Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Allison Terry


Research has found that the turnover rate of graduate nurses within their first year is significantly high. Specialties such as pediatric and emergency nursing have even a higher turnover rate. It has been suggested that significant amounts of stress and lack of skills are responsible for the turnovers. This quality improvement project, which is theoretically based on Benner's novice to expert theory, will examine if a lack of a specialized pediatric emergency graduate nurse orientation program is a contributing factor. The purpose of the project is to improve retention of graduate nurses by implementing a specialized orientation program that focuses on pediatric emergency nursing. The research question examined the effect of a specialized graduate nurse orientation program on increasing retention, nurses' competency, and job satisfaction. This project takes the hospital's original orientation program of 6 generalized classes and hands-on orientation and adds a more specialized approach. The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Core Curriculum of specialized skills and didactic classes for pediatric emergency nursing (developed by the ENA pediatric committee based on evidence and gold standard practice); evaluation tools (developed by researcher) for both the preceptor and orientee; and face-to-face meetings between the educator, preceptor and orientee were the tools used for specializing the orientation program. It is anticipated that the results will show that increase in retention. In terms of social change, it is anticipated increased nursing retention will increase nursing knowledge and job satisfaction, which will ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes and decreased mortality rates.

Included in

Nursing Commons