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Capstone Ideas

by hora727 hora727 (New) New


I need help with formulating ideas on what I could do a captone project on. Basically I need to look at a problem in nuring and look at evidence based practice and what it says about the problem & how it can be improved....... Does anyone have any ideas?

I did one on handwashing before

I'm in the same boat. Just started my Capstone and cant' come up with anything but stuff that's probably been done tons of times... Patient Falls.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Here is my standard advice on "how to pick a topic" for a student project. If you follow it, you will end up with a topic that will both interest you and also be "do-able" in that you will be able to meet the requirements to get a good grade.

1. Identify the clinical area or specialty that interests you most. For example, are you interested in geriatrics? pediatrics? orthopedics? etc. (Identify a back-up field or two in case you need it, but we'll assume your first general field of interest will work out for you.)

2. Go to the library and browse some journals that specialize in your chosen specialty area. As you browse several issues of journals that focus on that specialty, pay attention to the topics that are commonly written about. Notice which topics have readily available research done on them -- both the current articles that you quickly scan while browsing AND good reference lists at the end of the articles because they were based on research. (This process might take 2 or 3 hours -- but shouldn't take all day.)

3. Review the requirements of your project. In fact, you should probably take a copy of them to the library with you to glance at peridodically as you browse.

3. The browsing done in #2 will tell you what the "hot issues" are in your chosen field and also give you current articles on those topics. Which of those topics do you find most interesting? Which topics and which articles best meet the requirements of your school project?

4. Consider the 3 aspects of the choice simultaneously: (a) topic interests you (b) research articles are readily available © the topic and available materials match well with the requirements of your assignment.

5. Choose the one that is the best match for the things listed in #4. You'll already have your lit search half done because they will be the articles you found as you browsed and scanned the journals in the field that interests you.

Most beginner-level students make the mistake of thinking they should start by choosing a topic -- and then HOPE they will get lucky and find the research articles they need to do the assignment. They spend hours searching for the perfect articles on a very specific topic only to find that the articles don't exist.

Experienced students and researchers often approach the task from the opposite direction. They start by asking, "What do we know? and What do we not know?" They go to the literature early and "see what's out there" as they take a general field of interest, explore what is known about it ... and then decide what their specific project should be based on their assessment of the current knowledge and available resources.

llg, PhD, RN-BC

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

There are literally thousands of topics to choose from. Some ideas from my class's capstone:

Honey products used in wound care

Silver dressings in wound care

Breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding and infant outcomes

Sub-cu heparin vs sub-cu lovenox

Changing IV sites every 3 days vs until complications arise

Exercise and effect on depression symptoms

Bed alarms to reduce patient falls

Air mattresses and the effect on skin breakdown

I agree with the above poster- start with an area you are interested in- OB, Peds, Psych, wound care, Geriatrics, ICU, OR etc. Then identify a topic within that area to research more. Maybe you wonder why erythromycin is used in the eyes of infants and want to see if it is really necessary. Maybe you wonder what the infection rate is in laprascopic vs open surgery. Maybe you wonder if Ritalin improves ADHD more than behavior modification therapy in children. You can literally choose anything!

The other option is to identify a common policy and investigate it. i.e. Why are IV sites changed every three days? Why are sequential stockings applied? Why do we give pre op antibiotics? Then research the evidence supporting that policy.

llg gave brilliant advice. Follow that model and you will not have a problem