How to choose a nursing capstone project idea

As you get closer to your capstone project, you might struggle to pick a nursing capstone project idea. There are more than 100 ideas to choose from here, so you’re likely to find one that matches your interests and career goals. Whether you’re pursuing a BSN, MSN, or DNP, you can rely on this extensive list for brainstorming.

What is the Nursing Capstone Project?

The Nursing Capstone Project is a culminating paper or project that consolidates the knowledge and skills gained by nursing students during their training programs. It is usually completed towards the end of the program and serves as a bridge between the end of school and the beginning of a career, allowing nursing students to put what they’ve learned into practice.

How to Choose a Nursing Capstone Project Idea

  1. Passion and Interest: Start by considering your personal interests and passions within nursing. A topic that genuinely excites you is more likely to result in a successful and engaging capstone project.
  2. Relevance to Nursing Practice: Ensure your chosen topic is directly related to nursing practice. It should address a specific issue, challenge, or area of improvement within the field of nursing.
  3. Current Healthcare Trends: Stay updated with current healthcare trends and emerging issues. Select a topic that is relevant to the contemporary healthcare landscape, as it will have more significance and impact.
  4. Literature Review: Conduct a preliminary literature review to gauge the existing research and identify gaps in the literature. A topic with a sufficient body of literature but room for further exploration is ideal.
  5. Consult with Faculty: Seek advice and guidance from your faculty advisor or mentor. They can provide insights into the feasibility and relevance of potential topics and help you narrow down your choices.
  6. Clinical Experiences: Reflect on your clinical experiences and any issues or challenges you’ve encountered. These real-world encounters can inspire meaningful capstone project ideas.
  7. Patient Outcomes: Consider topics related to improving patient outcomes, safety, and quality of care. Projects that have a direct impact on patients are often highly valued.
  8. Collaborative Opportunities: Explore opportunities for collaboration with healthcare organizations, clinics, or community agencies. Collaborative projects can provide access to data and resources.
  9. Feasibility: Assess the feasibility of your chosen topic. Ensure that you have access to the necessary data, resources, and support to carry out your capstone project effectively.
  10. Nursing Specialization: If you have a specialization within nursing, consider topics that align with your specialization, as this can showcase your expertise and interest in that area.
  11. Ethical Considerations: Be mindful of ethical considerations when choosing a topic. Ensure that your research and interventions adhere to ethical standards and patient privacy guidelines.
  12. Measurable Outcomes: Your capstone project should have clear and measurable outcomes. Define the goals and objectives of your project and how you will assess its success.
  13. Interdisciplinary Approach: Explore topics that allow for an interdisciplinary approach, as this can broaden the scope of your project and contribute to holistic healthcare solutions.
  14. Innovation and Technology: Consider topics related to healthcare innovation and the use of technology in nursing practice. These topics are often forward-looking and can have a significant impact.
  15. Relevance to Your Career Goals: Think about how your capstone project aligns with your long-term career goals in nursing. Will it enhance your skills and knowledge in a way that benefits your future practice?

Helpful Sources of Nursing Capstone ideas

Finding sources of nursing capstone ideas can be a creative and strategic process. Here are some sources and approaches to help you generate compelling capstone project ideas:

  1. Clinical Experiences: Reflect on your clinical placements and experiences. Consider challenges, gaps in care, or areas where you noticed opportunities for improvement. These real-world encounters can inspire relevant capstone topics.
  2. Patient Stories: While in practice, patient stories and experiences can provide insights into potential capstone projects. Listen to patient feedback, their concerns, and the issues they face in healthcare settings.
  3. Healthcare Literature: Read nursing journals, research articles, and healthcare publications. Identify emerging trends, recent studies, and healthcare issues that you find interesting and relevant to nursing practice. Helpful articles such as creative nursing capstone project ideas can help you fin a capstone project topic that aligns with your interests.
  4. Faculty and Mentor Guidance: Consult with your nursing faculty or mentor. They have a wealth of experience and can suggest topics based on their knowledge of current healthcare challenges and trends.
  5. Professional Organizations: Explore the websites and publications of nursing professional organizations such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) or specialty-specific organizations. They often highlight current issues and research opportunities.
  6. Clinical Guidelines and Protocols: Review clinical guidelines and protocols relevant to your nursing specialization. Consider projects that involve evaluating or improving adherence to these guidelines.
  7. Quality Improvement Initiatives: Investigate ongoing quality improvement initiatives at healthcare facilities or institutions. Collaborating with these organizations can provide opportunities for meaningful projects. Find more quality improvement topics
  8. Healthcare Surveys and Reports: Analyze healthcare surveys, reports, and data sets from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). These sources can reveal areas in need of improvement.
  9. Community Health Needs Assessments: Community health assessments often identify local healthcare priorities and disparities. Explore these reports to find topics relevant to your community or region.
  10. Nursing Specialization: If you have a specialization within nursing (e.g., pediatric nursing, critical care, mental health), consider capstone ideas that align with your area of expertise and interest.


Embarking on your nursing capstone project journey is an exciting and pivotal moment in your educational and professional life. We understand that the path to selecting the perfect capstone topic can be challenging, given the multitude of options and the desire to make a meaningful impact in the field of nursing. The guide points out the different approaches you can use to select a nursing capstone project idea for your capstone papers.

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