Emergency Department Nursing Capstone: A Guide to Success

What is an emergency department nursing capstone?

An emergency department nursing capstone is a culminating project that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in emergency nursing practice. Capstone projects can take many forms, such as research projects, quality improvement initiatives, or educational projects.

Why is it important?

Completing a capstone project is a valuable learning experience that can prepare students for their careers as emergency nurses. Capstone projects allow students to develop their research skills, apply their knowledge to real-world problems, and make a meaningful contribution to the field of emergency nursing.

Tips for success

Here are a few tips for success when completing your emergency department nursing capstone project:

  • Choose a topic that you are interested in and passionate about. This will make the project more enjoyable and rewarding for you.
  • Start early and give yourself plenty of time to complete your project. Capstone projects can be time-consuming, so it is important to start early and give yourself plenty of time to complete all of the necessary tasks.
  • Find a mentor who can provide guidance and support. A mentor can help you to choose a topic, develop a research plan, and troubleshoot any problems that you may encounter.
  • Be organized and efficient with your time. Create a timeline for your project and stick to it as much as possible.
  • Proofread your work carefully before submitting it. Be sure to proofread your capstone project carefully for any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

Choosing a topic

When choosing a topic for your emergency department nursing capstone project, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Your interests and expertise. What are you passionate about? What areas of emergency nursing are you most interested in? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • The relevance of the topic to emergency nursing practice. Is the topic important to the field of emergency nursing? Will your findings be useful to emergency nurses?
  • The feasibility of the topic. Do you have access to the resources you need to complete your project? Is there enough research available on your topic?

Here are a few examples of emergency department nursing capstone project topics:

  • The impact of a new triage system on patient wait times
  • The effectiveness of a nurse-led education program on pain management for pediatric patients in the emergency department
  • The factors that contribute to sepsis mortality in the emergency department
  • The prevalence of burnout among emergency nurses and strategies for prevention
  • The development and implementation of a new protocol for the management of patients with mental health crises in the emergency department

Conducting your research

Once you have chosen a topic for your capstone project, you need to conduct your research. This involves reviewing the literature, identifying key sources of information, collecting data from a variety of sources, and analyzing your data.

Reviewing the literature

The first step in conducting your research is to review the literature on your chosen topic. This will help you to learn more about the topic and to identify any gaps in the research.

To review the literature, you can search for articles, books, and other sources of information in databases such as PubMed, CINAHL, and ERIC. You can also use Google Scholar to search for sources.

Identifying key sources of information

Once you have reviewed the literature, you need to identify key sources of information on your topic. These sources should be well-written, evidence-based, and relevant to your topic.

Some examples of key sources of information include:

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Books and book chapters written by experts in the field
  • Government reports and statistics
  • Websites of professional organizations

Collecting data from a variety of sources

It is important to collect data from a variety of sources for your capstone project. This will help you to get a well-rounded perspective on your topic.

Some examples of data sources include:

  • Patient records
  • Surveys and interviews with patients, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
  • Observational data
  • Secondary data, such as government reports and statistics

Analyzing your data

Once you have collected your data, you need to analyze it to draw conclusions. This may involve using statistical methods or simply summarizing the data and identifying patterns.

Writing your capstone

Once you have analyzed your data, you can start writing your capstone project. Your capstone project should be well-organized and well-written. It should also be supported by evidence from your research.

Organize your thoughts and findings

Before you start writing, it is important to organize your thoughts and findings. This will help you to write a clear and concise capstone project.

One way to organize your thoughts and findings is to create an outline. An outline is a list of the main topics and subtopics that you will cover in your capstone project.

Develop a clear outline

Your outline should include the following sections:

  • Introduction: This section should provide an overview of your topic and state your research question or hypothesis.
  • Literature review: This section should summarize the existing research on your topic.
  • Methodology: This section should describe how you conducted your research.
  • Results: This section should present the findings of your research.
  • Discussion: This section should interpret your findings and discuss their implications for emergency nursing practice.
  • Conclusion: This section should summarize your main points and make recommendations for future research.

Write in a clear and concise style

When writing your capstone project, it is important to use a clear and concise style. Avoid using jargon and technical language. Write in a style that is easy for your reader to understand.

Support your claims with evidence

Be sure to support your claims with evidence from your research. This will help to make your capstone project more credible and persuasive.

Proofread and edit your work carefully

Once you have finished writing your capstone project, be sure to proofread it carefully for any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

Presenting your capstone

Once you have completed your capstone project, you will need to present it to your instructor and classmates. Be prepared to discuss your findings and answer questions.

Here are a few tips for presenting your capstone project:

  • Practice your presentation beforehand. This will help you to feel more confident and deliver a smooth presentation.
  • Use visuals to enhance your presentation. Visuals can help to make your presentation more engaging and informative.
  • Be prepared to answer questions. Be prepared to answer questions about your research topic, methodology, findings, and conclusions.


Completing an emergency department nursing capstone project is a valuable learning experience that can prepare you for your career as an emergency nurse. By following the tips in this guide, you can increase your chances of success.

Recommendations for future research

Here are a few recommendations for future research on emergency department nursing capstone projects:

  • The impact of capstone projects on student learning outcomes
  • The development and implementation of new capstone project models
  • The role of mentorship in capstone project success
  • The challenges and barriers that students face when completing capstone projects
  • The best practices for assessing capstone projects


Q:What are the most common challenges students face when completing their capstone?

Some of the most common challenges that students face when completing their capstone projects include:

  • Choosing a topic
  • Finding a mentor
  • Managing their time
  • Collecting data
  • Analyzing data
  • Writing their capstone project
  • Presenting their capstone project

Q:How can I find a mentor to help me with my capstone?

There are a few ways to find a mentor to help you with your capstone project. You can ask your instructor for recommendations, or you can search for mentors online or through professional organizations.

Q:What are some resources that can help me with my capstone?

There are a number of resources that can help you with your capstone project. Some of these resources include:

  • Your instructor
  • The library
  • Online databases
  • Professional organizations
  • Other students who have completed capstone projects


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