Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Janice Long


Hospitalized patients increasingly present with complex health issues that place them at risk for acute patient deterioration (APD). Novice nurses are ill-equipped with the critical clinical skills to function competently in recognizing APD, placing patients at risk for negative health outcomes. This project addressed the need to educate novice nurses to recognize APD and answered the project focused questions that asked if an educational intervention with high-fidelity simulation (HFS) would improve nurse knowledge and clinical confidence in recognizing APD. Benner's novice-to-expert and the constructivism theory were used to guide the project. Based upon a review of the literature, the HFS was developed to provide scenarios in which participants would view APD evolving case studies and demonstrate knowledge and skill for caring for patients with APD. A convenience sample of 11 novice nurses participated in the pre- and posttest design project to determine if knowledge and clinical competence increased. Data from the HFS program were analyzed; results showed no statistically significant change in knowledge or confidence post intervention (p = 0.441). A larger sample size is recommended for future HFS interventions at the site to determine if the program of education will increase knowledge and clinical confidence with future iterations of HFS. The project has the potential to promote positive social change as novice nurses learn to recognize and respond to APD and as APD events are reduced.