CAPSTONE PROJECTS OFFER THOUGHT-LEADERSHIP
Capstones represent the gained competencies and expertise that WGU graduates immediately take into their profession. Only a select few of capstones are awarded for excellence. Sharing these work samples is just one of the ways that WGU supports continuing education through relevant industry ideas and research.

Capstone Excellence Awards

As an alum, you can read through any of the shared capstones in the Capstone Excellence Archive.  Below, choose either graduate or undergraduate work—or peruse the featured topics, hand-selected for our alumni readers.





The Effectiveness of Reciprocal Teaching on Reaching Comprehension

Increasing literacy levels in the United States is an important issue. While much is done in elementary schools to monitor and improve student literacy, little is formally done in the secondary school setting to increase student literacy levels.

View the article here

Posted on 5/30/2017
Peritoneal Dialysis: Developing a Screening Tool to Determine Patient Suitability

The use of peritoneal dialysis has been underutilized for years. This has begun to change as healthcare organizations are faced with finding ways to decrease healthcare cost whilst ensuring patient satisfaction benchmarks are met or exceeded. The problem identified was the lack of consistency and structure in assessing patient suitability for performing peritoneal dialysis.

Read the article here.

Posted on 3/31/2017
Increasing Student Engagement in the Classroom through the Use of a Student Response System: A Workshop for ADN Faculty

Problem Identification: Increasing student engagement in a large nursing classroom Nursing students are often not prepared for the type of questions they are presented with; they must learn to select the best answer, not simply the right answer. They must learn to prioritize and problem solve, and this takes practice.

Read the full article.  

Posted on 3/31/2017
Increase in Length of Stay at [Hospital]

[Hospital Name] is a 200 bed not-for-profit Catholic hospital located in the Midwestern United States. It offers inpatient and outpatient services along with clinics offering primary and specialty care. The hospital employs nearly 1,200 employees and is one of the larger employers in the area.

Read the rest here. 

Posted on 4/20/2017
Health Information Exchange – Pushing Health Information Technology to the next level

Health Information Exchange is in the early stages of development and continues to struggle as viable option for many healthcare organizations. HIEs struggle with implementation and expansion due to persistent challenges such as; trust issues among competitors, privacy issues related to data access, fractured, non-standardized IT strategy that causes interoperability problems, and sustainability related to funding.

Read the full article here.

 

Posted on 3/30/2017
Development of a Nursing Peer Review Process

[Medical Center Name] has struggled with the development and implementation of a nursing peer review process. Cases sent for review weren’t always appropriate for that team, which led to the inability to close the loop.

Read the full article here

Posted on 4/19/2017
Cybersecurity Compliance in a Contractor Environment

Performance evaluations of the [Entity Name] IT department by [Corporation Name] were resulting in monthly performance scores consistently below 60% for more than a year. These low scores were primarily attributed to not maintaining compliance with [Corporation Name] cybersecurity regulations.

Read about what happened here. 

Posted on 4/19/2017
Prevention of Pressure Ulcers in the Surgical Patient

Problem identification: Nurses working in the operating room (OR) at [Medical Center Name] are currently required to complete several OR-specific computer-based learning modules (CBLs) annually. There was no education being provided regarding prevention of pressure ulcers.

Read the capstone here.

Posted on 4/20/2017
Implementation of Remote Video Monitoring: A Patient Safety Initiative

The problem identified in this WGU Capstone Project was an increase in patient falls and falls with injury and the lack of proper use of innovative technology, Policies and Guidelines to combat the increasing number of falls.

Read the full article here.

Posted on 5/30/2017
Development of a Proposal for Flexible Nurse Staffing to Improve Nurse Satisfaction

The problem of nurse dissatisfaction, as it relates to schedule flexibility, was identified at [Hospital Name], a rural community hospital in Northeast Indiana. Nurses were dissatisfied with the shift choice offerings of either day or night twelve-hour shifts.

Read the article here

Posted on 4/19/2017
Leadership Guidelines to Increase Nurse Retention

The problem identified was retention of nurses at the bedside. One of the most common reasons nurses left departments was due to lack of managerial support for the work required of nurses at the patient’s bedside. The plan was to implement evidence-based leadership best practices in order to increase nurse retention.

Read what happened next

Posted on 4/20/2017
Behavioral Health and Medical Integration in Community Based Case Management

The problem identified is the lack of integration and collaboration amongst the medical and behavioral health case managers in this community based case management organization. Medical case managers are documenting in one system while the behavioral health case managers are documenting in a separate electronic health record (EHR).

Read the rest here

Posted on 4/20/2017
The Impact of Motivational Strategies on Academic Achievement in the 8th Grade Foreign Language Classroom

This action research study explored the impact of motivational strategies on academic achievement in the foreign language classroom among 8th grade students.

Read the full capstone here

Posted on 5/30/2017
Finding Success in Shared Savings

The business proposal prepared for Reid Health provides an accomplished level of cohesiveness and detail throughout explaining a business challenge, analyzing the functional areas of medical care, human resources, and finance, and in proposing a compelling recommendation to effectively participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) as an ACO by attaining the opportunity to receive a disbursement of potential savings. 

Read the article here.

Posted on 3/30/2017
Elementary Geography Tools

This is an Action research study that investigates the inability of many elementary school teachers to adequately teach Geography in their classrooms. The study revolves around the use of a Professional Development unit on the use of the classroom technology suite and electronic tools like Google Earth and Google Maps.

Read the entire capstone here.

Posted on 4/19/2017
Inpatient Palliative Care Services: A Plan to Increase Oncology Nurses Training and Understanding

All human beings deserve a dignified approach to the end-of-life process that honors personal choice. Leadership of the oncology unit found that nurses were not making a significant amount of palliative care referrals to the inpatient Palliative Care service. 

Read the rest here

Posted on 4/19/2017
Network Security

As smaller companies grow into larger operations, the need for updating network infrastructure security increases. Valuable internal data that businesses rely on to compete in their respective markets is becoming more and more vulnerable to new attacks every year.

View the capstone here.

Posted on 5/30/2017
Creating a Care Transition Program to Improve Readmission Rates

Readmission are a growing issue at [Entity Name], there continues to be a increase in readmissions due to lack of preparation at discharge for the patient or caregiver to care for their post acute care needs and complex medical conditions.

Read the article here

Posted on 4/19/2017
Implementing Simulation and Real-life Clinical Scenarios Into Undergraduate Nursing Education

This paper discusses multiple issues and a proposed solution surrounding upper level nursing students preparing for graduation and the workforce. For example, issues have been exposed at [College Name]’s Associate of Nursing program located in [City Name], South Carolina including a lack of self-confidence, communication and critical thinking skills among the nursing students.

Read the rest.

Posted on 4/20/2017
A Nurse Driven Protocol: Mandatory Dysphagia Screening Post Extubation

There is a number of adults requiring mechanical ventilation which is growing more so in individuals over the age of 65 years old in an ICU setting. As Veterans age, the [Medical Center Name] continues its efforts to stay on top regarding providing high-quality patient care.

Read the article.

Posted on 5/30/2017
Policy and Procedure Implementation of Intraosseous Insertion

[Prison Name] is a level four prison in California that houses some of the most dangerous and violent criminals. The patients that are housed at [Prison Name] have a variety of illnesses and often engage in violent behaviors. Currently, [Prison Name] does not have a written policy and procedure for the use of an intraosseous device (IO) during emergency situations and resuscitation efforts.

Read the article here

Posted on 5/30/2017
Dress Codes Revision

The problem identified is that the [Hospital Name] has a vague, ambiguous hospital dress code that does not address proper attire for hospital employees and is not based on research and evidence that will enhance patient satisfaction, and improve the quality of care that they receive.

Read the full capstone here

Posted on 4/20/2017
Human Resources Metrics and the Impact on Strategic Planning

A business proposal with detailed recommendations to help a college improve human resource metrics and processes is skillfully presented. A positive financial return is plausibly explained, as well as significant organizational benefits including improved morale and employee engagement.

Review the capstone here

Posted on 4/20/2017
Nurse Bedside Shift Report

A current nursing practice at [Hospital Name] which is in need of change is the nurse shift report. Current practice is a non-standardized process which has the potential of allowing significant information to be omitted which enhances the risk for delay in care, errors, decreased quality; and prohibits patient involvement and engagement into their care.

Read the full capstone here

Posted on 4/19/2017
Nurse Stress Reduction in a Deployed Austere Environment

Military Nurses often face large amounts of stress not seen in civilian hospitals. This is due to the combined effects of combat zone dangers and threats that are experienced daily. Those austere environments can create extremely difficult working environments with emotions and nerves running at high levels as catastrophic casualties arrive for treatment.

Read the full article here.

Posted on 4/3/2017
Development of a Simulation Experience for the FloTrac Monitor

Providing effective education to intensive care nurses at [Medical Center Name] regarding the use of a FloTrac monitor has been identified as a serious issue. Initial education that was provided for the FloTrac monitor was in lecture form, and nurses have voiced concern that this type of education did not prepare them to properly utilize this piece of equipment in the patient care setting.

Read the capstone here

Posted on 5/30/2017
Analysis of the Market Landscape and Industry

The well-developed business plan is adeptly framed with specific goals that guide the strategies of the marketing mix, monitoring plan, and promotional activities. The analysis of the market landscape and industry is skillful and well-supported with properly cited, relevant sources. 

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Posted on 4/19/2017
Defensible Documentation

The problem identified was related to documentation in the electronic health record (EHR). Nursing staff was noted to have difficulty adequately documenting adverse events using the EHRs predetermined choices. Information was either duplicated, missing or unable to be connected for other caregivers to comprehend the situation without additional verbal communication.

Read the capstone here

Posted on 4/20/2017
Pediatric Early Warning Score

An early warning score tool to detect deterioration in patients is not in use on the pediatric units at [Hospital Name]. Best practices suggests that these tools improve outcomes for patients. To address the problem, an interdisciplinary team will collaborate in constructing and utilizing the PEWS tool on the pediatric units at [Hospital Name].

Read the full article here.

Posted on 4/20/2017
Hospital Denials Prevention: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Insurance denial of claims has resulted in lost revenue in the millions of dollars for our system. Fully one-third of the denials are for patient status issues that are not resolved while the patient is in the hospital.

Read the rest here.

Posted on 5/30/2017
Purposeful Rounding to Reduce Falls

The main problem I have chosen to focus on is reducing hospital falls on the Neuroscience floor at [Hospital Name]. The Neuroscience floor has consistently been the floor with the highest rate of falls despite multiple previous attempts at implementing mechanical interventions such as low beds and lap belt alarms.

Read the full article

Posted on 4/20/2017
Self-Care for the Harried Hemodialysis Nurse: A Critical Component When Caring for the Chronically Ill

The challenges nurses face are numerous, taxing even the strongest among them. Left unattended, chronic exposure to stress and trauma can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue. Many of the nurses and direct patient care providers in the author’s outpatient hemodialysis unit have become victimized by these insidious problems, and the impact has been increased job dissatisfaction which is creating a negative work environment.

Read the article

Posted on 5/30/2017
Vicarious Modeling in Adult Learning Using Video and Audio Reinforcement

The research questions for the study are first, what percentage of change is measured when comparing pre-training close rates and sales close rates after the 30-day training intervention is completed using vicarious modeling with video and audio reinforcement?

Read the rest here.

Posted on 4/19/2017
Development of a Unit-based Competency for Central Access Device Blood Conservation

The problem identified is a nursing practice of discarding 10 millimeters (ml) of blood from central access device catheters (CAD) to clear the line of infusate before obtaining a diagnostic blood sample. This practice can lead to 50-60 ml of blood being wasted per day from patients with CAD during ICU admission leading to the development of anemia and the need for blood transfusion.

Read the full article here

Posted on 4/20/2017
Improving Patient Safety, Satisfaction and Throughput in Interventional Radiology

Patient procedural throughput and perioperative safety are important quality indicators in the health care setting. The Interventional Radiology department is experiencing unsatisfactory cancelations or procedural delays for avoidable patient factors such as missing laboratory testing, nonadherence to fasting and taking medications contraindicated with the planned procedure.

Read the rest here

Posted on 5/30/2017
Local Media and Individual Trading

Great capstone report on local bias in trading. The capstone report is very well written, easy to read and informative. All aspects of the report including the research question, data collection and extraction, and regression, are complete with excellent detail and demonstrate high competency.

Read the rest here.

Posted on 4/19/2017
What Effect Do Daily Math Talks Have on Student Attitudes and Performance When Solving Mathematical Word Problems?

This action research study of 54 minority students in three 5th grade classes at a Title 1 school in suburban Maryland seeks to answer the questions “How will the use of math talks impact the problem solving skills of fifth grade students?” and “How will the use of math talks impact fifth graders’ feelings about and perceptions of word problems?” 

Read the full article.

Posted on 3/31/2017
Management of Patients with Cardiac Implantable External Devices Undergoing Radiation Therapy: Improving Patient Outcomes

Substantial literature evidence identified cardiac implanted electronic devices (CIEDs) as vulnerable to malfunction in presence of cumulative dose of ionizing radiation encountered through a course of radiation therapy. Evidence reviewed demonstrated that sometimes, cardiac device malfunctions were detrimental to the health and safety of the radiation therapy patients.

Read the article here.

Posted on 4/3/2017
Development of COPD Telephone Triage Protocol Tool

Lack of defined protocols to guide on call nurses when triaging patient calls has led to patients visiting the emergency room unnecessarily. This has created nurse and patient dissatisfaction, increased rehospitalization rates causing a decrease in the agency STAR rating and HCAPHS scores reducing reimbursement.

Read the rest here

Posted on 4/20/2017
Addressing and Inaccurate IT Workstation Inventory

A business proposal to resolve the problem of an inaccurate inventory system for government offices in a California county is presented. The proposal identifies clear recommendations to address the inventory system, as well as provide broad organizational benefits, including the following: improved customer satisfaction, better resource accountability, and a more secure IT environment.

Read Joyce's recommendations and the full article.

Posted on 1/5/2017
Achieving FISMA Compliance for a Government Contractor’s Information Systems

XYZ Inc. is a small software development company that had recently bid and won their first contract with the Department of State. As a part of this work, XYZ was required to establish and maintain two sets of information systems in a government facility: one for open source development, testing, and integration and another for work with sensitive, highly controlled information.

Read the rest here.

Posted on 4/20/2017
Animal-Assisted Therapy Program Development on Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

Inpatient Psychiatric Unit provided care to veterans who suffered with a mental health crisis. The veterans’ primary treatment on IPU included medication management and group therapy until they stabilize. There had been several veterans who refused to take their medications to help alleviate their symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, and aggression because of the fear of stigma placed on mental health patients.

Read the article here.

Posted on 4/3/2017
	Reducing Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections

The number of central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) on the inpatient oncology unit doubled from five to ten between fiscal years 2014 and 2015. To combat the issue a CLABSI workgroup was formed on the unit. In researching the types of organisms found in the cases; over half were enteric in nature.

Read the article here.

Posted on 4/20/2017
The Effect of Multiplication Math Fact Fluency Practice on Math Attitude and Anxiety

Mathematics is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many. Adults and children alike are convinced they are not good at math and have an overall negative view of mathematics. 

Read the full article here.

Posted on 5/30/2017

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