First Advisor

Cullen, Patricia

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Stoeckel, Pamella


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

58 pages


Abstract Many nurses are drawn to the emergency department (ED) only to find it can be a stressful and demanding environment in which to practice. Nursing vacancy rates, particularly in specialty areas such as the ED, are predicted to reach 29% by 2020 (Sawatsky & Enns, 2012). Attrition of nurses from the emergency departments has a significant financial impact on organizations that bear the costs of recruitment, hiring and orientation. The orientation period of a new job lays the foundation for the relationship between the employee and the organization. The literature notes that decisions to remain in a job are based on impressions developed during orientation. This crucial first impression may influence a nurses' decision to remain in the ED after orientation. Increased turnover in staff has a negative effect on department morale, and threatens the ability of the department to meet the organizational goals. This qualitative study explored the perceptions' of 14 nurses' experiences being recruited and oriented into the emergency department (ED) of a suburban, community hospital in the western United States. Semi-structured interviews identified four broad categories with relational themes. The categories included: Why They Chose the ED, Recruitment, Orientation, and Why They Stay in the ED. The findings of this study provide insight into the perceptions and challenges of nurses during orientation in the ED. Results of this study will assist managers and educators in preparing orientation for ED nurses. Keywords: DNP Capstone project, orientation, emergency nurse, perceptions.

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

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