Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Perioperative registered nurses (RNs) are vital to the provision of safe patient care for those undergoing invasive and surgical procedures within acute care settings. Unrealistic transition-to-practice (T2P) expectations for novice RNs (newly licensed and experienced RNs new to perioperative nursing) have resulted in significant turnover and attrition rates as high as 45%. A T2P program, known as the Perioperative Orientation, Education, and Mentoring (POEM) program, was developed to address attrition and turnover through mentoring and professional development. The POEM program was a pilot program implemented at a large academic medical center. An evaluation tool known as the Surgical Skill Assessment Tool was developed to evaluate the POEM program. A preintervention score of 56 and a postintervention score of 237 demonstrate an increase in experience, skill, and knowledge acquisition. Content data analysis revealed themes and subthemes from each of the 2 focus groups as well as recommendations from the quality improvement (QI) project leader and project coleader. The recommendations include developing a nurse extern program, advertising and promoting perioperative nursing to local nursing schools, supporting the clinical advisor program, encouraging involvement in the local Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) chapter, and mentoring novice RNs and RN clinical advisors. The need to evaluate strategies for improvement, recruitment, and retention is critical to sustain the perioperative nursing workforce. Further research is necessary to refine the POEM program and to understand the role of professional mentoring in facilitating a smooth T2P for novice nurses entering perioperative services.