Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chair

Dr. Kimberly Helms


This performance improvement project aimed to increase the communication competency of nurses during intraprofessional interactions at patient handover. An educational program focused on optimizing communication among nurses was implemented in a community-based, not-for-profit, rural hospital. The course was designed to incorporate a variety of instructional strategies to meet learner needs. Consistency and standardization of the patient handover process was a central theme. Topics of the course focused on the use of a standardized communication tool, the relationship of communication on patient safety, the importance of clear and effective communication, the role of the nurse as gatekeeper and facilitator of patient-specific information to peers during handover events, and intraprofessional collaboration in an acute care setting. The self-perceived communication competency of participating nurses was measured at pre-test and post-test using a valid and reliable instrument. The data collected from the survey informed this process improvement effort.



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