Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. April Schmidt

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Kelley McGuire


New graduate nurse, orientation, operating room, perioperative, retention, turnover



In January of 2020, a hospital in Springfield, Illinois started the year with seven full-time circulating nurses in the cardiovascular operating room (CVOR). Three of those nurses left before the end of the year and an additional four nurses were hired. In January of 2021, the CVOR began the year with eight nurses. Five of these nurses left by the end of the year and seven more were hired, one of which left before the end of 2021. This department has struggled to retain nurses, with a turnover rate of 42.9% in 2020 and 62.5% in 2021.


The purpose of this project is to identify dissatisfying factors in the CVOR that are leading to high turnover rates.


Eight nurses in the summer of 2021 completed the Revised Casey-Fink Nurse Retention Survey. Four of these were new graduates. The other four were experienced nurses without prior operating room experience. Survey results were reviewed and discussed with each nurse to obtain individual feedback.


Surveys found that the top dissatisfying factors were the orientation process and the education provided in CVOR. Nurses described the orientation process as messy, rough, difficult, unorganized, and all over the place. Four nurses said they did not want to be working in the CVOR in five years. Three said they would consider leaving their job if another opportunity presented itself. Three said they had been in their position about as long as they wanted to be. Three nurses were either very dissatisfied or moderately dissatisfied with the orientation process, with one more being neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. One nurse did not feel her preceptor provided her a sound foundation for practice. Many nurses commented the fact their educator is not an operating room nurse, and this made it difficult for her to understand or answer certain questions. Majority of nurses did not have a mentor.

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