Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Linda Matheson


Work environment influences the effectiveness of care for patients in any healthcare setting. It is even more important in settings such as the neonatal ICU (NICU) where this project took place. When the environment is not healthy, communication may suffer and result in poor patient outcomes and, family, patient, and staff dissatisfaction. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to understand how the implementation of the TeamSTEPPS program, for nurses in the NICU, could impact the safety culture as measured by the AACN Healthy Work Environment (HWE) tool. Lewin's professional practice change theory and the AHRQ change model were used to guide the project. The previously validated HWE survey, made up of 6 standards including communication, and leadership was provided to 71 NICU nurses with only 41 completing the baseline survey and 4 weeks later, 31 completing the post intervention survey after the TeamSTEPPS training. An independent t test was used to examine baseline and post TeamSTEPPS intervention HWE results against the HWE benchmark. Results indicated that post intervention scores met the benchmark although scores did not meet the benchmark prior to the intervention. Data were also analyzed with a paired t test to determine the significance of the improvement in the pre to post intervention results. Three of the 6 HWE standards, skilled communication (p = .004), adequate staffing (p = .002), and authentic leadership (p < .001) reached significant levels post TeamSTEPPS training compared to the pre TeamSTEPPS scores. Through the use of TeamSTEPPS training communication improved and the potential for improvement in patient safety promotes positive social change.

Included in

Nursing Commons