Collaborative Partnership to Promote Safe Quality Care and Increase Confidence in New Intensive Care Unit Nurses

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Julie Ann Settles
Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Jennifer Dwyer, MSN, RN-BC, CNRN, FNP-BC
Education, Clarian Health, Indianapolis, IN

Learning Objective 1: understand one way for nursing schools and hospital clinical educators to collaborate.

Learning Objective 2: understand one model to increase confidence and improve professional judgment in new ICU nurses using high fidelity human simulators.

It has been well publicized that attrition rates are high, up to 50% in some areas, for new nurses. This is especially true in new nurses who start their nursing careers in the ICU.  When it was recognized in a newly developed intensive care unit that attrition was higher than normal, clinical educators were quick to seek the cause and escalate the concern to the unit leadership.  The educators recognized that one of the causes may be that over 75% of the nurses in the unit had less than one year of practice as a registered nurse.  Graduates leave nursing schools as competent but they may not be proficient. New nurses then acquire the rest of their skills and knowledge toward expert practice by experience over time. New nurses rely heavily on experienced nurses to help problem solve and provide support. Without this readily available resource, nurses can quickly lose confidence. Not feeling confident in their abilities was the number one cause of attrition identified in the new ICU area.  The school of nursing and the hospital clinical education department came together to find a solution to this problem. Students needed to increase their confidence in a safe environment and this could be accomplished using high fidelity human simulation. This presentation will discuss the process and outcomes of first developing the clinical educators and education specialists to become simulation specialists, to the selection and development of scenarios, to having selected nurses run through various staged simple to complex simulation cases, and the entire process being completed in 4 months.