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.





Preconfigured Perl Environment for Students

The submission provides exceptional detail to describe the background, need, and actual development for the Perl environment project for students. The depth of explanation in each of the areas, along with the underlying rationale of the project demonstrates clear mastery of the purpose of the capstone.

Read the capstone here

Posted on 9/20/2017
Using Effective Questioning to Enhance Reading Comprehension

This paper gives a detailed account of an action research study designed to determine the impact of teaching effective questioning skills to students who have been placed in an early college high school remedial reading class.

Read the capstone

Posted on 6/29/2017
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
Game Based Learning’s (GBL) Impact on Foreign Language (FL) Vocabulary Acquisition

This study investigated the integration of the foreign language vocabulary learning app, Lingo Arcade, into a global learning instructional unit given to two first grade classes at XYZ school located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

View the full article.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Increasing Understanding of Science Content Through Inquiry-Based Learning

The purpose of this mixed-methods action research study was to determine if using inquiry-based methods of designing and implementing instruction in science would improve student understanding of the required science concepts, processes, and procedures students must master during fifth grade.

View the capstone.

Posted on 8/22/2017
Development of a Nursing Peer Review Process

A nursing peer review (NPR) is a formal process by which nurses are referred for a nurse peer evaluation when patient care problems are identified. It has achieved acceptance by the nursing profession as a method to improve nursing quality and safety. The NPR will help organizations to increase quality scores, improve perception of nursing as a self-governed profession, and promote quality care to patient delivery.

Read it here.

Posted on 9/20/2017
Classroom Behavior Management in Severe Special Education Classroom

Behavior in the classroom is a concern for teachers. The purpose of this study was to study the impact of the behavior instruction unit on the behavior of grade 5-8 students’ in a full-inclusion special education classroom.

Read about what happened.

Posted on 6/29/2017
Evaluation of a Hospital-Based HIS

The nomination states:This exemplary capstone project provided a well thought out discussion of the role of the informatics nurse. A thorough assessment of the Meditech HIS features, efficiency, and effectiveness was provided using the specification template and a professional presentation. 

Read it here.

Posted on 6/28/2017
Choosing and Using Cloud Services

Why should an organization choose and use cloud-hosted business applications? How should the organization implement the cloud services to assure that they preserve (and improve) their information confidentiality, integrity, and availability?

View the article.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Development of a Mentorship Program to Improve Nurse Retention

Hospitals across the country are experiencing a shortage of registered nurses and this problem is expected to intensify in the future. There are many factors contributing to this problem such as an aging workforce, rising elderly population, shortage of nursing faculty, and nursing turnover resulting from increased stress and poor job satisfaction.

Read the rest.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Integrating Secure Wireless Networking in a Classified Intelligence Community Environment

Architects of classified networks, in the context of mandatory access control levels applied to United States Government national security information, have traditionally eschewed wireless technologies.

Read the full capstone here.

Posted on 8/2/2017
The Essay Formula: How Can Instructors Better Prepare Students for Extended Response Essays?

The research study discussion which follows was designed to ameliorate the deficiencies students’ exhibited while creating extended response essays. The mixed-methods study took place in an independent-study model high school with 900 students located in [City Name], CA. 

Learn more here.

Posted on 8/22/2017
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
TPA Teacher Work Sample Capstone

The candidate has created an excellent sequence of lesson plans to help third graders become confident writers. Graphic organizers assist students in learning components of informational paragraphs including topic and closing sentences, organizing details, and adding transition words.

Read the rest here

Posted on 8/2/2017
Developing a Nurse Driven Peer Review Process for Pressure Ulcers

The problem of pressure ulcers on Medical Unit was identified, and a nurse driven peer review process was developed in an effort to improve the pressure ulcer incident rates.

See the capstone here

Posted on 6/29/2017
The Impacts of Small Group Instruction Compared to Whole Group Instruction

The topic of this action research project was comparing the impacts of small group instruction and whole group instruction. The problem that was investigated was the lack of implementing small group instruction to teach diverse learners.

See the capstone here

Posted on 6/29/2017
Standardizing Handoff Communication

A systematic review of the hospital was conducted to pinpoint specific areas of weakness, which was then catalogued to deduce the potential harm to patients and staff alike due to the lack of standardized handoff communication protocols.

Read the rest

Posted on 6/27/2017
Use of Student Portfolios to Improve Writing for ELLs

The purpose of this action research study addressed the questions: (1) what happens to ESL student writing scores when a portfolio system is implemented to explicitly teach writing skills, (2) what benefits of the portfolio system are evident to parents of struggling ESL students, and (3) how would ESL instructors perceive the use of porfolios in teaching writing skills.

View the capstone.

Posted on 8/22/2017
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
Development of Fire Safety & Prevention in the Operating Room Policy

Surgical fires can be a devastating event affecting both patients and operating room team members. With proper preparation, equipment use, and other safety precautions, surgical fires can be prevented and effectively managed.

Read the full article

Posted on 6/28/2017
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
The Effect of Physical Activity on Student Off-Task Behavior

Student classroom behavior can either improve or hinder student learning depending on whether the student is on- or off-task. Disruptive behavior leads to interruptions to crucial instruction time where students can take time away from their own learning experience and the learning experiences of their classmates.

Read the rest.

Posted on 8/22/2017
Implementing a Person-Centered Volunteer Training Program for Elderly Residents in Long Term Care to Improve Quality of Life

The topic of this action research project was determining the impact of implementing a PersonCentered Care and related therapies training program for volunteers and CNAs working with residents with dementia in a long term care setting.

See the capstone here.

Posted on 8/22/2017
Maintaining Security while Enhancing Resilience in the Cloud

Migrating a business’s information systems, applications, and infrastructure to a “cloud” environment can be a difficult task, especially with the added charge of securely transferring confidential business/personal data while maintaining and enhancing security and resilience while operating in the “cloud”. The purpose of this project was to develop a plan/roadmap for a small software development consulting company, DRU Inc., to ensure data security during migration to the “cloud” and maintaining /enhancing security after it is operational in the “cloud.”

Read it here.

Posted on 9/20/2017
TPA Teacher Work Sample Capstone

The nomination states: Masterfully created plans that include the use of the text, "Indian Education" by Sherman Alexie, a three-step analysis process, and a Socratic Seminar represent clear attention to the needs of students and effective teaching practices. 

View the capstone.

Posted on 6/29/2017
Secure Configuration Management Program

This document provides the outcome of the Secure Configuration Management and Compliance program implementation for Company Z. The purpose of the program was to design secure configuration standards and baseline templates to be deployed to IT assets including servers, workstations, and network infrastructure devices.

Read the rest here.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Playing Around With FANBOYS

Increasing the correct usage of grammar is an important issue, one that transfers from school to the workplace. The ability for an author write allows their readers to make meaning from the written word. These skills are important in secondary, college, and in careers.

View the full capstone here

Posted on 6/29/2017
Overcoming cultural and socioeconomic disparities by incorporating technology in kidney transplant patient education

In recent years, there has been an increase in patients being referred to the student’s kidney transplant center. A great number of patients live in lower socioeconomic communities. Some these communities are within [Location Name] region but also as far as two to three hours away.

Read it here.

Posted on 9/20/2017
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
TPA Teacher Work Sample Capstone

The candidate skillfully embeds language and literacy concepts throughout lessons centered around Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Students are guided to recall what they have learned, engage in interactive discussions, and learn how to compare details within an active and developmentally appropriate learning environment.

Read the article here

Posted on 8/2/2017
MBA Capstone - Simulation Model

A proposal to reduce system down time for a software/service provider is presented with extensive detail. The description of business functional areas and the thoroughness of the recommendations are extraordinary.

Read the full capstone here.

Posted on 8/2/2017
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
Development of ClearSight Protocol

The current practice to assess fluid status in sepsis patients varies and results in septic shock patients not receiving the full, required 30ml/kg IVFB and potentially not receiving any additional fluids over the required amount.

Read the article here.

Posted on 6/27/2017
MBA Capstone - Simulation Model

A business proposal to help a company in the fitness industry increase its financial health is skillfully presented. The document includes superb organization and detail throughout.

View the rest here.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Automated NERC CIP Compliance Solution

In 2016, [Entity Name] took the initiative to review the new CIP version 5 standards and considered their impact on D&T operations and, specifically, the D&T SCADA system. Since [Entity Name] is a major transmission operator in North America, they are subject to complying with these new standards by end May 31, 2017. Failing to comply with NERC standard could have serious financial impact on the company.

Read it here

Posted on 6/30/2017
Electronic Prescribing

Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) can be completed in many types of healthcare settings where providers are prescribing medications to patients that will be filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies.

Read about this capstone here.

Posted on 8/22/2017
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
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
TPA Teacher Work Sample Capstone

The nomination states: The learning segments for literacy and math are expertly developed and utilize high-quality instructional strategies, supports, and assessments. 

View the capstone project here

Posted on 6/28/2017
Policy Development for the Use and Care of a Wireless Communication System by Staff

Improving communication pathways within healthcare environments is an important aspect of improving quality of care within healthcare organizations. An organizational plan to implement a new wireless communication system was identified as lacking a use and care policy to guide staff behavior and outline administrative expectations. The plan for addressing the policy development consisted of attaining project approval, consideration of preceptor guidance, and an extensive literature review to support the evidence-based rationale for the policy creation.

Read it here.

Posted on 9/20/2017
Addressing the CLABSI: Dual Nurse Verification for Dressing Changes

The number of central line-associated blood stream infection [CLABSI] on the inpatient oncology care [Unit Name] was eleven in 2016, with 2017 showing a disappointing trend in infection rates. Daily chlorhexidine [CHG] bathing was already implemented, with audits showing poor compliance.

View the rest.

Posted on 8/2/2017
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
Improving Metacognition and Self-Regulation in Kindergarten

This action research study investigated the intervention of using engineering process instruction as a strategy to improve metacognitive skills in early childhood.

View the capstone here

Posted on 6/28/2017
Emailing Protected Health Information

The health information manager sits in an office just adjacent to the release of information reception desk where three specialist process disclosures of health information. Normally the hum of the telephone ringing and conversation floats in and out without much thought. Today, however, the voices appear to be a little louder with a tone of frustration.

Read the capstone.

Posted on 8/2/2017
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
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
TPA Teacher Work Sample Capstone

The candidate skillfully connects language and literacy concepts to a science unit on bugs. Students sing songs, listen to rhymes, use whole body motions, write sentences, and participate in a word-scavenger hunt while learning about the body parts of insects.

View the capstone here.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Agency X IT Operational Security Project Report

Risk is inevitable in any Information Technology environment. In all IT settings, large, small, or in-between, security risks must be fully understood in order to mitigate or remediate as many potential problems or attack vectors as possible.

Read the rest.

Posted on 8/22/2017
Implementing Triad Rounding in High Risk Patients

Skilled Nursing Facility readmission rates for non-elective or avoidable 30-day hospital readmissions from [Hospital Group Name] have continued to rise over the last five years and have struggled to meet Northern California’s Regional Readmission Reduction goals.

View the capstone.

Posted on 9/20/2017
Learning Strategies Impact on Level 2 German Speaking and Writing Achievement

This action research study examined the impact of language learning strategies on speaking and writing achievement of Level 2 German students. The study aimed to answer two questions: What learning strategies are students currently using in the class? and What is the impact of implementing additional learning strategies on speaking and writing achievement?

Read the article

Posted on 6/29/2017
Standardizing Pre-Procedure Patient Instructions

A cardiology specialty branch of a medical group provides patients an array of healthcare services, included cardiology procedures. The specialty practice spans across seven sites in the region. 

View the capstone.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Quality in Healthcare: Why HEDIS?

A comprehensive and superbly detailed assessment of the quality initiative reporting program known as Healthcare Effectiveness Data & Information Set (HEDIS) is provided. Significant detail presented in an authoritative manner is evident throughout, especially noted within the discussion of the evolution of quality programs in the healthcare industry and in examining impacts of HEDIS specifically to the HIIM profession and professional. The CEA certificate is included with the artifacts below.

Read it here.

Posted on 9/20/2017
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
Teaching Sight Words Through Connected Text

The study was done with 18 kindergarteners from low socio economic backgrounds to find out how learning sight words in connected text affects kindergarten students’ sight word recognition as measured by the Fry Word accuracy test data and one minute timed readings.

View the capstone.

Posted on 6/29/2017
Improving Nursing Communication

Nursing communication is an opportunity within this organization to improve clinical care, patient satisfaction and nursing satisfaction. Shift change report throughout this organization was an inconsistent process and varied from department to department.

View the capstone.

Posted on 8/2/2017
Developing a Guideline for Managing Hypoglycemia in Newborns

Hypoglycemia in term and late preterm newborns account for approximately 10% of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admissions each year. These newborns are needing IV dextrose therapy, entailing a NICU admission, to stabilize blood glucose levels, which are weaned as feedings increase and blood glucose levels are maintained, and this can take several days.

View the full capstone.

Posted on 6/30/2017
MBA Capstone - Simulation Model

The proposal designed to address declining fundraising revenue for a parent teacher association is professionally communicated, well supported, and comprehensive. It addresses all of the rubric requirements well, but more importantly, it is a logically presented guide that the client can follow to resolve a critical challenge hindering the success of an organization with an important mission.

View the capstone.

Posted on 8/2/2017
A Move to Mother/Baby Couplet Nursing Care

Old habits die hard. A small obstetrics unit in Iowa was rich with experienced nurses, but poor in willingness to adapt to current perinatal staffing guidelines.

Read the rest here

Posted on 6/28/2017
Telemedicine: An Overview

Telemedicine is all the rage these days, and is popping up in healthcare news daily it seems. Telemedicine is a relatively new technology that the healthcare industry can utilize to decrease costs, improve access to care, provide greater convenience for patients, and maintain or even improve the overall quality of care.

View the capstone here.

Posted on 8/22/2017
Text Mining Online Chat Transcripts To Identify Customer Pain Points

In this paper, I chronicle a text mining analysis of online chat transcripts. Online chatting is a common method for customer and company interaction with many benefits for both the customer and the company. One benefit of online chats is the data it creates. 

Read the capstone here.

Posted on 6/27/2017
Suicide Prevention Strategies for Clinicians in the Inpatient Setting

In April of 2016, [Facility Name] in [City Name], South Carolina experienced the successful completion of suicide by one of the inpatient psychiatric patients. Coincidentally in April of 2016, JCAHO issued a sentinel event alert on suicide in the inpatient setting mandating that health care providers improve their detection of suicidal ideation in patients and take appropriate steps to improve their safety.

Read it here.

Posted on 8/22/2017

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