NURS 499: Nursing Capstone Course (clinical)
This course provides an integrated experience with opportunities to apply the program core competencies of patient-centered care, safety and quality, communication, collaboration, utilization of evidence based practice, altruism and management of care. This is designed to accomplish role development of the baccalaureate nurse through a leadership practicum experience reflective of a synthesis of nursing knowledge and liberal arts and science knowledge acquired in the BSN completion program. Students will integrate knowledge of nursing research, as well as leadership and management, to design, implement, and lead a team project that will improve patient outcomes. The capstone includes the development, implementation and evaluation of a clinically focused project designed with faculty supervision and carried out in an appropriate health care or community based care setting.
I will completing my Capstone project at the JASA NORC, Trumps United, in Brooklyn, NY. A NORC is known as a naturally occurring retirement community. A Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) is a community or building complex that was not originally designed for seniors, but has a large percentage of residents who are older adults. The JASA website highlights the goals and outcomes of the JASA NORC programs. “Our NORC programs provide a wide range of social services, educational and recreational activities, supportive counseling, assistance with securing benefits and entitlements, health-related services, and transportation to help senior residents remain at home and continue to participate in community life” (JASA, 2018).
For my project, I decided to screen clients for signs or risk factors for depression and create a workshop on how to combat depression and decrease the suicide risk for the geriatric population. In order to do so, I decided to do a quick assessment in office for the patients who visit in the nursing office. I would provide them with the geriatric depression assessment (short form) that has 15 questions in order to provide an initial screening of clients at risk for depression. My goal is to compile a list of patients who are high risk for depression, arrange home visits with them, and provide them with in-depth depression/suicide assessments and interviews. I would then compile the data and create a workshop that focuses on risk factors that personally affect the community and provide them with tools and resources to help combat depression and decrease the risk of suicide in this community.
Over the course of this semester, I was able to learn about the power that I have as a nurse. Overseeing a project from beginning to end and seeing how implementing the project has a positive effect on the community helped me to realize that as a registered nurse, I have the ability to evoke change and make a real difference in the community that I serve. Overseeing the project let me realize the true challenges that a nurse leader faces. Through trial and error, I was able to clearly understand the importance of planning, contingency, and the power of great teamwork. This course helped me to see the need to develop my skills as a nurse leader. Being a nurse means being at the forefront of the changes facing our diverse and multi-faceted field. Thomas, Roussel & Harris (2016) highlights the benefits of implementing transformational leadership. “Transformational leaders commit people to action, convert followers into leaders, and convert leaders into agents of change” (Thomas, Roussel & Harris, 2016, p. 210). Throughout this course, I realized that these assignments and discussions were a way of transforming us into the nurse leaders of tomorrow. We began as timid students, but in the end, we became effective nurse leaders and champions for change.
All in all, I greatly appreciate everything I’ve learned throughout NURS 499 and my time as a CUNY SPS student. It signifies the beginning of a lifetime of learning, growing, and becoming the nurse that I want to see more of in the future.