Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Laura Marcinkowski, DNP, MSN, APRN, AGPCNP-BE, CNE

Laura Marcinkowski


DNP Project Abstract

More than Skin Deep: Improving the Skin Champion Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Staff nurses at Vanderbilt University Medical Center can volunteer to become skin champions by completing one education class, offered by experts from the skin team. Skin champions are the designated resources on their nursing unit for pressure injury prevention, identification, and treatment. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to create a knowledge assessment for current skin champion nurses at VUMC to identify ongoing educational needs.

This project used the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) format as a guide for the QI methodology. Based on current education provided to the skin champions and review of published assessment tools, a 25-item assessment survey was created. The survey was uploaded to REDCap and emailed to current skin champions; participation was voluntary.

A total sample of 628 nurses were eligible to complete the survey; 23.4% (147) completed the survey. The median knowledge score on the assessment was 82.2% (IQR 76% to 88%), with a passing score being considered 80% and above. Almost three quarters (70.1%, n=103) of skin champions met this metric. Nine questions were not correctly answered at an individual rate of 80% or above, and they did not represent one specific knowledge topic.

Implications for Practice
Findings indicate that the majority of skin champions who completed the assessment demonstrate adequate knowledge for their roles. Future education initiatives should target common problem areas, but also general information about pressure injuries based on these results. Additionally, it is recommended that yearly education be a requirement for the nurses to maintain skin champion designation so that education can be specific to the needs of current bedside nurses.