Nursing Capstone

image of nursing capstone model


The Baccalaureate Nursing Program Capstone is a set of culminating activities during which the student demonstrates fulfillment of University and Nursing Department requirements for the degree.  The Nursing curriculum is designed to build on a liberal arts foundation and the core principles of the University Central Six which support transformation through discipline knowledge, leadership, research and scholarly activities, service learning and civic engagement, global and cultural competencies, and health and wellness. 

All required nursing courses are designed to meet national standards for nursing education and nursing practice.  Courses are designed to build concepts incrementally to assure successful accomplishment of the defined Nursing Program Core Competencies (or Student Learning Outcomes).  Additionally, the Nursing Program has incorporated the Value Rubrics adopted by UCO for Critical Thinking and Written Communication, as well as Integrative Learning as a guide for course development. 

The Leadership and Community Courses in the last semester of the senior year focus on facilitating transition from role of student to the role of the professional nurse in contemporary health care environments.  Students are expected to integrate learning from previous courses in areas defined by the program core competencies including patient-centered care, clinical reasoning and judgment, evidence-based practice, communication, information and technology, systems-based practice, quality improvement and safety, leadership, professionalism, and collaboration and teamwork. 

The three components of the Capstone in Nursing:

Clinical Simulation: 

The simulation experience takes place during the Senior 1 semester and evaluates the student’s level of integration of knowledge and skills related to the provision of clinical nursing care.  The focus is on scenarios for complex patients with multiple health concerns and includes the provision of care for multiple patients in a clinical setting.  Self-reflection and faculty feedback are aimed at identifying areas for additional clinical experience to be addressed during the final semester of the senior year. 

Project Implementation: 

The implementation of the project allows the student to demonstrate the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills acquired in this academic program to real-world nursing issues and concerns.  The project affirms the student’s ability to think critically and creatively to solve practical issues and concerns related to nursing practice at the individual, family, community, organizational or systems level.  The student also demonstrates the ability to make reasoned and ethical decisions and communicate effectively orally and in writing.  Using an evidence-based approach the student develops a project for proposal by the end of the Senior 1 semester to be implemented in the final semester before graduation.  The project may be directed at a variety of health and health care settings and is related the areas defined by the nursing program core competencies.

Personal Philosophy of Nursing: 

By incorporating knowledge and skills from past learning experiences with personal reflection on values and theories, the student is able to envision themselves as a professional nurse.  This experience guides the student as they move from graduation as a novice nurse toward self-actualization and becoming an expert nursing professional.  This paper demonstrates their ability to synthesize information and the ability to express ideas in a scholarly form of communication.