Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2018


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Karen Whitt, PhD, AGN-BC, FNP-C; Dawn Berndt, DNP, RN, CRNI; Jennifer Kooiman-Mohr, MSN, RN-BC; Tracy Moriarty, MSN, RN; Steven Sadoff, MSN, RN, NE-BC


Background: A nationwide nursing shortage has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of qualified nurse applicants for critical care positions. Additional recruitment solutions for critical care staffing needed to be explored.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of an orientation program designed to transition experienced general care trained float pool nurses to a critical care float pool.

Methods: This descriptive study measured participants’ pre and post critical care orientation knowledge, and completion of core computerized competencies. Critical thinking questions, unit-based competencies, and measurement of participants’ individual perception of competence were also completed. Pre and post intervention data and computerized competencies were entered into SPSS and descriptive statistics were generated to compare pre and post percentages, frequencies and means.

Results: Participants’ ability to function independently as a critical care nurse was demonstrated by an 18% increase in critical care knowledge, passing scores of each ECCO module of 80% or greater and completion of unit-based competencies, classroom, computer based, direct hands-on patient care training, and participant perception of competence. A paired samples t-test showed participants’ pre and post orientation critical care knowledge scores as measured by the BKAT9r were significantly different with the mean post BKAT-9r scores (M=90.5, SD= 0.58) significantly higher than the mean pre-orientation critical care knowledge scores (M=74, SD=0.00), (t(1)=11.0, p=0.05).

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate the orientation program was effective to prepare an experienced general care float pool nurse to function independently in a critical care float pool.

Open Access




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