Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Deborah Lewis


The current nationwide shortage of registered nurses is a growing problem impacting patient care and hospital operations. The operating room is the area most affected by the nursing shortage. Reasons cited for this shortage include ineffective nursing orientation programs and a decline in job satisfaction. The purpose of this project was to develop a best practice succession planning educational program to provide novice operating room nurses with an introduction to the operating room. The Dreyfus model of skills acquisition and Benner's novice to expert theory guided this project. A 2-step process was used to assess and validate the content and quality of the educational program. In Phase 1, the educational program was distributed to 10 operating room nurse stakeholders for formative review. There was agreement from these reviewers that the educational program covered key concepts important for novice operating room nurses. Two recommendations were made for additional clarification. In Phase II, the educational program was revised and distributed to a group of 10 perioperative professionals for summative review using the AGREE II instrument. The summative review group found the educational program to be clear and concise. The overall summative approval of 100% and recommendations of both review groups guided the final development of the best practice educational module. This best practice educational module will provide a standardized program for educating novice operating room nurses. This project will contribute to positive social change by empowering these nurses while supporting safe care for all surgical patients. Dissemination will occur first within the organization and then to local and national organizations targeting operating room nurses.