Capstone Project Topic Selection and Approval

Capstone Project Topic Selection and Approval

Capstone Project Topic Selection and Approval 150 150 Peter

Capstone Project Topic Selection and Approval

In collaboration with the approved course preceptor, students will identify a specific evidence-based topic for the capstone project change proposal. Students should consider the clinical environment in which they are currently employed or have recently worked. The capstone project topic can be a clinical practice problem, an organizational issue, a leadership or quality improvement initiative, or an unmet educational need specific to a patient population or community. The student may also choose to work with an interprofessional collaborative team.
Students should select a topic that aligns to their area of interest as well as the clinical practice setting in which practice hours are completed.

Write a 500-750 word description of your proposed capstone project topic. Include the following:Topic: Nursing Shortage
1. The problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project that will be the focus of the change proposal.
2. The setting or context in which the problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project can be observed.
3. A description (providing a high level of detail) regarding the problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project.
4. Effect of the problem or issue, intervention, quality initiative, educational need, or collaborative interprofessional team project.
5. Significance of the topic and its implications for nursing practice.
6. A proposed solution to the identified project topic with an explanation of how it will affect nursing practice.
You are required to cite to a minimum of eight peer-reviewed sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years, appropriate for the assignment criteria, and relevant to nursing practice. Plan your time accordingly to complete this assignment.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Sample Paper

Nursing Shortage in a Long-Term Acute Care Setting

Nursing shortages occur when the demand for professional nursing services exceeds the nurse workforce supply. Nursing shortage is a global healthcare concern (Haddad et al., 2021) but with significant variations at the local, regional, and national levels. Therefore, there is the need to explore this problem within a particular nursing setting and develop appropriate solutions.

Long-Term Acute Care

The Long-term acute care (LTAC) setting deals with patients requiring continuous medical attention. LTAC facilities bridge the gap between the intensive care unit and the less intense settings such as skilled nursing facilities and home-based care (Makam et al., 2018). Patients in LTAC often have a definitive care plan since diagnostic tests are no longer necessary. In this setting, the nursing workforce is paramount since they offer direct medical interventions to patients, coordinate the care process, and attend to other non-health patient needs. Thus, nursing shortage in an LTAC setting results in suboptimal health and patient outcomes.


Nursing shortage can either be a deficit of professional individuals or skills. For instance, the nursing workforce is aging (Nagarajan & Sixsmith, 2021). Other nurses are also leaving the profession while young to pursue other careers (Raso et al., 2021). Hence, the high exit rate causes most facilities to have inadequate staffing numbers. Similarly, there has been a remarkable rise in patient need complexity, mainly due to an aging population, increase in lifestyle disease, and overall health awareness and literacy. Unfortunately, most nurses lack the specialized skills necessary to deliver care to address these complex needs (Weaver et al., 2018). For instance, in the LTAC setting, some nurses lack competence in addressing multi-drug interactions, which arises due to the need to treat multiple conditions concurrently. This problem is rampant in almost all facilities and regions worldwide.

Effects of Nursing Shortage

Nursing shortage results in lower quality care and outcomes. Suppose one nurse is attending to many patients. They cannot meet all their needs effectively, resulting in missed care, longer recovery times, and higher morbidity and mortality rates. Meanwhile, nursing shortage also affects the workforce. Nurses overwork, increasing the number of staff burnouts and emotional fatigue (Shah et al., 2021). Hence, the shortage causes nurses to experience underwhelming job satisfaction levels.

Significance and Implications

When the shortage leads to nurses delivering subpar healthcare services, there is a definitive decline in the public’s trust in a facility or the profession as a whole. Patients shun healthcare facilities, opting to self-medicate. On the other hand, nurses who overwork due to shortages are more likely to quit the profession, worsening the crisis. Those that remain will be under even higher pressure, which could cause them to be uncivil to each other or their patients (Abdollahzadeh et al., 2017). Finally, since the shortage creates an imbalance between demand and supply, healthcare costs rise. People pay more even for basic services. Meanwhile, the less privileged cannot afford the higher prices, resulting in reduced access to nursing and healthcare service.

Proposal for Solutions

Some potentially useful solutions include: expanding nursing college capacity, continuing education for nurses, and incentivizing evidence-based practice. Increasing the number of nursing students and graduates will offset the aging workforce. There will also be a net increase in the workforce, resulting in fewer personnel deficiencies. Additionally, a facility can encourage nurses to engage in continuing education. Thus, they will enhance their competency, allowing them to attend to more complex needs, delivering high-quality outcomes (Pakkonen et al., 2021). Finally, there is much evidence on how nurses can work more efficiently (e.g., better drug administration policies, care coordination, and multi-drug interaction management). Incentivizing nurses to employ these evidence-based practices will reduce workload for each nurse even without reducing the number of patients they attend. Hence, if well-executed, these proposals can address the nursing shortage crisis and improve the associated staff, patient, and healthcare outcomes.



Abdollahzadeh, F., Asghari, E., Ebrahimi, H., Rahmani, A., & Vahidi, M. (2017). How to Prevent Workplace Incivility: Nurses’ Perspective. Iranian Journal of nursing and midwifery research, 22(2), 157–163.

Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2021). Nursing Shortage. StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Makam, A. N., Nguyen, O. K., Xuan, L., Miller, M. E., Goodwin, J. S., & Halm, E. A. (2018). Factors Associated With Variation in Long-term Acute Care Hospital vs. Skilled Nursing Facility Use Among Hospitalized Older Adults. JAMA internal medicine, 178(3), 399–405.

Nagarajan, N. R., & Sixsmith, A. (2021). Policy Initiatives to Address the Challenges of an Older Population in the Workforce. Aging International, 1–37. Advance online publication.

Pakkonen, M., Stolt, M., Charalambous, A., & Suhonen, R. (2021). Continuing education interventions about person-centered care targeted for nurses in older people long-term care: a systematic review. BMC nursing, 20(1), 67.

Raso, R., Fitzpatrick, J. J., & Masick, K. (2021). Nurses’ Intent to Leave their Position and the Profession During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Journal of nursing administration, 51(10), 488–494.

Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. (2021). Prevalence of and Factors Associated With Nurse Burnout in the US. JAMA Open Network, 4(2). DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36469

Weaver, M. S., Wichman, B., Bace, S., Schroeder, D., Vail, C., Wichman, C., & Macfadyen, A. (2018). Measuring the Impact of the Home Health Nursing Shortage on Family Caregivers of Children Receiving Palliative Care. Journal of hospice and palliative nursing, 20(3), 260–265.