Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2021


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Karen Kesten, DNP, APRN, CCNS, FAAN; Bonnie Sakallaris, PhD, RN


Critical Care; Non-Critical Care; Nurses; Intensive Care Units; Just in Time Critical Care Orientation; Training


Background: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have redeployed non-critical care nurses to Intensive Care Units to help provide care to the influx of critically ill patients. Training is needed for these nurses to effectively assist in the care of these patients.

Objectives: This project developed, implemented and evaluated a Just in Time Critical Care Orientation training program. The project’s objectives were to increase participants’ knowledge, improve their self-rated competence and confidence, and to evaluate participants’ satisfaction with the program.

Methods: A 12-hour educational program based on national critical care resources was offered. Non-critical care nurses were recruited to attend the program. The program delivered information to participants through classroom learning, simulation, and hands-on experience in a critical care unit. Using a pre- and post-test design, participant knowledge, confidence and competence were measured using the Basic Knowledge Assessment Tool-9r (BKAT-9r) and the Perception to Care in Acute Situations (PCAS) tool. Participant satisfaction with the program was evaluated.

Results: After completing this program, participants had significant improvement to knowledge, confidence and competence in caring for critically ill patients as measured by BKAT and PCAS scores. Participants rated their satisfaction with the program highly.

Conclusions: Implementation of a one-day critical care nursing program is an effective method of providing non-critical care nurses with basic levels of critical care knowledge and competency during a crisis that requires them to assist with providing care to critically ill patients. The one-day format makes this program easily sustainable; the program will now be offered on a monthly basis.

Open Access


Available for download on Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Included in

Nursing Commons