Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara Niedz


Often, education regarding low volume and high-risk procedures, like tracheostomy, are ignored. Lack of experience, skills, and human resources can lead to decreases in confidence levels, diminished quality of care, and potentially an adverse event. The purpose of this DNP project was to prepare simulation-based education on the tracheostomy procedure and provide hands-on education to bedside nurses. The project answered the question: To what extent will a simulation-based teaching method adequately prepare staff nurses in a post-acute surgical unit to perform this high risk low volume procedure? The Johns Hopkins evidence-based model method was used to assist in translation of the practice change process. The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning standards were used to design simulation scenarios. Surgical acute care nurses (n = 35) including day and night shift nurses, new graduates, and experienced nurses participated. Groups of five to eight nurses participated in a two-hour simulation session at hospital simulation center. Pre- and post-surveys on confidence level data, and National League of Nursing evaluation tool data on educational practices and simulation designs were collected from all participants. Paired t-test statistics showed a significant increase in confidence level from pre to post education (p < .001). Because of the significant impact on patient care due to preventing complications and by improving nursing staff's level of confidence, the project may contribute to positive social change.