Capstone Project Highlights | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Capstone Project Highlights

Chatham University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Chatham University DNP residency and capstone poster presentations banner image

During the two-day DNP residency, candidates present posters outlining what their capstone evidence-based projects will be.

"My memories of my Chatham residency were absolutely wonderful and will always be remembered for the kindness, caring, and generosity displayed by the Chatham faculty and staff. I felt as if all of us had instant camaraderie as soon as we met in person because we have shared this amazing journey to get our DNP, and I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity to make friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the DNP residency such a positive experience for us all. I can't wait to tell all my friends and colleagues about my Chatham experience!"
– Sui Unzelman MSN, RN, VHA-CM

Here are some examples from Fall 2017:

Project: Adult Depression Screening in Acute Care
This project screens adult acute stroke patients using the patient health questionnaire. The aim is to identify patients with depression who otherwise may go unrecognized as depressed, allowing opportunity for education and referral when indicated during the acute inpatient stay.

Candidate: Sue Costello, RN, MSN, PMHCS, BC
Faculty, Aria Health School of Nursing

Project: The Road to Health with Prediabetes
The purpose of my project was to initiate a culturally sensitive diabetes education program that increases patient's knowledge toward improving health promotion behaviors. African American participants diagnosed with prediabetes attended a 6-week culturally sensitive diabetes education program covering topics involving type 2 diabetes prevention, diabetes education, eating habits, physical activity, and perception of risk-associated complications related to diabetes. The expected outcome is that participants will exhibit an increase in diabetes knowledge after attending the 6-week course.

Candidate: Mike Maurice Supplice, MSN, ARNP
Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner, EMCARE Capital Regional Medical Center

Project: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Maladaptive Perfectionism Among Eating Disorders
Maladaptive perfectionism is the side of perfectionism that can be paralyzing to people with thoughts like, "if I can't do it perfectly, I won't try at all." Among people with eating disorders, this is particularly dangerous, since it predicts poorer outcomes for treatment and long-term recovery. Literature suggests that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-based group counseling is an effective strategy for the reduction of maladaptive perfectionism among people with eating disorders, promoting long-term recovery and improved outcomes for treatment.

Candidate: Mary E. Carter, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Mercy Community Health Services

Project: Use of a Video Monitor Program to Improve Clinical Outcomes
The project is designed to use a video monitoring system to monitor patients who pose a safety risk to themselves or who are at risk for falling.

Candidate: Ronald Langlotz
Director of Nursing, Departments of Medicine & Radiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Project: Improving Compliance with National Guidelines in Treating Acute Bronchitis
I am doing a one-hour educational intervention to ambulatory providers. This should reduce antibiotic prescribing to less than 10% and to have 100% of patients receive education on acute bronchitis and 100% receive symptomatic care.

Candidate: Kimberly K. Rodda
Family Nurse Practitioner, Providence Health System/Providence Medical Group

Project: Improper Patient Handling in Nursing Education
In hospitals, programs have been put in place to prevent work-related musculoskeletal injuries occurring because of poor patient handling, but nursing schools have not always done the same. Evidence shows there is a research-education gap, because nursing schools in the United States continue to teach body mechanics for which there is no scientific support. The purpose of this project is to provide information on safe patient handling for nursing students in an associate degree nursing school, in order to prevent musculoskeletal injuries to students and patients and to assure that students are able to determine which equipment to use in the clinical setting.

Candidate: Paula Graham, MS, RN
Director of Learning Resource Center, Cochran School of Nursing

Project: Opioid Overdose Identification and Prevention
Opioid overdose and mortality is one of the most important yet inadequately understood public health problems. The purpose of this project is to implement overdose education as a means to increase knowledge of opioid users to recognize and intervene in a suspected overdose.

Candidate: Pooja Shah
Family Nurse Practitioner, Livengrin Foundation

Project: Implementation of an Evidence-Based Individualized Music Therapy Program in Older Patients with Dementia Experiencing Agitation Behaviors
The purpose of my project is to implement an individualized music therapy (IMT) program using a personalized playlist of selected songs on MP3 players as a nonpharmacological method to decrease agitation behaviors in patients with dementia in a long-term care facility. Individualized music interventions can promote caregiver interaction, enhance patient-centered care, and improve quality of life for patients with dementia.

Candidate: Sui Unzelman, MSN, RN, VHA-CM
Nurse Educator, South Texas Veterans Health Care System

Project: Discharge Readiness: A Family-Centered Care Approach
Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses are demonstrating a knowledge deficit regarding integrating family-centered care into the discharge process resulting in decreased parental perception of discharge readiness. This can lead to increased post-hospitalization healthcare usage and readmission. This project aims to use an educational intervention to increase NICU nurses' knowledge so they provide family-centered discharge planning to increase parental perception of discharge readiness.

Candidate: Lora Walter
MSN, RNC-NIC, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Chatham University

Project: Improving Acute Care Nurses' CPR Skills Retention, Knowledge and Confidence Level Using the American Heart Association's Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI) Program
RQI is a high frequency, low dose training strategy for AHA BLS and ACLS renewal that has scheduled quarterly CPR skills training consisting of adult or infant compressions and ventilations conducted at strategically located unit-based mobile skills stations equipped with a tablet computer. Cognitive online content is delivered in small doses over a two-year period. The purpose of this EBP change project is to improve CPR skills retention, knowledge and confidence among acute care nurses by utilizing the AHA's RQI program.

Candidate: Reginaldo Fidel Flores Horwitz
Critical Care Educator/Clinical Nurse Specialist, Durham VAMC