Improving Capstone Papers For Baccalaureate Nursing Students: With an Evidence-Based Partnership Between A Health Sciences Librarian And A Nurse Educator

Xan Goodman, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Cheryl Perna, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Pamela Marie Juniel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Rachelle Weigel, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This presentation will describe a partnership between a nursing faculty member and a health sciences librarian to improve capstone papers submitted by Baccalaureate Nursing students in the last semester of their program.

Academic health sciences librarians will find the description of partnering and applying evidence-based librarianship in the classroom informative, specifically for academic librarians who struggle with the question of, should librarians teach APA? This project involved: an instruction intervention, developing a rubric, scoring capstone papers and developing supplementary materials to support the capstone assignment.

The nursing faculty member noticed that the APA errors in capstone papers were egregious. To improve this, the health sciences librarian taught an active learning library instruction intervention session that all students attended. Capstone papers were collected (N=90) over the course of six semesters from Fall 2012 to Summer 2014. Of those papers, 54 were pre-intervention and 36 were post-intervention. To evaluate the intervention, the research team evaluated the students’ capstone papers using a rubric developed by the authors to examine adherence to APA (title page, in text citation and reference page) and quality of sources selected.

Final results showed some improvement in post-intervention papers. An additional result was the development of supplemental materials by the research team, including: a chart of common credible sources such as, QSEN, TJC and other standards students might commonly use when writing an evidenced based capstone paper, a list of most commonly seen citation errors and a list of the most frequently cited peer reviewed journals for capstone papers.