Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Anna Hubbard


Negative patient outcomes have been attributed to surgery-related complications. A gap was identified in an acute care unit in southern Texas because postoperative surgical complications were above acceptable rates. The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice project was to educate staff nurses on the provision of evidence-based postsurgical care. This doctoral project was conducted to determine whether completion of a learning module would increase nurses’ level of knowledge in acute postoperative care. The project was grounded on Knowles’s adult learning theory and the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition. Learning material using competency-based education was developed using the analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate (ADDIE) model. Learning material composed of two modules (care of the colorectal patient and total joint arthroplasty) was administered to 24 nurses (n = 24) within a 2-week period. A one group pretest–posttest design was used to screen the effectiveness of the learning material in increasing the level of knowledge of the participants. The average score of the participants was 77.5% (SD = 13.07) before the intervention; the average posttest score, 87.29%, showed an increase in knowledge acquisition (SD = 5.77). On average, the participants had a 11.46% difference between their pretest and posttest scores, with a standard deviation of 12.47 (SD = 12.47). Paired t test indicated a significant difference between the pretest and posttest scores of the participants with the computed p-value (0.0002) < α. This project has the potential to impact social change, as the learning modules can be used as a medium to increase the level of knowledge among nurses in an acute surgical inpatient care unit.