Date of Graduation

Fall 12-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Healthcare Systems Leadership DNP

First Advisor

Robin Buccheri

Second Advisor

Juli Maxworthy


Despite efforts to transition large portions of primary health care services to more community-based outpatient settings, federal projections say the rising complexity of acute care will increase demand for RNs in hospital settings by 36% in 2020 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2017). Other projections indicate that by 2025, the U.S. registered nursing shortage will expand to more than 260,000 (Buerhaus, Auerbach, & Staiger, 2009). In an effort to address the ongoing challenges of nursing staff shortages, many hospitals have established a core of internal float pool RNs as a practical and cost effective solution to address the rapidly evolving RN staffing needs (Linzer, Tilley, & Williamson, 2011; Roach et al., 2011; The Joint Commission [TJC], 2004).

Although the concept of floating is meant to be positive for the hospital by saving dollars through internal resource utilization, far too often it is the patients and nurses who pay the price (Pronger, 1995). The Joint Commission identified inadequacy of orientation and training as the most common root cause of more than half of all sentinel events reviewed (TJC) (2004). Hospital leaders have an obligation to ensure staff members are given adequate education, support, and resources to provide safe, competent care.

An evidence-based change of practice project was proposed to evaluate the effectiveness of instituting a unit-specific reference tool on three in-patient acute care units to improve float pool RN comfort level and promote a more positive perception of the float experience. This tool was intended to bridge the gap in float pool RN’s knowledge of unit specific information.

Included in

Nursing Commons