Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Sheila Melander

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Jill Clemmons

Committee Member

Dr. Candice Falls


Background: Geriatric adult patients admitted into acute care hospital settings are at risk of functional decline in their capacity for activities of daily living and independent ambulation. Many of these patients fail to achieve pre-hospitalization levels of function and continue to decline, requiring additional support and care after discharge. Current literature supports early mobilization and ambulation during hospitalization. However, ambulation and patient mobilization has been shown to be the most missed item of nursing care. There is a gap in literature and patient outcome data regarding the impact of early mobilization on medical-surgical patient populations.

Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to examine the impact of a web-based audio-visual education module about early mobilization of geriatric adults in the inpatient setting on nursing staffs’ knowledge and early mobility compliance in a 33-bed oncology medical-surgical unit.

Methods: This study used a retrospective into prospective cohort study design. Participants completed an electronic survey before and after viewing three web-based audio-visual education modules. Patient demographics and charted mobility interventions were collected from electronic medical records for 6 weeks retrospectively and prospectively. Independent Samples T-tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, and Spearman’s Correlation Coefficient via SPSS software were used to analyze the data and interpret significance of impact.

Results: A statistically significant increase was found in nursing staff knowledge (p < 0.001) of early mobility after the education module. From charted data, there was a statistically significant increase in overall mobility activities (p = 0.002), average mobility activities per day (p < 0.001), and ambulation (p = 0.004). There was no significant difference in patient length of stay or aggregate unit falls.

Conclusion: The findings from this project suggest that a web-based audio-visual presentation can increase nursing staff knowledge of early mobility and increase compliance with mobilization of patients in a medical-surgical unit. Given the negative impact of immobility on the geriatric adult population, there is an opportunity for educational interventions to be designed to improve compliance with the most missed element of patient care.