Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
New graduate nurses often lack clinical skill competency. In a single year, a long-term care facility located in the midwestern region of the United States reported 25 clinical errors, each costing the facility approximately $10,000. Root-cause analysis revealed 85% of those errors were made by nurses in their 1st year of practice. The increase in clinical errors were attributed to insufficient clinical preparation prior to independent practice. A review of the current scholarly literature suggested simulation had demonstrated efficacy in the development and maintenance of clinical nursing skills and answered the practice-focused question: Development of a skills simulation program for incorporation into nursing orientation will likely increase skill competency among new graduate nurses. Benner's novice to expert theory and the John Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice model were used to develop and evaluate an evidence-based curriculum for a clinical skills simulation program. Using a validated tool, the proposed curriculum was evaluated by a panel of five subject matter experts. Synthesis and analysis of that evaluation suggested implementation of the proposed curriculum would increase basic nursing skill competency; therefore, the recommendation was made to incorporate the program into new hire nursing orientation. The curriculum can be used to develop or maintain general or specialty-specific clinical skill sets and implemented in most any type facility requiring the use of clinical nursing skills. Clinical skill competency reduces the number of clinical errors, decreases patient morbidity and mortality, increases the quality of care, and reduces the overall cost of care, thereby promoting positive social change.