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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Thesis Committee Chairperson

Lynda Cessario, PhD, RN

Second Reader

Mrilyn Boehler, MS, RN


Utilizing Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory (1951), a qualitative action research study was conducted to investigate the barriers and facilitators to senior nursing leadership rounding in the critical care setting. A purposeful sample of four health care providers was obtained. Participants were recruited through a Facebook posting. The setting was determined by the participants and included: homes, public areas, and the workplace of participants. The design of the study was action research. Participants responded to a series of interview questions. The results of the study indicated that the participants had many perceptions on the barriers and facilitators to senior nursing leadership rounding in the critical care setting. Three facilitators were identified in the data which included: (a) regular rounding of the critical care director, (b) the knowledge base of the critical care director, and (c) the regular rounding of the director of professional practice with the spiritual care team. Barriers were also identified and they included: (a) no clear communication, pre-planning, or scheduling of the rounds, (b) the perception by the nurses that rounding is not a priority, and (c) the rounding that does occur is mostly for environmental reasons. The conclusion of the study suggests that staff nurses working on the units feel that an increase in the purposeful presence and visibility of senior nursing leadership would benefit them. This study implicates senior nursing leaders need to ensure that they are out on the units, rounding with the staff, communicating and making them feel as though they are a priority in terms of their value to the patients and the organization. Recommendations for further research include: (a) additional studies exploring this phenomenon, (b) replication of the study using a larger sample size, and (c) implementation of the action plan suggested.