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MSN Capstone: Library Resources

This guide is designed to assist Master of Science in Nursing or Graduate Entry-Master of Science in Nursing (GEM) students with the research components related to their MSN Capstone requirement.

College of Nursing PowerPoint Poster Template

Click the following link to download the official UToledo College of Nursing Poster Template. This PowerPoint file takes the guesswork out of creating a professional-looking poster. It has official UToledo colors and the College of Nursing logo. The dimensions (in inches) are 48 x 36. 


  • Research Assistance: Nursing Librarian Jodi Jameson ( / 419.383.5152)
  • Printing: Marc Miller in Academic Computing ( / 419.383.5803)

For additional guidance on creating a poster in PowerPoint, consult the resources and information below. 

Poster Design Guidance

Getting Started


Design Principles

  • Size and Layout
    • A typical conference poster has a horizontal layout and is often 48 x 36 inches but may vary depending on the conference requirements. To edit the dimensions of your poster in PowerPoint, click on the Design tab. 
    • It is recommended to keep your poster to 3 or 4 columns of content
    • Columns do not need to be the exact same size, yet they should look consistent and evenly spaced.  For example, you might have a larger width column in the middle of your poster, and the two side columns will be smaller but the same size. 
  • Balance
    • Well-designed posters are typically 20-25% text, 40-45% graphics (tables, figures, or images), and 30-40% white space.
    • Think of your poster as a visual abstract that illustrates the essential components of your EBP Project.
    • Do not underestimate the importance of graphics and white space. Too much text in a small font size can be very difficult for viewers when reading your poster. Brevity and synthesis are key when it comes to effective poster design.  
  • Font Sizes (Approximations) 
    • Title: 80 pt
    • Author(s): 60 pt
    • Headings: 44 pt
    • Main Text: 32 pt
    • Captions: 28 pt
  • Visual Appeal
    • You do not need to be a professional artist to create a stunning poster! 
    • Keep it simple, remember that brevity is key, and do not be overly wordy
    • Remember that your poster is a visual representation and a synthesis of the "greatest hits" of your EBP Project
    • Use high-resolution images and attribute them correctly (see the UToledo Images LibGuide
    • Choose a consistent and complementary color palette (see the UToledo Brand Guide information on Palettes)

Dos and Don'ts of Poster Design


  • Type your text in MS Word first, then copy and paste into the PowerPoint template
  • Use a non-serif font (i.e. Arial, Helvetica) for title and headings
  • Use a serif font (i.e. Times New Roman, Palatino) for body text
  • Use high-resolution images
  • Consider copyright when using images
  • Cite and reference your sources in APA 7th Edition Style (if you cannot fit your reference list on your poster, you may include a supplementary handout or provide a QR Code on your poster linking viewers to your references)
  • Share your poster with trusted peers or classmates for review and constructive criticism prior to having it printed
This poster is a good example of a Do! To view the full image, right click over it with your mouse and select Open Image in New Tab.
  • Use dark backgrounds
  • Switch from PC to Mac and Mac to PC when designing in PowerPoint
  • Be too wordy (limit word count to 800-1000)
  • Use colors that make your poster unintelligible or difficult to read
  • Use “cute” clip art

This poster is a good example of a Don't! To view the full image, right click over it with your mouse and select Open Image in New Tab.

Additional Resources

Video Tutorials