Evidence Into Action: Capstone Innovation and Mentorship Take the Next Step

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Ellen M. Moore, DNP
Gail Wegner, DNP
Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, IN

Learning Objective 1: 1. Describe innovative Capstone course that propels evidence-based practice (EBP) into action for quality/performance improvements and improved patient outcomes.

Learning Objective 2: 2. Examine role of faculty mentors as catalysts to actively engage students in design and implementation of EBP projects and explore opportunites for collaborative partnerships.

This presentation describes a baccalaureate Capstone course innovation that moves away from the traditional preceptor model to a student-centered approach that supports self-directed, reflective, and collaborative decision making for EBP implementation.  Under the guidance of an EBP faculty mentor and agency project director/liaison, students identify a question of inquiry, design an EBP project or proposal to address quality/performance improvement, appraise the evidence, and develop an implementation and evaluation plan.

From benchmarking and attention to initiatives directed towards the future of nursing education, Capstone incorporated five key points: emphasize student-centered learning, self-reflection, and critical thinking; encourage teamwork, collaboration, and improvement in quality and safety; question real-world problem of practice; search and appraise the evidence; and, most importantly, engage students through mentorship.

Faculty mentors have collaborated on 105 EBP projects with on-campus students, and over 200 EBP proposals with online RN-BS students throughout the US. The response to the innovation has been overwhelmingly positive and new partners have submitted projects for collaboration. At a recent NLNAC accreditation visit, reviewers cited the Capstone course as a curriculum strength.

Leading and managing change to move EBP into action is a challenging, but rewarding endeavor. The challenges that spurred course faculty often became logistical hurdles and each new encounter presented new “ah-ah” moments that emphasized the vital role of mentors as positive forces.  The next step: identifying barriers and facilitators to EBP implementation and moving towards innovative ways for sustainability.

Keywords:  Capstone, EBP, innovation, mentorship