Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Melanie Hardin-Pierce

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Paula Halcomb

Committee Member

Dr. Shelia Melander


Objective: The purpose of this project is to conduct a knowledge improvement program about ICU acquired weakness (ICUAW), mobility protocols, and self-confidence for ICU nurses at the University of Kentucky's Trauma & Surgical service.

Aim: The aim of this project is to improve the ICU nurses’ knowledge about ICUAW, mobility protocols/charting, and nursing self-confidence performing the knowledge within clinical practice. As well as assess if there is any correlation between the years of nursing experience and ICU location on knowledge and self-confidence.

Background: A condition that is under recognized in critical care, is ICU acquired weakness (ICUAW), which is muscle weakness that occurs in critically ill patients admitted into an intensive care unit (ICU). Nurses are an important part of the mobility team. They are the primary participants providing mobility to patients. Lack of nursing knowledge results in increased risk of complications from ICUAW. There is a gap in nursing educational interventions to improve nursing knowledge and low confidence about ICUAW, current mobility protocols and practices, and mobility score charting.

Design: This is a quasi-experimental study, with a single group, using a pre/post test design to measure nursing knowledge and nursing confidence following an educational intervention. The participants are ICU nurses from both tower 1 and 2 of the Trauma & Surgical service.

Methods: The program for this project is designed for nurses to complete a pretest, receive educational materials, and then a posttest. SurveyMonkey was used to create the pretest and posttest. Two-sample t-test were used to compare knowledge subscales between the pre- and post-education groups, and baseline knowledge between ICU locations. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to test for an association between baseline knowledge scores and nursing years of experience. All data analysis was conducted in SPSS, version 25.

Conclusions: Addressing the gap in nursing knowledge and confidence involving ICUAW and mobility practices and protocols could reduce the complications of ICUAW and improve patients outcomes. Implementing an educational improvement project with a pretest/posttest evaluations can show the statistical significance of knowledge and confidence improvement. This project which was conducted at the University of Kentucky’s Trauma & Surgical ICUs showed improvement of both nursing knowledge and confidence.