Preparing for the MS Captone Experience

By Sharon A. Aronovitch, PhD, RN, CWOCN
Lead Faculty Program Director, Graduate Nursing Program

Holly Evans Madison, PhD, RN
Faculty Program Director, Graduate Nursing 

Robin Dewald, PhD, RN, CNE
Faculty Program Director, Graduate Nursing

For those of you who have started taking your Phase 2 MS courses (specialization track), you are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! However, you may be wondering what the elusive Capstone Experience course involves or if you are really ready to take this last course. These are common concerns for many students and there is a way to take control and that is by being prepared for this next step in your academic career.

The best way to prepare for the Capstone Experience course is to consider your options while you are taking the Phase 2 specialization courses. Why? The simple answer is that within the first three weeks of the Capstone Experience course you will be completing a project proposal. It is much easier to complete this form when you have already taken the first steps in deciding on a project and mentor.

Another tip to consider when selecting a project site is to pick one that will allow you to complete your project without having a written agreement with the College.

The Capstone project is your opportunity to stretch your wings as a new nurse specialist in your chosen field. Your project is an activity demonstrating the knowledge and skills that have been honed during your tenure in the graduate nursing program. Your project will entail 202.5 clinical hours; these hours include the actual work of your project, as well as meeting with your mentor and stakeholders, attending conference(s) related to your specialization or leadership role in health care, and conducting a literature review.

Completion of your Capstone project is a rewarding experience! You will have the opportunity to showcase your work through a recorded presentation within the course. Additionally, you may share your work with future Capstone students by submitting the PowerPoint of the completed work for publication in the Excelsior College Library! Many students choose to do this as their first foray into publication; you can proudly add this achievement to your resume or e-Portfolio.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. We look forward to seeing you in the Capstone Experience course!