Saturday, July 14, 2007
Educational Strategies to Support Evidence-Based Nursing Practice: Senior Capstone Projects
|Learning Objective #1: identify teaching/learning strategies which will strengthen evidence-based practice in baccalaureate nursing students.|
|Learning Objective #2: explore clinical strategies in senior nursing courses which provide capstone experiences to incorporate evidence-based practice into a baccalaureate curriculum.|
The AACN’s document, Essentials for Baccalaureate Education, stipulates that graduates are “health care designers, coordinators, and managers”. Skills used to fulfill this role include leadership, management, and evaluation of interdisciplinary work. Graduates must be able to synthesize information from various sources to guide clients and families through the health care delivery system. Through senior capstone projects, students are infused with application of evidence-based nursing research and practice models in clinical courses. They apply outcome-based practice models to enhance nursing and health care practices in clinical specialty areas such as acute care, psychiatric/mental health, and community health. In each senior year nursing course, a project has been identified which support evidence-based research and nursing practice implementation models. Evidence-based research findings are incorporated to formulate nursing intervention and solutions to complex issues in these settings. An example is the senior leadership and management project which requires students to apply outcome-based practice models to enhance nursing and health care practices in a variety of settings. Through an independent practicum, the graduate acquires knowledge and skills of the leadership and management role through evidence-based data gathering and research of a health care need. Senior nursing students collaborate with an individual in leadership position to design a project based on this need, incorporating management principles. Final recommendations must include an analysis of the project indicating the need for additional research and how results will be applied within the organization affecting clients and their outcomes as well as principles related to costs-benefit ratios, organizational design, and quality improvement indicators. Likewise, similar requirements, such as community assessment, evidence-based research critiques, client education sessions, and interdisciplinary case conferences are embedded into the required nursing courses of community health, psychiatric/mental health, and advanced adult health. The end result is the infusion of evidence-based practice models for our graduates.