Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Patricia Schweickert


According to recent research, more than 75% of newly employed nurses leave employment within 6 months. Changes in organizational training programs are needed in order to improve psychiatric nurse retention, nationally and globally. A healthy work environment (HWE) has been described as an environment that includes mentoring for good communication skills; it is also one that explores collaborative strategies for safe practice; professional advancement; and empowerment through research, education, and skill development. Examination of the impact of this HWE psychiatric nurse orientation training program on nurse retention was done using Rogers' theory of diffusion. Study variables included the length of training and retention rates pre- and post-training to help identify the impact of the HWE training program on retention using different methods of policy review. The project included 88 nurses and outcomes were measured through review of hire and termination rates for the targeted facility 3 months pre- and post-intervention. An independent samples t test revealed that the average retention rate for nurses trained in the current versus HWE program differed significantly by program (p > .05). Training also was shown to improve clinical practice and increase awareness of existing evidence about strategies to improve psychiatric nurse retention. Social change implications include potentially decreasing the costs associated with hiring and training nurses, improving clinical practice, adding to the nursing knowledge base and skill set, and enhancing workflow processes for quality outcomes.