Off-campus Valpo users: To download campus access documents, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your Valpo user name and password.

Non-Valpo users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this document through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Julie M. Brandy


Capstone courses in baccalaureate nursing education have been described as meaningful value-based experiences that result in both depth of understanding and a sense of accomplishment in anticipation of graduation (Schroetter & Wendler, 2008). Self-efficacy is the perceived ability to successfully complete a task (Bandura, 1986). Evidence indicates that positive self-efficacy aids in the transition from student to professional nurse; in clinical reasoning and decision making; in viewing challenging problems as tasks to be mastered; and in improved academic performance. Evidence supports self-efficacy as malleable and sensitive to change through interventions (Gist & Mitchell, 1992). The purpose of this evidence-based practice project was to determine if a problem-based learning (PBL) intervention influenced students‘ perceptions of self-efficacy after completion of an EBP capstone project. PBL is a methodology that structures knowledge in clinical contexts, strengthens motivation to learn, develops clinical reasoning skills, and enhances life-long learning (Barrows, 1985). The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework was used to guide this project at a School of Nursing in Northwest Indiana. A nonexperimental, single group, pretest/post-test research design was applied using the General Perceived Self-Efficacy Scale (GPSE) (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). Data were analyzed using SPSS Version 18.0. The PICO question: “What is the effect of a problem-based learning (PBL) environment on perceptions of self-efficacy in undergraduate senior nursing students prior to and upon completion of an evidence-based capstone project?” was answered by a paired t test analysis. On average, students experience statistically significant greater perceived self-efficacy after the PBL was implemented. Implications for practice, education, research and the APN role are discussed.


Full-text download only available to Valparaiso University community.