Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Copyright Statement

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College of Nursing

First Advisor

Victor Ospina

Second Advisor

Kelly Henson-Evertz

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: The consistent witnessing of death and critical incidents takes an emotional toll on the emergency department (ED) nurses. In addressing critical incident events, research has shown us that debriefing nurses after a traumatic event helped reduce stress and, in turn, decreased staff turnover in the ED at an acute care facility (Hirschinger, Scott, & Hahn-Cover, 2015). Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to implement a Post Code Pause (PCP) debriefing tool in conjunction with the hospital’s Unit Practice Council (UPC) members and the ED direct patient care nurses for use after adult and pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), evaluate the evidence-based (EB) surveys results, and present the findings to administration stakeholders for consideration as a debriefing tool. Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework selected for the Post Code Pause capstone project was the Crisis Intervention Stress Debriefing model by Mitchell (1997). Methods: The quasi-experimental project statistically analyzed the data from two EB pre- and post-surveys for the PCP and linked the data for a paired t-test using SPSS version 15. Results: The 27 pre- and post-surveys completed used a five-point Likert scale. Of the 27 pre- and post- surveys, five were linkable, which showed that 100% of the registered nurses involved in a PCP felt that it was a positive tool and 83% agreed it was a positive experience for the nurses. The nurses had a 4% increase in leadership support after the CPR event. Conclusion: The PCP debriefing provided a new stress management tool for the ED nurses. Thus, possibly providing the tools for stress relief and teamwork lowered staff turnover, retained experienced staff, and decreased sick calls.




emergency department, emergency room stress, nursing, nursing stress, post code pause, staff retention



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Nursing Commons