Program Evaluation of an Academic Partnership Quality Improvement Project to Reduce Nursing Turnover in the Perioperative Setting

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The Ohio State University

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The implications of high nursing turnover and low rates of retention affect financial outcomes as well as patient outcomes within a hospital setting. This DNP project is an evaluation of a quality improvement (QI) initiative that was conducted as a partnership between the college of nursing at a large, public, very high research Carnegie classified university and a large academic medical center in the Midwest. The QI initiative was designed to spark interest in the perioperative setting and introduce undergraduate nursing students to the role of the nurse in the perioperative setting. The purpose of the initiative was to give the students an immersion experience in the perioperative specialty by offering a course that provided supervised clinical experience and online didactic content in the perioperative setting. The goal of the initiative was to allow the students a precepted clinical experience in the perioperative setting to increase their interest in the specialty and improve the transition of interested students into a nursing position within the department after graduation. This DNP project was designed to evaluate the impact of the QI initiative on nursing turnover and perceived patient outcomes from the perspective of nurses that hold various positions in the perioperative setting. The purpose of this DNP project was to identify how offering perioperative education in an undergraduate nursing program impacted costs, turnover, and perceived patient outcomes. Focus groups with perioperative nursing staff and department nursing educators along with semi-structured interviews with administrators were conducted to explore the effects of the course on creating interest in the specialty and the impact of receiving perioperative education on turnover and retention in the department. The findings demonstrated that receiving perioperative education in an undergraduate nursing program can be instrumental in increasing interest in the specialty and introducing nurses that have sincere interest in the specialty to the department. Nurses that are hired after receiving such education have more longevity in the department than traditional new graduate nurses.



undergraduate nursing education, perioperative nursing, turnover, nursing retention, quality improvement