2 Credits

Prerequisite: Must be the last course in the degree or paired with one other course such as FNP597.


Required Textbook and Readings

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Melynyk, B.M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2019).  Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare: A guide to best practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.  ISBN: 9781496384539  

Polit, D.R., & Beck, C.T. (2018).  Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice. (9 th ed.). Philadelphia, PA:Wolters Kluwer Health. (ISBN: 9781496351296)

Course Description

This culminating integrative course provides the opportunity for students to develop and design an innovative evidence based project (PICO-T) that was identified and defined in MSN563. The capstone project must be founded in evidence based practice and either be supported by evidence in peer-reviewed literature or provide outcomes in identifying the effectiveness of the project. The students will be guided in the process of evidenced based project development, including formulation of goals and objectives, refinement of project design, implementation strategies, development of tools, data collection, identification of resources and evaluation. Through group discussion, students will participate in a process of peer consultation and critique in support of project refinement. Faculty will supervise students in developing their capstone project in conjunction with other  educational resources that are selected by the students. The faculty will advise and approve the final project according to students’ specialty area. The projects may include electronic practice portfolio, a quality improvement project, an evaluation of a new practice model, clinical practice project, poster presentation, and manuscripts submitted for publication.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Incorporate research into practice through critical appraisal and synthesis of the most current, relevant and best evidence-based research articles in developing the capstone project (PLO 1, 3, 7).
  2. Develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based solution to an identified problem or issue encountered in the clinical setting or practice (PLO 1, 7, 9).
  3. Demonstrate leadership in collaborative efforts to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to improve clinical care and health care outcomes for diverse populations/communities (PLO 2, 3, 6, 8).
  4. Incorporate ethical, cultural, legal, spiritual, caring theory and social issues in the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based project (1, 2, 8).
  5. Use information technology and informatics to disseminate evidence based outcomes that affect health care, education, practice and research (1, 4, 5).

MSN Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Science in Nursing, the student will be able to:
Goal: Literacy 

  1. Evaluate and apply evidence-based findings to advanced nursing roles.
  2. Integrate cultural competence into advanced nursing roles.
  3. Integrate the Master Essential’s and specialty standards into the advanced nursing role.

Goal: Communication 

  1. Compose professional written communication for advanced nursing roles.
  2. Speak professionally in advanced nursing roles.
  3. Demonstrate the advanced nursing role through leadership, collaboration, and caring science to improve health outcomes.

Goal: Reasoning 

  1. Evaluate and apply quantitative and qualitative data to validate and guide decision making relevant to health outcomes.
  2. Integrate ethical reasoning into advocacy and decision making.
  3. Objectively evaluate and synthesize information in advanced nursing roles.

Course Grades and Assignments Breakdown

Graded Item# of AssignmentsPointsTotal Points%
Week 1-6 Assignments 65030030%
Writing Abstract 110010010%
Creating a Scholarly Poster 110010010%
Signature Assignment: Evidence-Based Project Implementation130030030%
Capstone Oral Presentation 110010010%
Total            1000100%

Assessment And Measurement: Grading Scale

PointsLetter GradeIndicator
87-89B+Above Average
84-86BMSN Requirement
74-76CBSN Requirement

Instructional and Evaluation Strategies

This course is organized into 8 weekly modules. The student’s performance will be assessed by the work they do in the course – including participation in the discussions that are a part of each lesson. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate their learning throughout the course.

Categories of evaluation may include:

  • Participation in class discussions, whether online discussion forums or synchronous meetings
  • Exams or quizzes
  • Essays, case studies, research papers, etc.
  • Presentations, including videos, powerpoints, posters, etc.
  • Projects, group or individual
  • Reflections or journals

Students can expect faculty to fairly evaluate this work using the rubrics or other scoring methods provided in the course. This is intended to provide you with feedback and specific guidance that will enable you to take ownership of your learning.

How to be Successful in this Class

  • Be prepared: read the assignments and contribute to our learning community.
  • Plan ahead: create a personal calendar for your course work and life events. Don’t fall behind. But if you do, contact your instructor for their help. Successful students are proactive students.
  • Communicate: if you don’t understand something, ask for clarification from your instructor. Use the class forum. Message your classmates. Email your advisor. Use your USU email account. Communication in a virtual community is key!
  • Explore Resources: Visit the Library Corner for your research needs and information support. Contact studentservices@usuniversity.edu for technology assistance. Use Brainfuse for online tutoring and homework help.
  • Keep your eye on the goal: GRADUATION!

Course Calendar

WeekReadings/ContentAssignment/DiscussionDue Date 
1Module Overview 
Melnyk: Chapters 1-8; 16, p. 106
Polit & Beck: Chapters 4-7  
Resource – Logic Model Sample
Syllabus/Plagiarism Acknowledgement
Week 1 Discussion – Reflection in Action Video Journal 1
Theory Logic Model for Your Project

2Module Overview
Melnyk: Chapters 9, 11
Polit & Beck: Chapters 1, 3, 9
Week 2 Discussion – Theoretical Framework or Models to Guide in Implementation of EBP
Theoretical Model Framework

3Module Overview
Melnyk: Chapter 10
Polit & Beck: Chapters 12, 13
Week 3 Discussion – Assessing Individual and Community Needs
SCOT Analysis  

4Module Overview
Melnyk: Chapter 9
Week 4 Discussion – Implementing Evidence in Clinical Practice
Role and Engagement of Stakeholders Summary

5Module Overview
Melnyk: Chapters 12; 14
Polit & Beck: Chapters 10-14; 17; 21
Week 5 Discussion – Evaluation and Linking Evidence-based Practice to Clinical Outcomes
Methods/Design, Statistical Analysis 

6Module Overview
Melnyk: Chapters 9, 10, Appendix M
Week 6 Discussion – Role of Outcomes in Evaluating Practice Change Through Research
Proposed Project Interventions

7Module Overview
Melnyk: Chapters 9-20, Appendix M
Polit & Beck: Chapter 26
Resources – Writing Scientific Abstracts (Purdue Owl)Poster Template ExampleScientific Poster Design (Cornell U)How to create an effect Poster Presentation (O. Sherman)Creating Scholarly Posters in PowerPoint (U.C. San Diego)Poster Template (USU College of Nursing and Health Sciences)
Week 7 Discussion – Putting it All Together – Capstone Final Draft
Creating a Scholarly Poster Presentation
Writing an Abstract

8Module Overview 
Melnyk: Chapters 16-20
Week 8 Discussion – Post and Discuss Capstone Oral Presentations (in Discussion Forum)
Capstone Oral Presentation (Upload to Assignment Dropbox)
Week 8 Discussion Question – Reflection in Action Video Journal 2
Evidence-Based Project Implementation
End of Course Survey




Late Assignments: Late work is not accepted for full credit unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor, or a VERIFIABLE emergency (serious illness, accident, or natural disaster). Technological issues are not considered valid grounds for late assignment submission. This policy does not apply to assignments due on the last day of the session. For incomplete grade requests for the course session, please refer to the USU Academic Affairs Policies.

With professor’s approval, late submissions of an assignment due each week will be accepted based on the following grading criteria.

  • 1-3 days late: 5% deduction from the total points
  • 4-7 days late: 10% deduction from the total points

Technical Requirements

To successfully complete this course, you will need access to appropriate technology with reliable internet access and the appropriate system and software to support the D2L learning platform. The technical requirements for users can be found in the D2L course shell.