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Capstone Project

All students enrolled in the University of Southern Indiana Doctor of Nursing Practice Program will complete an evidence-based capstone project.

The capstone project is a culmination of the knowledge gained in the DNP courses. The primary objective of these projects is the improvement of healthcare outcomes in the practice setting. These evidence based projects may include changes in the healthcare delivery system, organizational changes that impact healthcare at the local, regional and national level and legislation and health care policies that reduce healthcare disparities.

Students will fully identify their project during the first semester capstone course (see project plan below) and continue to develop it through subsequent capstone courses and continue to develop it through subsequent capstone courses. The project must be completed before graduation.

To complete the capstone project, each student will be assigned a faculty mentor. The student will also have a practice partner(s) who will collaborate with the faculty mentor and student on the capstone project. The practice partner will:

  • Assist the student in selecting goals that support the objectives of the DNP program.
  • Guide the student in the development and acquisition of leadership skills required for the project.
  • Meet with the student regularly and provide feedback.
  • Support completion of the capstone project and communicate as needed with the capstone project faculty.

The DNP capstone project plan will include:

  • Overview of the project.
  • Problem statement and background information
  • The need and feasibility of the project including market/risk analysis
  • Project objectives
  • Evaluation plan with methodology and measures included
  • Timeframe that is reasonable and comprehensive.
  • Budget (if applicable) with funding sources identified.

Types of DNP projects

  • System modification for quality improvement processes
  • Analyze a state or national health care policy and propose a change in the model or implementation of policy
  • Develop and implement information technologies to improve outcomes
  • Compare care and teaching models, potential cost savings, and outcomes.
  • Design and evaluate health care or health education programs.
  • Lead interprofessional collaborative projects to implement regional, state, or national policy and evaluate care models.
  • Lead consumer and professional coalition projects to develop, implement or evaluate programs

To meet graduation requirements, the capstone project will include:

  • Poster presentation of the capstone project proposal at a professional conference as part of completion of the second capstone course
  • Podium presentation of the completed project at a regional, state or national professional conference at the completion of the fourth capstone course.
  • A submitted manuscript of the completed project to a peer reviewed professional journal at the completion of the fourth capstone course.
  • An executive summary of the completed project submitted to the capstone project faculty and capstone project mentor at the completion of the fourth capstone project