The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Nursing Capstone Project in Vancouver Style

If you are pursuing a nursing degree, then you are probably aware of the tremendous importance of nursing capstone projects. These projects offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, judgement, and professionalism.

Writing a nursing capstone project can be a daunting task, but this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Understanding the Vancouver Style

Vancouver style is a referencing format usually used in scientific and medical research papers. In Vancouver style, every source mentioned in the text is represented by a number in superscript, which is then matched with a reference list that provides more information about the source.


Here are some details to understand Vancouver Style:

  • Explanation of Vancouver style

Vancouver style is a referencing system commonly applied in scientific writing on medication and science. The style applies the use of numbered citations in the body of your work with either a full entry on the reference list entry at the end or a brief form in parenthesis in the text plus a full entry in the Reference List.


  • How to format paper in Vancouver style

This formatting style should be adhered to carefully so that the project is effective and scholarly.

Here are some standard guidelines for formatting your paper in Vancouver style:

  1. Paper Size: A4
  2. Margins: 2.54 cm (1 inch) on all sides
  3. Font: Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri, font size 12
  4. Spacing: Double-spaced
  5. Alignment: Justified
  6. Page Numbering: All pages should have numbers. They should be Arabic numerals, placed at right corner of header or footer

  • In-text citation in Vancouver style

As mentioned before, Vancouver style employs in-text numbering of citations with superscripts, square brackets, or authors’ names and dates in parentheses.


Preparing for Your Nursing Capstone Project

Before starting your nursing capstone project, you should take the time to prepare and organize your ideas.

Here are some tips to help you get started:


  • Selecting a topic

The first step to begin your nursing capstone project is to choose a suitable topic. It should be a subject that intrigues you and aligns with your interests and course requirements.

  • Developing an outline

Once you have chosen the topic, the next step is to develop an outline. An outline provides the project’s structure and helps you to organize your research material.

  • Gathering research material

Gather relevant research materials related to your topic, such as books, articles, and scientific papers. You can use online libraries or search engines to find relevant materials.

  • Creating a timeline

Creating a timeline allows you to keep track of your project’s progress, stay focused, and reduce stress.


Writing Your Nursing Capstone Project

After preparing and organizing all the research material and creating the outline, you’re prepared to start writing your nursing capstone project. Here’s a breakdown of what should be included:


  • Introduction

The introduction should contain a brief overview of your topic and research question.

  • Literature review

In this section, you need to give a detailed review of the current literature that exists on your topic and explain how your project aligns with the existing literature.

  • Methodology

In the methodology section, you need to describe how you went about conducting your research to answer your research question.

  • Results

This section outlines the findings of your research, providing an explanation and analysis of the results.

  • Discussion

In this section, you need to interpret and analyze the research results, and evaluate their significance in the context of your research question.

  • Conclusion

The conclusion summarizes your research’s main ideas and conclusions.

Formatting Your Nursing Capstone Project in Vancouver Style

While writing your nursing capstone project, it should adhere to Vancouver style.

Here is what should be included in the formatting:


  • Cover page

A page indicating the author’s name, course name and number, title of the capstone project, submission date, and any other necessary information.

  • Table of contents

The table of contents provides an outline of how your nursing capstone project report has been structured.

  • Abstract

The abstract should briefly describe your capstone project’s purpose, methodology, results, conclusions, and recommendations.

  • Introduction

In the introduction, give a general overview of the capstone project and present the research question.

  • Literature review

Include a detailed review of the current literature related to the capstone project topic.

  • Methodology

This section should describe how you conducted your research, including data collection methods.

  • Results

Describe any findings of your research comprehensively.

  • Discussion

Interpret and evaluate the research results in relation to your research question.

  • Conclusion

Summarize the key aspects of your study, interpret your results, and apply it to your field of work

  • References

List all the sources used in the project and cited using Vancouver style.


Tips for Successful Writing

Writing a nursing capstone project can be a challenging task, and it is essential to adhere to a couple of tips:


  • The importance of proofreading

Revise your work and seek feedback from experienced professionals.

  • The benefits of peer review

Allow a peer to check your work as this can help to rectify errors and improve the quality and provide constructive criticism

  • Tips for maintaining focus and motivation

Remember to take short breaks, have enough sleep, and eat healthily to stay focused and motivated.



Writing any academic paper can be a daunting task, including a nursing capstone project. However, with this ultimate guide, you can prepare, format and write your nursing capstone project competently with Vancouver style.

Remember, this project is your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, judgement, and professionalism.



Q. What is the typical length of a nursing capstone project?

The length of a nursing capstone largely depends on the teacher’s requirements and course design but typically should be at least 40 pages.


Q. Can I include my personal opinion in a nursing capstone project?

Yes, as long as it is backed by research and credible sources


Q. Will my nursing capstone project be published?

That depends on the course instructor or school. It may be published if deemed fit for different nursing organizations or research journals.


Q. Can I use Vancouver style for other nursing assignments?

Yes, Vancouver referencing is commonly used in nursing journals and coursework.


Q. Is there software or program that can help with Vancouver style formatting?

Yes, most academic software such as Mendeley, Zotero, and Endnote, have Vancouver Style format. Also, Vancouver can be added to Microsoft Word using Reference Manager.


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