Chi MaiFollow

Date of Graduation

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Kaiser cohort MSN capstone

First Advisor

Sara Horton-Deutsch


Safe staffing has been an ongoing challenge in nursing and health care for decades. Several authors have described the relationship between safe staffing and the impact on preventable medical errors, team engagement, and moral distress. Current practices in the Cardiac Telemetry Unit (CTU) establish a nurse-to-patient ratio anywhere from 1:1 to 1:4. The average nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:3, which is not a standard practice across the organization. Over the past four years, the CTU staff and management have felt frustrated, immersed in a reactive and short-staffing work environment. Regularly assigning a nursing-to-patient ratio of 1:3 leaves the unit short-staffed and with limited resources. This quality improvement (QI) project advocates for the facility campus support nurses (CSNs) to voluntarily obtain the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certifications to become an extra layer of clinical aid to the facility’s telemetry units. The ACLS certification enhances the skills and versatility of the CSN. Upon receiving the certification, CSNs not only can provide staffing support to the telemetry units, but also assist with bedside procedures, run code blues, and assist patients with higher acuity provided they receive the needed training. The QI project was successful: 1 out of 4 CSNs renewed the ACLS certification. Additionally, 2 out of the 4 existing CSNs successfully enrolled and achieved the ACLS certification course. This initiative raised awareness and increasing support among leaders and staff regarding the value of ACLS certification for the role of the CSNs.

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