Date of Graduation

Spring 5-5-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Amy Nichols, EdD, RN

Second Advisor

Elena Capella, PhD, RN, CNL

Third Advisor

Dianne Moore, PhD, RN, CNM


The purpose of this process improvement project was to implement a test of change within a healthcare team utilizing applied improvisational exercises (AIEs), and to lay the groundwork for more effective inter- and intra-professional communication.

Literature review: AIEs have been shown to facilitate individual participant communication strengths through a process of un-learning certain common behavioral habits, and learning new habits that assist in creating and expanding closed-loop communication. Such un-learning and learning enriches the participant’s awareness of the environment and encourages participant adaptability through positive group interactions.

Method: An all-day AIE seminar/workshop was conducted with members of two healthcare teams that work closely together. The course included exercises to enhance situational awareness of non-verbal communication, listening skills, ability to establish trust in a new environment, spontaneity, ability to accept new information, memory, willingness to contribute ideas, self-confidence in group interactions, and creative problem solving.

Results: Attendee’s post-seminar surveys showed solid enthusiasm for the AIE-based learning process.

Conclusion: Teams that train with AIEs are able to facilitate bridging the inter- and intra-professional healthcare communication gap and improve patient safety and satisfaction.


Participant's comments included:

“'Enjoyed this class very much!”

“I'm more sensitive to non-verbal communication now.”

“This course was excellent."

'I'd love to share this class with everyone.”

“So much fun - the day went very fast!”

"Absolutely recommend this course.'

“This course greatly exceeded my expectation.”