To accommodate a higher demand for critical care nurses, an orientation program in a surgical intensive care unit was revised and streamlined. Two theoretical models served as a foundation for the revision and resulted in clear clinical benchmarks for orientation progress evaluation.


The purpose of the project was to integrate theoretical frameworks into practice to improve the unit orientation program.


Performance improvement methods served as a framework for the revision, and outcomes were measured before and after implementation.


The revised orientation program increased 1- and 2-year nurse retention and decreased turnover. Critical care knowledge increased after orientation for both the preintervention and postintervention groups.


Incorporating a theoretical basis for orientation has been shown to be successful in increasing the number of nurses completing orientation and improving retention, turnover rates, and knowledge gained.

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