and practice. It should also provide a foundation for future practice research.
The purpose of a capstone project
The purpose of a capstone project is to decipher the methods you will use in patient care in your chosen specialization. Through your capstone project, you will show your ability to practice and lead in the top clinical practice level.
For this to be possible, a nursing student should integrate different skills in their project writing. They include:
- Expertise in the area of interest
- Expertise in reflective practice.
- Ability to identify existing problems in nursing practice and healthcare systems in general
- Ability to assess, translate, and use evidence research in the improvement of quality of patient care and patient outcomes.
- Ability to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions to improve the outcome for diverse communities/organizations.
- Knowledge and understanding of healthcare ethics policies and law in the development of population-based programs in line with available evidence
Choosing capstone project ideas
Writing a capstone project is a challenging task that involves a lot of time and hard work. Some capstone projects can take months to complete, while others can take years. The paper is meant to assess a student’s knowledge, skill, and understanding of the nursing practice and their ability to apply this understanding in real-life situations.
For you to ensure you prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you fully understand your role as a nurse, you need to pick the best capstone project idea. The best topic should have enough research bases content to support your project from beginning to end. The good news is, there are limitless options for capstone project ideas. Anything that gears to improve the quality of patient care through nursing can qualify as a project idea.
Common nursing capstone project ideas
Sudden patient fall
Sometimes, there is an unanticipated fall of a patient under the care of a nurse. Numerous researches have been done in this area, but the problem remains acute. The main victims of this issue are the elderly or those suffering from specific physical and mental conditions like hypoglycemia, sodium-potassium imbalance, and dementia. Working on this sensitive topic can give you ideas on how nurses and medical practitioners can better the practice in this area of nursing and also show what actions can be taken in such situations.
Wounds are a normal part of everyone’s life and can occur for different reasons. Even so, they are also a leading cause of hospital admissions. This shows the need for better wound care and management and the effect it has on patient outcomes. For this project, a student can explore recent research on wound management and explore the practice gaps evident in the field as a way of trying to fill the gap.
The role played by anesthesia in surgical processes is of high importance. The dose used can vary from one patient to the next based on the health condition and age. Writing a nursing capstone project around this topic can help other students to understand the importance of perfect dosing and how to prevent underdosing or overdosing.
Psychological assessment of potentially depressed patients
Most patients admitted with other healthcare conditions are rarely assessed for depression. The psychological state of any patient has a direct impact on their physical health and treatment outcomes. By diagnosing the condition early enough, it can help to fasten the recovery problem, physically and mentally. Conducting further research on this subject can aid the field of nursing by providing better psychological care for patients.
Preventions of hospital-acquired infections
The most vulnerable patients to hospital infections ae those recovering from grave illness and successful surgical processes. Their time in hospital as part of their recuperation process can expose them to possible infections. These are a thorn in most hospitals as it has become increasingly impossible to flatten the curse on the number of hospital infections cases. By writing a nursing capstone project on this issue, you will be required to assess different materials on the issue to find evidence to base your research on.
When admitted to a hospital, patients are in the constant care of nurses and doctors. However, some long term or chronic conditions can be monitored and managed from home. Patients are required to learn of self-care skills that they will need for homecare. A capstone project on this topic can explore the different ways home care can be improved by improving the education offered in hospitals to patients. Effective management of conditions at home can contribute significantly to the reduction of the number of hospital readmissions.
Reviewing sexually transmitted infections and disease
Even in this generation, most people are still hesitant in discussing topics related to sexually transmitted diseases and infections. This causes affected people to shy away from coming forth to seek the help they need, which leads to health deterioration and sometimes death. Further research and education on this topic will help to stop the stigma surrounding STIs/STDs and allow more people to come forward to seek medical assistance.
Breastfeeding is a natural way of helping in infancy development and also protects the mother from specific ailments after childbirth. Therefore, the topic of breastfeeding as a practice is always a hot topic to explore and advance. There is always room for more research interventions to develop issues related to this topic.
Other nursing capstone project ideas include:
Emergency nursing ideas
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Clinical workload policy.
- Post-anesthesia care units and pain management in clinical practice
- Patients with congestive heart failure and the quality of life
- Bedside shift report.
- Hospice nurses and their way of thinking
- Simulation for incorporated caring competencies.
- Influence of the nursing capstone project on nursing skills
- The connection and importance between caring behavior and emotional intelligence to emergency room nurses
- Why inpatient medication education is important
- Nurse management.
- Critical care for nurses’ burnout.
- Burnout to boost productivity
- Preparation of nursing students by using high-fidelity simulation
- Unit orientation vs. Hospital orientation
While there is so much more that goes into writing a nursing capstone project, choosing the perfect idea for your project can simplify the writing process. Always go for a topic that has not been researched too much in the past, while still ensuring it offers enough information for further exploration. This will ensure your project idea is unique and more likely to drive change in the area of study.