Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Effective communication by newly graduated, hired nursing staff is a significant issue affecting patient care on mental health units. The rising prevalence of mental illness in the United States has not only increased the healthcare burden, but has also affected the overall economy. The lack of training of new nursing staff regarding communication diminishes the effective recovery rate of patients, further increasing the burden to the healthcare field and the economy. A tool kit for newly graduated mental health nurses working on mental health units may help to improve communication skills and enhance patient safety and quality of care. Therefore, the purpose of this scholarly project, guided by Watson’s caring theory, was to develop an educational tool kit to registered nurses about effective communication while caring for patients in mental health. The tool kit includes information to help new nurses develop practical therapeutic communication skills to improve the overall quality of patient care in mental health units. Three nurse experts evaluated this tool kit and concluded that the tool kit was beneficial for nurses working in mental health units. The tool kit developed for this project might contribute to positive social change by leading to improved interactions among nurses and patients. These interactions could subsequently improve patients’ mental health by developing trust between nurses and patients, enhancing the quality of patient care, and creating a safe unit for mental health patients.