Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Dana Leach


Lack of RN engagement in the acute care setting can result in poor staffing, nursing shortages, increased stress levels for nurses and decreased morale. When nurses are not engaged in their work setting, quality of care suffers. A wide range of literature focuses on the importance of RN engagement; however, few health care organizations have taken the initiative to implement programs that foster RN engagement, demonstrating a gap in practice. This study examined the relationship between the levels of RN engagement and their perceptions of their organizational culture. Kolcaba's humanistic approach to meeting the needs of RN staff was used to guide the study by recognizing that when nurses' needs are met, a culture of positive interactions between nurses and patients enhances the quality of care delivered. The project question addressed existing levels of RN engagement and perceptions of organizational culture in a small community hospital in New York. All full-time registered nurses employed at the organization completed the 2 surveys used for this qualitative, exploratory project. RN engagement was measured using the NDNQI RN engagement survey in combination with an organizational driven interim survey. Data were explored for patterns and the project results indicated that quality of care improved when nurses were engaged in hospital affairs, staffing, and resource adequacy. Social change is impacted when a commitment to RN engagement is established and the engaged caregivers influence improvements in quality of care and patient care outcomes.