Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2017


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Jean Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN


Background: According to the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON), research indicates that evidence-based practice for post-operative hip and knee replacement patients includes early mobilization several hours following surgery. Findings indicate that early mobilization on the day of surgery directly correlates to decreased pain, increased distance ambulated and decrease in length of stay (LOS) in the hospital. Objectives: The aim of this research was to validate findings in the literature indicating that improved patient outcomes (pain, distance ambulated and LOS) are associated with implementation of an Early Mobilization Protocol among post-operative total hip and knee replacement patients. Methods: The study used a non-experimental correlation design. A retrospective review of electronic medical records was conducted to identify if an Early Mobilization Protocol had positive clinical outcomes on three dependent variables: pain, distance ambulated and LOS at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital. Pre-intervention data from 2014 was compared to post-intervention data in 2015, among post-operative total hip and knee replacement patients. Results: Average pain score from post-intervention data decreased 50% from 4.8 to 2.4. Total distance ambulated increased 132% from 282 feet to 654 feet. In addition, LOS decreased one full day from 3.4 days to 2.4 days. Conclusions: An Early Mobilization Protocol significantly improved clinical outcomes by decreasing pain, increasing distance ambulated and decreasing LOS among post-operative total hip and knee replacement patients.

Open Access




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