Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Melanie Braswell


The hospital-based novice nurse is presented daily with complex patients with multiple coexisting morbidities, which demands increasing responsibility for evidence-based clinical decision-making to prevent adverse health outcomes and associated high health costs. Knowledge and confidence of novice nurses in a medical-surgical unit in the assessment and clinic management of the respiratory system was identified as a gap during onboarding of new nurses. The purpose of this doctoral staff education project was to determine whether a respiratory educational component added to a medical-surgical novice nurse's orientation would impact the respiratory confidence and knowledge of respiratory assessment and clinical management. Benner's nursing theory of novice to expert and Ericsson's theory of deliberate practice were the 2 theories for the project. To assess effectiveness, a 10-item survey was administered to nurses (N = 10) during the first week of orientation and repeated following the educational intervention. Analysis from SPSS 22.0 showed statistically significant improvement differences in confidence and knowledge on all items following the posttest (p < .05), except for confidence levels with nasal cannula/mask use (p = .151). The strongest item-correlation was between knowledge management of respiratory deterioration and knowledge of the disease effects on respiratory assessments. Basic respiratory education added to the orientation during onboarding has the potential to improve knowledge and confidence acquisition, clinical decision-making in the clinical assessment and clinical management of respiratory issues. Positive social change in the health of the community and this educational intervention will empower the novice nurses with an additional layer of respiratory education.