Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Robert McWhirt


Of the new graduate registered nurses hired to work in critical care areas, a few percent do not receive a formal critical care orientation. Furthermore, there is a high attrition rate of new graduates hired to work in high acuity patient care units. Many resign before their first work anniversary due to a lack of education and training. An initiative was put forth by critical care administration, at the study site, to critical care clinical leadership to significantly revise a critical care educational offering known as critical care core. The revision would allow for the satisfaction of the novice nurses who participated in the program; enhancement of critical care nursing knowledge, judgment, and critical thinking; and the creation of a quality cost-effective program. Several adult learning theories were applied to this project including Kolb’s Experimental Learning Theory and Flipped Classroom learning Theory as well as the Deming plan-do-study-act model of quality improvement. The project entailed the use of a quantitative design to compare Basic Knowledge Assessment Test-9r exam scores from the former 10-day program to those of the new 2-day program utilizing a flipped classroom with blended learning methodology. The results demonstrated a notable improvement in BKAT-9r scores from 68% in 2018 (N=120) to 86.8% in 2020 (N=6). Based on the results, the program has led to social change through enhanced knowledge of critical care nursing resulting in improved patient care and nurse satisfaction. However, a larger sample is deemed necessary to render a decision on whether the revised program should be permanently implemented.