Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Sarah Baca, DNP, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, PMP

Sarah Baca
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Debra Arnow, DNP, RN, NEA-BC


DNP Project Abstract

Improve the Nurse Staffing Experience and Resource Allocation in Practice

Test the use of an EHR-generated nurse workload measure when making shift assignments.

The Model for Improvement was the improvement framework; a PDSA cycle guides the test to determine if the change is an improvement. Nurses practicing on the unit were invited to complete a short pre-implementation survey, reflecting on their overall experience for the last three shifts, using a 5-point Likert scale. The team then operationalized an approach considering the Nurse Workload EHR-driven score and a verbal shift summary between the charge RN and Staff RN to inform the upcoming shift assignment. After three weeks, the unit was resurveyed using the same measurement tool.

In summary, 33 individual RNs participated in the pre-and post-implementation surveys. The pre-implementation mean score was 3.30 (SD 1.36), and the post-implementation survey, had a mean score of 3.13 (SD 1.06). The non-parametric Mann-Whitney U-test was used and found no statistical difference (p-value 0.59) in the mean score before and after integrating the EHR-generated nurse workload measure.

Implications for Practice
The care delivery model for a given hospital, unit type, and individual shift impacts the degree to which a nurse experiences a workload throughout their shift; and was not captured by the EHR workload measure.