Coming up with and writing a BSN capstone project is one of the important things you will have to do as a nursing student to show mastery of the knowledge and skills that you have acquired in years of studying.
But sometimes coming up with the perfect nursing capstone project ideas and inspiration for the writing process can be hard even for the best nursing students.
This article will help you explore what a BSN nursing capstone project is, the importance of the project to a nursing student and to the community, what you should consider when deciding between which capstone project you should write and finally some of the nursing project topics that you can consider for inspiration.
Let us start at the beginning.
What is a BSN nursing capstone project?
As a student pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing, one of the most important aspects of finalising your nursing education is the ability to demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills that you have gained over time in the form of a well-researched project that is based on scientific evidence from both the theory and fieldwork parts and is in written form. All of these elements come together to form what is known as the BSN nursing capstone project.
What is the importance of BSN nursing capstone projects
Apart from the fact that your capstone project finally lets you put into practice your accumulated knowledge, there are other reasons why a BSN capstone project is important to you as a nursing student and to the healthcare systems that you will be contributing to. Some of those important reasons are
- It is possible to find and analyze a specific niche of interest by putting your knowledge into practical use, which may lead to curiosity in that particular area to enhance and develop your career.
- Because you are integrating the community aspect into your project, you will be able to learn more about the community and the feasibility of the project you are working on in the community. You will therefore pay attention to particular challenges and offer solutions to the problems that need attention and intervention.
- During the project’s development, student nurses are able to foster important partnerships and long-term relationships by collaborating with a variety of people, such as nurses and the staff working in healthcare facilities.
- It enhances your research, critical thinking and professional skills because you are able to examine and deeply evaluate different components and whether they would work in a practical clinical setting.
- Writing a capstone project will put into test your writing and communication skills. You will have to use a particular language and choice of words in defending your project, which therefore makes a nursing capstone project a great way to practice and enhance your writing skills.
- Through your nursing capstone project, you will get a deeper understanding of the work dynamics of registered nurses and be able to demonstrate the code of ethics that govern the nursing practice.
How Do you Choose a BSN Nursing Capstone Project? ( Factors to consider)
Depending on your interests as well as capability, there are a number of things that you should consider before deciding which project idea will be the most suitable for you.
What are your GPA score and nursing skills? If your GPA score and nursing skills are lower, it might be a good idea to pick a project that focuses on general topics like what basic medical surgery nurses cover in their line of work. For nursing students whose GPA scores and nursing skills rank higher, a path toward intensive care medicine might be more appropriate for them.
Different institutions might however have different rules and policies that govern the selection of a topic of study. Either way, it is always important to seek guidance from your supervisors, faculty advisors, peers and other people so that you are able to make a decision that is suitable for your nursing practice.
Other additional practices you can do to come up with the most suitable nursing capstone project are,
- Keeping up with current news to see what is happening in the nursing field.
- Conducting a quick search on the uniqueness and relevancy of your topic as well as other nursing capstone projects, on search engines like Google to help you determine the suitability of such a project.
- Incorporate variety from different studies in your research. This will help you get a wider scope of understanding for the particular project you are interested in.
How to write a BSN nursing project
You have consulted, researched far and wide, evaluated your strengths and career prospects, and finally, you have settled on a research topic that ticks all those boxes and has been approved by your supervisor. So what next? how do you write that project and make it great? Consider these steps.
- Write your proposal early enough. Some programs will require you to have a proposal before approving or after approving your topic. Either way, by preparing early enough, you get enough time to work on the rest of the project without rushing through it. Some of the important elements that you must include in your proposal are the title and background of your topic, data collection tools, budget, implementation timeline, sustainability plans among other important features and details of your project.
- Have an outline before writing. Creating an outline is a great way to keep account of the things that you need to write and in what order. This not only saves you time but also ensures that you get a chance for building on feedback from your supervisor since you are developing your project step by step.
- Get relevant and up to date sources. Some of the great sources you can use to back up your research are peer-reviewed nursing journals, nursing news articles and credible websites that are approved for research purposes. Another important source for your research is conducting clinical rounds. This gives you a first-hand look into what different nursing interventions look like, the challenges experienced in clinical settings as well as some of the evidence-based practices that take place in health institutions and if your project can address them. While making use of your sources remember to give credit where it is due and use proper in-text citations. Do not borrow the content word for word, instead, read then understand and apply the knowledge based on the context of your project.
- Formulate a great thesis statement. A good thesis statement should be clear and direct. Make sure your statement communicates what you are covering in the whole project just by someone taking a quick read at it.
- Cite all your sources. The last thing you want to present is a plagiarised paper- intentionally or not. Take time to make sure you are citing all your sources based on the guidance format that you have been asked to adhere to.
- Edit and proofread. A great part that forms your writing is the editing and proofreading stage. After you have finished writing your paper take some time off and then come back later to edit and proofread. Editing is more than just checking for misspellings and grammar errors, you have to ensure that your paper communicates clearly and concisely.
- After submitting, build on the feedback received. After you have finished your paper and submitted it, check out what your supervisors recommend as part of the feedback. Use the information given back to fix errors if there are any and build the content based on the feedback that you have received.
- Refer to your class notes. Take time to go through all your notes. You will be able to learn something that can be applied to your project.
- Go through past sample capstone project papers. This is a great way to familiarise yourself with different projects and it also allows you to be comfortable in coming up with your own original ideas.
List of Nursing Capstone Project Topics
To help you get inspiration for your capstone project, here are some of the nursing capstone project ideas that cover different sections of nursing.
Patient falls nursing capstone project ideas
Patient safety is important in any health institution. You could come up with projects that address this concern. Some of them include
- Conducting a fall risk assessment.
- Use of technology to monitor elderly patients.
- Fall prevention strategies in nursing homes.
- Incorporating exercise to prevent falls in elderly patients.
- Educating nurses on safety protocols to prevent falls.
- Role of hospital leadership in preventing elderly patients fall.
- Championing for safety culture to prevent fall of elderly patients
- Factors contributing to falling of psychiatric patients in hospitals.
- Strategies to prevent falls in medical-surgical units.
- Role of pharmacists in addressing patient falls.
- Environmental assessment as fall management.
- How to reduce injuries resulting from falls.
- Preventing patient falls in freestanding emergency departments in preventing
Informatics Nursing capstone project ideas
Nursing informatics in the healthcare system refers to the adoption and integration of information technology in healthcare and healthcare facilities. Therefore a project in this area deals with aspects of technology. Some of the examples of informatics capstone project ideas are
- Data management in healthcare facilities.
- Use of technology to bridge nurse shortage gaps in healthcare.
- Electronic medical records use for patient-centred care.
- Using information technology in evidence-based care.
- Impact of nursing informatics and patient outcomes.
- Use of robotics in surgery.
- Barriers to nursing informatics.
- Use of informatics to monitor the heart of patients with sleep apnea.
- Meaningful use of Health Information Technology.
- Role of informatics in healthcare quality improvement.
Nursing Leadership Capstone Project Ideas
- Relationship between hospital leadership and level of patient care.
- Role of nurse leaders in the provision of quality healthcare.
- Characteristics of great nurse leaders.
- Roles of nurse leaders in preventing violence in the emergency departments.
- Importance of nursing leadership in improving health management projects.
- Challenges facing nurse leaders.
- Impact of nurse engagement in patient outcomes.
- Strategies nurse leaders use to motivate health care personnel.
- Nursing leadership education.
- Relationship between nurse leadership and change management.
Mental Health Nursing Capstone Project Ideas
These types of projects seek to address the mental health issues in society. Because there is a gap in society with how the topic of mental health issues is addressed, a project on mental health topics can address some of the ways to fill those gaps. examples include
- The effects of domestic violence on children’s mental health.
- How to integrate mental health services with different cultures.
- Use of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to treat psychiatric patients.
- Relationship between homelessness and mental health issues.
- Mental health guide for educating mentally ill patients.
- Addressing mental healthcare among pregnant women.
- mental health guide for peer educators.
- Stigma in patients with mental health issues.
- Access to mental health services for remote communities.
- Impact of art on mental health.
- Mental health care access for adolescents.
Nurse Burnout Capstone Project Ideas
Nurses often suffer burnout, especially in the work environment. The effects of burnout can be severe to the registered nurses as well as the patients in the healthcare system. Some of the projects you can explore on this topic are
- How to predict burnout in nurses and prevent it.
- The impact of nurse shortage gaps in addressing burnout.
- How nurse leaders can address nurse burnout.
- Relationship between nursing organizations and the future of nursing.
- Group therapy effects on nurse burnout.
- Helpful techniques that prevent nurse burnout.
- Characteristics of burnout in oncology nurses
- Effects of nurse burnout on patient safety
General Nursing Capstone Project Ideas
These project ideas cover a broad area of nursing. The following lists some examples.
- Patient portal underutilization influence.
- Relationship between race and level of care offered
- How to transform student nurses into registered nurses.
- Nurse leadership and health management.
- Classification and management approaches of nursing interventions.
- The link between nursing behavior and attitude and level of care
- Revisiting legislation addressing healthcare disparity in the care given to particular races.
- Ways to boost patient flow in emergency departments.
- Role of oncology nurses
Pediatric Nursing Capstone Project Ideas.
These kinds of projects will address the children’s patients. They include
- Sleep apnea in children.
- Breastfeeding program aimed at improving infant health.
- Job satisfaction and burnout among pediatric nurses.
- Effects of losing a child patient on the hospital staff.
- How to increase access to pediatric services in marginalized communities.
- Preventing meningitis in children.
- Improving healthcare systems for children with cancer.
- Relationship between cost and care in pediatric hospitals.
- How to deal with children with terminal diseases.
Women’s Health Capstone Project Ideas
Issues touching specifically on women’s health are addressed by these types of projects. They include
- Breastfeeding women nutritional management.
- Role of nurses in the management of postpartum depression in women.
- Nutritional guideline for pregnant women.
- Prevention strategies for women postpartum depression.
- Female genital mutilation and women’s health.
- Exclusive breastfeeding and infant immunity.
- Infant mortality among African American women.
- Women’s approach to different birth control options.
- Addressing teen pregnancy in women in remote areas.
- Relationship between HPV and cervical cancer.
- How to manage endometriosis in women.
- Sex education for teenagers.
Format for Writing a Nursing capstone project Idea
Each nursing program is usually unique and has different sets of requirements. It is important to know what is required for your program and adhere to the set guidelines.
Most of the time, however, your project paper will follow some standard guidelines in the structure of the content. It is also important to keep in mind that you want your paper to read well and be organized. This will create a good impression for the one reading your project.
With that said, your paper should be formatted in this order
Also referred to as the cover page. This is the part that introduces the main idea that is covered in your content. It is important that you find a suitable title for your project. Too long a title makes the reader lose interest while a very short title does not give enough insight so you should aim to strike a perfect balance. when coming up with a title consider the following tips.
- Use a few words.
- Use specific terms as opposed to general terms.
- Do not use abbreviations.
- Remember to format the introduction in accordance with the required writing style for example APA formatting.
This is the section that gives the reader a brief overview of what you your paper is all about. Usually uses 250 words or less. The main objective of the abstract is to communicate what, why and how something was done and also convey the findings in summary.
When writing the abstract remember to structure it using the introduction, body, then conclusion sequence. Another important tip is to leave the abstract until after you are done with your paper so that you have a full picture of what to include in the abstract.
The introduction provides background information on your capstone project topic. The reason you chose the topic, as well as why you believe the problem requires resolution. Some other important components that should go into your introduction are
PICOT question. PICOT (patient, intervention, comparison, outcome and time), are elements that make up clinical research questions. the question is an enquiry that offers guidance to the topic you want to cover, with a view of eliciting a response.
Nursing research Question. After you have formulated your PICOT question, you should use that as a basis for coming up with your nursing research question, which will serve as the foundation of your project.
Problem statement. This is the section where you elaborate on the nature of the problem that you are trying to address in your project. Ideally, you should back up your statement with the most recent research( within the last five years). Your problem statement should highlight the gaps that seek to be filled by the research project.
A literature review is the part of your project where you mention what information exists on the topic you want to address, backed by literature.
Use the best available evidence that is also the most recent to back up your content. You can also find a middle ground if there exists different evidence that does not agree with each other.
Methods and material
This is the section where you let the reader in on the way you conducted your project. You are supposed to list all the materials that helped you in developing your project and how you used them. The aim of this section is to show consistency and a logical flow of ideas in a way that another person can replicate the process.
Use specific terms and language when describing, use past tense and remember to format with the approved style.
Results and discussion
After you have conducted your research using the methods you have described above, this is the section that lets you report the findings and discuss the data or information that you have arrived at. Depending on the type of project that you conducted you will report and record the findings differently. For quantitative research, you will present data in form of tables, graphs or charts whereas for qualitative research you will present interviews, literature reviews and other mechanisms.
To make a good result section, use meaningful data, avoid repetition and label your figures clearly. As for the discussion section, discuss the importance of the results, point out the theoretical and practical application of your findings, and show the relationship between your work and previously published works.
This is the part of your writing where you conclude your project. Provide a brief overview of what you were talking about in your project, the findings and if you had resolutions be sure to state it here in this section.
In this section, you have to list all the sources that you cited in your research. if you were asked to format your work in APA format, make sure that the list appears in alphabetical order and in accordance with the latest version of the APA guidelines.
The appendices section lets you put in the raw data that you have used throughout your project. some of these data might include tables, figures, charts as well as additional information or data. The main purpose of this section is to enable the reader to countercheck your results so it is important that you format this section clearly and in order.
As you have been able to establish from this article, a lot of factors go into the making of a great capstone project idea. since this research project is important not only for your academic path but also in laying the foundation for a specialized career path, it is important that you take adequate time in the preparation and writing of your paper. conduct a wide range of research and look for inspiration from sample nursing capstone project ideas. You should also ensure that you keep improving your writing skills so that when you finally hand in your nursing capstone project, all the hard work you have put in is paid off.