Capstone Projects

NMETH 801: Capstone Clinical Investigative Projects

Capstone projects are systematic investigations of questions about practice and therapies that evaluate and translate all forms of evidence into practice. Each student collaborates with an agency to address a real-world clinical problem or health issue. Most often, a student will be engaged in only one phase or step of translating evidence into practice.

Examples of capstone projects include:

  • appraising evidence and making recommendations of adapting clinical guidelines to the unique population or characteristics of a specific clinic
  • disseminating the latest evidence by training staff
  • implementing changes
  • evaluating the impact of a change in practice or new protocol

Every DNP student is required to complete a capstone project. A minimum of 12 credits of NMETH 801: Capstone Clinical Investigative Projects is required. Implementation of the capstone project may begin after the written and oral presentation of the capstone project proposal and its approval by the supervisory committee.

With approval of the supervisory committee, a student may register for 2 credits of NMETH 801 in the quarter of preparation and presentation of the capstone proposal. If a student wishes to take additional credits of NMETH 801 for proposal preparation, permission of the supervisory committee is required.

Completed Capstone Projects

You may view a list of past capstone projects that graduates from the UW DNP program have completed.


Step 1: Ensure that your supervisory committee is formally established and that you have an approved Program of Study.

Step 2: Review course objectives. Select and discuss an area of interest with your supervisory committee chairperson.

  1. Review the course objectives for NMETH 801.
  2. View possible projects in the Possible Student Projects SharePoint library at: https://sharepoint.washington.edu/nursing/as/curr_stu/stud_proj/default....
  3. Consult your supervisory committee chairperson to examine the pros and cons of the possible projects identified in the Possible Student Projects library or other possibilities.
  4. An Affiliation Agreement (AA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) needs to be in place before you can start.  This can take up to several months (up to 12 months).  Check to see if an Affiliation Agreement exists or if a new agreement needs to be negotiated by contacting Laura Mason (ljmason@uw.edu) in Academic Services.  She will help you determine if the existing agreement needs to be renewed or a new one needs to be negotiated.  [Clinical Agencies, AAs and MOUs]
  5. Contact your Clinical Placement Coordinator (CPC) regarding your capstone.
  6. Familiarize yourself with Academic Services Memorandum 41: Students in Clinical Sites.

Step 3: With supervisory committee chair's permission, contact agency to discuss interest in collaborating with this site.

  1. If positive reception, assure an Affiliation Agreement is in place.
  2. If not, return to step 2.

Step 4: Develop your proposal for the specific capstone project.

The Capstone Proposal must demonstrate the student's ability to appraise and synthesize evidence in advanced nursing practice and to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing. Work primarily with your supervisory committee chairperson, and consult supervisory committee members as recommended by the chairperson. Begin to clarify specific agency expectations regarding your activities and the reporting of project findings.

  1. Register for NMETH 801 credits with your Supervisory Committee Chair.
  2. Develop your project proposal. Use the Suggested Guide to assist in developing the proposal.
  3. Prepare Statement of Mutual Agreement between site and student. Use the Statement of Mutual Agreement Guide to assist in developing the agreement.
  4. Give consideration to including your final report in the online DNP Capstone Project Final Library in your Statement of Mutual Agreement.  See the library at https://sharepoint.washington.edu/nursing/as/curr_stu/dnpcc_cap_library/....

Step 5: Obtain committee approval of the capstone proposal prior to beginning implementation of a specific capstone project.  Committee approval of the capstone proposal is a degree requirement.

  1. The capstone proposal must be presented both in writing and orally.
  2. Obtain Human Subjects approval if indicated.
  3. Submit a copy of approved capstone proposal and the Statement of Mutual Agreement to Academic Services.

Step 6: Conduct the project and write the final report.

  1. While conducting the project and writing the final report, work primarily with the supervisory committee chair. Enlist the assistance of other members as appropriate.
  2. Submit the final report at the Final Examination for the Doctoral Degree.

Step 7:  Upload your final report to the DNP Capstone Project Final Report Library if desired and meets with agency's agreement

Step 8: Express appreciation to the agencies and persons with whom the student has collaborated.

  1. Write personal letters of appreciation.
  2. Notify Betsy Mau (bmau@uw.edu) that collaboration with the agency has concluded, and provide the names of the specific people you worked with.