Frequently Asked Questions NURS 495 Senior Capstone Leadership Practicum

What is the course description?

This final capstone course is designed to provide the baccalaureate nursing student with a leadership practicum experience reflective of a synthesis of cognitive and affective skills acquired in the BSN completion program. Students will integrate knowledge of nursing research, leadership and management, and nursing theories to design, implement, and lead a team project that will improve client outcomes. The leadership practicum will be designed in collaboration with a faculty member and carried out in an appropriate health care or community based care setting.

When should I plan to take this course?

This is one of the final capstone courses for the RN to BSN program and as such, should be one of the last two courses you complete in the nursing sequence. You must have completed all the 300-level NURS courses as well as NURS 440. NURS 495 is offered every semester: fall, spring and summer.

What does this course involve for me?

You will participate in a leadership practicum in your current workplace where you, as a project leader, will develop and implement a team project. You will also participate online for specific course content such as learning what a project is, the role of a project manager, selecting team members, developing a project plan, etc.

What is the focus of a project?

You should select a project within your work setting in collaboration with your clinical manager or supervisor. The project should relate to patient/client care and improving patient/client outcomes. This is a very broad approach and just about anything you would do is ultimately going to benefit the patient/client and thus improve outcomes. If you are working in a community based health setting you can focus on a project relating to improving a population’s health.

Who should be on my “team” for this project?

Select members for this project who can contribute to the project because of their interest, expertise, etc. We will talk more about this online. This is a team project and you are the project leader.

How many hours of clinical time should I anticipate?

This course is 4 credits for a total of 120 practicum hours. This is further broken down into 30 hours of online class and 90 hours of hands on project work.

What are some ideas for projects?

First talk with your nurse manager or supervisor as they often have a project that needs to be done. You might also have ideas for a project based on your experience in a particular setting and identifying a specific need or opportunity for a project to be completed. Here are some ideas from past students:

  • Staff development educational programs
  • Introducing a change on a unit such as one to be in compliance with JCAHO
  • Development and implementation of new procedures/policies
  • Development and piloting a specific protocol
  • Development of a Parish Nurse Program
  • Development and implementation of a Community Health Fair

Do I need to do anything prior to the semester I will enroll in this course?

You may want to start thinking about a project and begin a conversation with your manager or supervisor before the class starts, but there is no preliminary proposal required prior to the semester you take the course.

Reviewed: June 12, 2013