Date of Graduation

Fall 12-11-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Bittner

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Lynne Knighten



Problem - This paper describes a DNP project implemented in an acute care hospital in 2020. The hospital implemented a nurse residency program, with an evidence-based preceptor role development (PRD) component, which proved to be beneficial in growing the nursing workforce and building infrastructure; however, nurse turnover increased.

Context – Preceptors expressed feeling unsupported and not valued. The nurse executive team recommended the recognition committee expand its efforts to develop strategies to develop frontline leaders by building preceptor resiliency and increase retention. Preceptor development could positively impact the nursing workforce.

Intervention - The DNP student, was the executive sponsor of the recognition team, and had oversight of the nurse residency program, integrated leadership and emotional intelligence training into the current PRD program by developing a training module to teach preceptors strategies to gain or improve the core skills of emotional intelligence (EI).

Measures - In addition to measuring retention, a valid and reliable EI assessment tool was utilized per preceptor.

Results - The project outcome was the reduction in nurse turnover, including preceptors, from 15.5% to 14.7%.

Conclusion - As a result of the project implementation, the preceptors that received the training utilized the new skills during a crisis and remained employed with the hospital ninety days after completing the training. EI training is now incorporated into the PRD curriculum. There is consideration to provide EI training to all nurses in the future as a tactic to increase engagement and improve retention.

Key words: nurse retention, preceptors, emotional intelligence, engagement, resiliency

Included in

Nursing Commons