8 Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid in a Nursing Capstone Project
To complete and graduate as a doctorate in nursing you need 33 to 43 credits and at least 500 clinical practice hours. This is equivalent of 2 years full time coursework. It is estimated that 13% of nurses hold a graduate degree, however less than one percent of these nurses have a doctorate degree. According to American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) examination pass rates (first writes) DNP pass rates for the year 2020 stand at 90%, where 1292 DNP students passed their exams. Doctorate nurses are important pillar of healthcare services in the USA thus the need to increase the number. They play an important role in teaching future nurses and conducting research to improve nursing science and practice.
The medical field is not a walk in the park, however, with the focus and resilience, you are sure to make it. However, at the peak of your academic pursuit in the nursing field you will be met with a DNP/DPI project. This marks the end of academic life and ushers you into the professional arena. A capstone project is often referred to as a research paper or DNP, they are all the same thing. At this point, most students will be stuck in a conundrum as they try figuring out where to start and where the line is drawn between the dos and don’ts of writing the perfect nursing capstone project. However, today I will be focusing on the don’ts as I shine a light on 8 Common Writing Mistakes to Avoid in a Nursing Capstone Project, lets jump right into it.
Ignoring lecturers’ instructions.
Through the years you have gotten to understand how your lecturers want things done and given that they will be judge, jury and executioner on your paper then it is only wise that you follow their instructions to the letter. Before the project, you should watch out for insights that they give on the kind of formatting that they prefer, coverage preferred and basically how to do the paper. This will set the foundation of what you do, it will be a guide through your paper. See the paper through the eyes of your lecturer and you can be sure to ace it. It’s best to ride on their good side. Choosing a subject that does not hold your interest
In this day and age, it is vital that you do what you love and that is probably why you chose to pursue a career in the medical field. More to it, you have to stretch the same into specialization on what you want to do. So why MUST you choose a topic that interests you? Well, this is why.
When researching on and tackling a subject that you are interested in, you tend to put your all into it and you tend to go the extra mile to achieve perfection, which if we are to be honest, is what we are all after. You also tend to have a unique point of view on the subject since you are invested in it and have previously researched on it. Give yourself the chance to shine by doing what you know best.
Most importantly, you need to remember that this paper is the final one before lunging into the professional field. It holds with it the ability to kick start your career in a way you never expected especially If your paper has an impact on the field and is a solution to an existing problem.
Well, an evaluator always wants to be taken from point A to point B through a process that they can follow and hopefully agree with. Have in mind that the evaluator is conversant with the topic at hand. In light of this, you need to set high standards that will give an affirmation that you know what you are doing. Normally, when writing these types of projects, you will need to give a thesis or hypothesis and that will be the guiding statement that you will run with all through. It helps you remain relevant to your topic and sets you up for the perfect close.
A well-placed hypothesis will give you a good title as well as guide your process as well. On that note, you are probably wondering what brings about irrelevance. Well, this brings you to our next point on the common writing mistakes to avoid in a nursing capstone project.
Choosing a very broad subject
A capstone project is not necessarily very long and it should be approximately 25 pages long. However, you need to keep a small circle as far as coverage is concerned for efficiency. This all boils down to the hypothesis and topic that you choose make sure that you have a precise target to narrow the scope of focus. This will work to your advantage as well since you will have better leads on research material and will arrive at your conclusion easily. It does not mean that your paper will be any shorter but on the contrary, it will be more detailed and precise.
When handling a wide scope, you are most likely to lose focus on your goal and run the risk of irrelevance. It also means that you might stumble on conflicting theories that you are not able to reconcile. Most students are overly ambitious and want to handle global issues and miss the point while they could have gone smaller and aced it all. Through the process, I highly recommend that you do consultations with your lecturers to get their feel on your paper beforehand so that you position yourself right. Using wrong structure and formatting
To begin this, I need to stress that structure and formatting are vital components of your paper. At some point, your content won’t matter if you botch up your format. So, what do you need to know about the right format? And what is its importance?
Nursing Capstone Project Format Outline
APA style of writing is the worldwide recognized and recommended format of writing academic pieces. The simple science behind it is that it sweeps through every aspect of the paper that’s should be covered by the end of the paper. This assures you that you will not skip any vital details to your paper. As a matter of fact, you will realize that it covers all areas that your lecture will ask you to cover.
At a glance, this is what the APA style of writing is all about.
- Title page
This should only include the title of your paper and not many details to it.
In this section, you introduce your hypothesis/ thesis as the guiding statement throughout your paper. Remember to constantly refer to it as you proceed to maintain relevance and not lose sight of the goal
- Literature review
This is part of research where you take similar earlier published articles and review them in accordance with your hypothesis/ thesis.
This is variable depending on what you are researching. It will cover a variety, right from methods available, pieces of equipment, procedures, safety measure and data collection.
Once data is collected, it is analyzed and then results and findings are drawn.
In relation to your guiding statement how does your research support or oppose it? This is what you ought to discuss
Finally, bring it all to an end and circle back to where you came from and what you have been able to achieve by the end of this. Make recommendation and site what problems it solves.
Give credit to where it is due and state from what sources you get your information.
All these will take you from the formulation of your hypothesis, research, data collection, data analysis, the body in which you discuss our finding and graciously to your conclusion and referencing.
Well, honestly as a student, most times you tend to leave things as they are only to rush and try beating the clock. However, this is not the kind of situation that you have the luxury of time. The clock starts once you are allowed to begin your paper and that calls for proper time management on your end. Create a work plan and a timeline on how much time you have and how much time you will allocate to what part of your project.
Truth be told, a nursing capstone project is not the kind of thing you fix up in a day, especially as a student who is not experienced in the field and lacks the know-how on the vitalities of the paper. A clear timeline will help you exhaust your preparations, conduct your research well and collect all necessary data. More to that, you will be able to analyze your data and finally present your findings in a professional manner.
Poor Data Collection & Data Analysis
Research is the backbone of your paper as it controls your findings and ultimately your results. The process of research is a demanding one and will often involve a combination of many aspects including literature review which call for you to view the paper through the eyes of a researcher. Data collection should also be definite as each set of data holds its own significance. Given that you know what you are looking for, it should be easy to collect the correct set of data and group them in the basic group on the merit of their form namely; qualitative data and quantitative data.
These sets of data also go further and should maintain an accurate representation of their units of measurement [SI unit], otherwise, you will be working with the wrong set of data. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. Whatever you feed into your project will determine the findings that you get. Therefore, this means that data analysis is completely dependent on your level of competence in data collection. You can always put some data analysis tools such as SPSS, R, Ms- Excel in play to help you synthesize the data. On the other hand, you can opt to pay someone to analyze DNP data .
Most students often fail to reckon the importance of statistics in DNP and DPI projects. Since DNP projects are concerned with improving practice; you will be required to collect data for both pre and post clinical intervention. You will then be required to test whether the clinical intervention leads to changes in patient well being. Statistical tests such as T-tests will often be used to do comparison of the pre & post tests. A professional data analyst will further conduct advanced post adhoc tests to determine whether the significance is by chance. Hiring a statistician for your nursing capstone project will make your results and findings more accurate and valid in the eyes of the IRB committee. Statisticians play a key role in nursing project writing since they help in research designing, data collection and data analysis by choosing the most appropriate statistical test for your data..
Failing To Proofread and Edit
The one thing that is worse than an overconfident student, is a student with no clue on what they are required to do. However, at some point, they both make the same mistake. Proofreading and editing of a project are vital to the paper as is any other part.
A lot of underlying issues are diagnosed after proofreading and are corrected through editing. The number one issue that you need to be looking out for is grammatical errors. A well-presented paper could present itself as faulty and present you as incompetent out of a grammatical error and we both know that in the medical field precision in grammar is a factor to consider. It changes the dynamic of the paper.
The process of editing and proofreading is rather an easy one since all you need to do is understand what is required of you then look through your paper for loopholes. These loopholes could cut through the spectrum of formatting, structure, articulating, data analysis and presentation, diagrammatic references and not forgetting the tone of your paper.
After you have done all of this you are advised to publish your paper as it could be of use towards the development of the medical field.
Tackling a nursing capstone project is a demanding task, one that should be taken with utmost urgency. It not only need the know-how of medical facts but also the know-how to present your findings in a manner that accurately articulates your opinions. Remember this is not only an academic paper but is the bridge to your career and it could turn out to be the kick you needed to thrive in your field. However, no one said that you should walk alone through this. The new world order has opened up a lot of opportunities and among them are DNP capstone project writing services that hands you the best assistance on DNP/DPI project writing. A combination of professionalism, expertise and experience will take you from a 6 to a 10 in no time.
At this point, I do believe that this column has been an eye-opener to you on what not to do on your nursing project.