Department of Nursing

Nursing Policies
Undergraduate Policies
Graduate Policies

For More Information, Contact:

School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Moon Campus
John Jay
412-397-2426 phone
412-397-3277 fax

Capstone Policy

Capstone Advisor

Capstone advisors are assigned to doctoral students by faculty based on the area of expertise, methodology and availability. Once the assignment is made, the capstone advisor assumes primary responsibility for supervising the student throughout the entire capstone process, although assignments related to the capstone project may be integrated into coursework and submitted to the course instructor as outlined in the capstone timeline. If a student experiences difficulty with the advising assignment and wishes to request a change in capstone advisor, the student is required to submit a formal letter to the DNP Director describing the reasons a change in advisor is being requested. If a change in advisor is granted, the student will be assigned to a committee of faculty to oversee completion of the project.


The BSN-DNP or MSN-DNP student may not enroll in NURS 9620 unless the student has submitted the capstone proposal to the RMU IRB or the IRB at the agency where the project is being conducted. If a student has not submitted to IRB by the start of the semester in which the student is registered for NURS 9620 the student must withdraw.


BSN-DNP or MSN-DNP graduation requires completion of an advisor approved capstone project manuscript and oral presentation to the faculty in adherence with the capstone timeline and requirements for NURS 9620.

If the capstone project is not completed before graduation: 

Failure to complete the requirements for NURS 9620 will result in an Incomplete (I) grade in NURS 9620. Thirty days prior to graduation, students who do not anticipate completion must submit a formal, written request for participation in in the graduation ceremony. A determination will be made by the Progression Committee. No student will be permitted to participate in graduation ceremony activities unless he/she has orally presented the capstone project to the faculty. All students are expected to complete the final manuscript within one semester after presenting the project and will be required to register for one credit directed study per semester under the direction of the capstone advisor until the manuscript is completed.

Capstone Timeline - BSN - DNP



Capstone Competency



Year 2

Nurs 8020 (Research and Theory)

  1. Identify potential area of interest
  2. Conduct a preliminary literature review
  3. Begin to consider type of project
    1. _______program evaluation
    2. _______qualitative project (with special permission)
    3. _______quantitative project
    4. _______systems improvement


Course Instructor


Year 2

Nurs 8150 (Integrating Research into Practice)
























1.  Complete written Literature Review

2.  Submit draft of  project proposal –to include:

Significance and Background for Project

Specific Aim and Projected Outcomes for Project


                                                               i.      ____design of project

                                                             ii.      ____site for project

                                                            iii.      ____sample or participants




September: DNP faculty and course instructors will meet to assign Capstone advisees  

1.       Students should contact advisors to schedule an appointment before October 30. 

2.       Students should present a one page project summary  and graded paper from NURS 8150 to their advisor by October  30.

3.       Capstone advisors will meet as a group with Statistician to review student proposals and examine methodologies.


Course instructor/s







Course instructors and DNP faculty




Capstone advisors 



Year 3

Nurs 8140 (EBP and Advanced Nursing Roles)


  1. PowerPoint overview for  faculty


  1. Submit IRB Proposal/ IRB

a.       Identify measurement tool (based on literature/published   instruments)






b.    Determine data analysis plan





IRB to be submitted by last day of spring semester

Capstone advisor and course instructors


Course instructor and capstone advisor


Course instructor, advisor and statistician


Capstone advisor


Year 3

NURS9130  (Evidence-Based Practice and Information Systems)

  1. Implement project and collect data
  2. Enter data into spreadsheet (Excel or data base of choice)
  3. Begin analysis of data (December-January)


Course instructor

Capstone advisor and statistician

Spring Year 4

NURS 9620 (Applying EBP in Health Care Settings)


  1. Identify  potential journal for publication submission
  2. Write abstract for professional presentation(NURS 9620)
  3. Data analysis should be completed on or before March 10.  
  4. Final draft of manuscript should be submitted to               adviser on or before March 20.
  5. Complete manuscript for publication adhering to publication guidelines  and front sheet signed by adviser on or before April 10.
  6. Powerpoint to adviser on or before April 20.
  7. Final Powerpoint to adviser on or before April 25.
  8. First week of May-complete Powerpoint presentation.


**Capstone advisors are expected to get back to students within 2 weeks of submission.  If this does not occur, student should contact the DNP Director.

9620 course instructor and capstone advisor




CAPSTONE ADVISOR MUST sign final approval of Capstone Project and PowerPoint presentation prior to the presentation


Capstone Advisors Guidelines/ Responsibilities


  1. Participation in capstone review September Year 3 (tentative capstone assignments)


  1. Formal capstone advisor assignments finalized Fall Year 3
    • Student will submit one page executive summary of project by October  30 –Year 3


  1. Capstone advisor and student will meet as needed  
    • Capstone advisor and course instructors for NURS 8140 EBP and the Advanced Practice Role will work together to approve the measurement instrument
    • IRB proposal to be completed and approved by capstone advisor by last day of Spring Term Year 3


  1. Fall/Spring  Year 4 -Capstone advisor will review student data  and work with student on general plan for manuscript/potential journal
    • Editor and statistician support as referred by capstone advisor 
  1. Spring Year 4- Capstone manuscript and PowerPoint sign off by April 20



  1. Guidance of student/ assurance of appropriate academic rigor and adherence to standards
  2. Individualized feedback in a timely manner
  3. Identification and notification to GCC/Capstone committee of students who fail to meet standards


Approved 11/9/12
Revised: 3/14