Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Cynthia Padula

Document Type

Major Paper

Second Advisor

Nancy Blasdell


School of Nursing




Pressure ulcers continue to be a major health care problem in terms of pain, quality of life, and loss of function for patients entering the acute care system. The ability of nursing professionals to identify, treat, and clearly document pressure ulcers present on admission (PO A) is a safety indicator distinguishing good_ hospitals from Centers of Excellence. Competence of the nurses at the point of entry is critical to perform an accurate skin assessment. Timely identification, objective measurement, treatment, and documentation of pressure ulcers require that nurses have adequate knowledge of this complex, multi-factorial condition. The purpose of this project was to increase Emergency Department nurses' knowledge about pressure ulcer risks, staging, and wound description for documentation purposes. Benner's (1986) research, based on the Dreyfus and Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition, was used as a framework to explore the impact of an educational program on nurses• knowledge levels to advance clinical practice and awareness of practice standards. Findings, recommendations, and implications for nursing practice are presented and discussed.