HONORS COLLEGE CAPSTONES IN NURSING

 

The Honors College capstone can be fulfilled by College of Nursing students in one of several ways outlined below.  Any of these options is a good way of developing strong analytical skills, an aptitude for scholarly writing, and the ability to present scholarship in a public forum, all of which are key to the Honors College Capstone requirement.

 

The option students choose for completing their Honors College Capstone and the specific research topic they select should always be done in consultation with their Capstone Supervisor and their Honors College Fellow, who must approve the Capstone Proposal.  Students should register for HON 322 for each semester in which they are working on the Capstone and should turn in a Capstone Agreement Form, approved by their Supervisor and their Fellow, by 4:00 p.m. Friday of the third week of each semester.  At the end of each semester, a Capstone Progress Report or Capstone Completion Form should also be submitted by 4:00 p.m. Friday of the 15th week.   Students who need more time to develop or finalize their capstone project should contact the Honors College to obtain an extension of the time to submit these forms. A “DFR” grade will be assigned if students don’t turn in the Completion/Progress Report.

 

Because each student will be working closely with his/her capstone supervisor, the student should plan to enroll for 1 credit of independent study with the capstone supervisor for each of the two semesters of the capstone project.  Together, these two credits can also count for that student’s elective requirement.

 

The three options are as follows:

 

(1)        Students may develop their own research projects on topics related to health and the nursing profession, obtain a Nursing faculty supervisor for their project, and secure the approval of their Honors College Faculty Fellow.  Following the general guidelines for the Honors College Capstone (found at http://www.uic.edu/honors/learning/capstone.shtml), students should choose a theoretical topic of interest, engage in research that is either library-based or with some applied component (such as interviews of nursing professionals, observations in nursing settings, etc.), produce a scholarly paper of around 15-20 pages on their topic, and present their project in a public forum (e.g., the Student Research Forum, the Honors College Student Research Symposium, and academic conference, or in a scholarly setting at the College of Nursing) in poster format or other format (e.g., PowerPoint presentation, lecture).  Students should enroll in HON 322 for two semesters, focusing the first semester on the research and the second semester on writing the Capstone research paper.  The public presentation may be done in either semester.

 

(2)        Students may use their work as a research assistant on a faculty research project to write up their own theoretical and methodological contributions to the project, as well as their own evaluation of the results, in a scholarly paper of around 15-20 pages, and present their project in a public forum (the above venues).  Because these types of projects are completed as part of a research team, students can use public presentations of joint work by the research team as fulfilling their public presentation requirement as long as the student is in attendance to answer questions along with the other members of the research team.  Students should enroll in HON 322 for two semesters, focusing the first semester on the research and the second semester on writing the Capstone research paper.  The public presentation may be done in either semester.

 

(3)        Students may choose to complete their Honors College Capstone as an extension of their work in NURS 322*.  Note that completion of the requirements for NURS 322 is not in itself sufficient to meet the Honors College Capstone requirement.  Instead, the small group project in NURS 322 allows students to develop a research focus for their Capstone within a structured course, background work that they can then expand into a more comprehensive exploration of a practice issue.  In NURS 322, students work in small groups in which each individual student evaluates one article addressing a clinical practice question, writing an individual critique of the article.  The small group pools the information from each individual’s article into a group presentation that summarizes the research findings to date and reaches a conclusion regarding the group’s clinical practice question. 

            To fulfill their Honors College capstone by building on work done in NURS 322, students would select additional research articles and scholarly publications relevant to their research issue and provide a more in depth analysis of that research issue.  For example, a project on what factors affect neonatal care in rural areas of the U.S. would presumably focus on a variety of social, economic, geographic, and technological factors and include an extended discussion of the student’s evaluation of scholars’ claims that one factor is more significant than others.  As with the other options discussed above, students selecting this option will need to identify a faculty capstone supervisor and will  prepare a scholarly paper of 15-20 pages on their research topic, primarily reflecting their individual work on the research issue rather than the work of their NURS 322 research group.  Note that the NURS 322 seminar presentation does NOT fulfill the “public presentation” portion of the Honors College Capstone. 

            The HON 322 capstone is a two-semester sequence.  Therefore, students pursuing the option of using their NURS 322 work as the starting point for their Honors College Capstone are advised to decide on their capstone topic and identify a Capstone Supervisor by about Week 10 of the Fall semester. (***Since the deadline for submitting the Capstone Agreement Form is 4:00 p.m. Friday of the third week of the semester, please notify the Honors College if you will be submitting the form late). They should register for HON 322 again in the Spring, along with independent study credit with their supervisor, and use that semester to complete the 15-20 page research paper and presentation developed out of their NURS 322 topic.

 

* Note the similarity in course rubrics for option 3:

·        HON 322 is the Honors College Capstone registration number.

·        NURS 322:  Introduction to Research and Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice, is a required course in the College of Nursing.