The purpose of the evidence-based practice initiative is to enhance annual competencies of clinical staff in the medical/surgical areas through innovative validation methods.


• Clinical Nurse Educators (CNEs) identified need for change with clinical staff annual competencies. • CNEs brainstormed new concepts for creating competencies. • In collaboration with the Unit Based Practice Councils (UBPC), a learning needs assessment was conducted in each of the four units. • Unit-based competencies were identified. • The concept of an escape room activity was adapted and tailored to meet the needs of competency validation (Figure 1). • A set up of different competency skill stations were designed separately for both Registered Nurses (RNs) and Clinical Partners (CPs). • Groups of 6 to 8 staff participated and completed the activity within a one and a half hour time frame. • A pre-test and post-test were conducted to measure knowledge before and after completion of the activity and an evaluation was completed by all staff. • A scale evaluation was used from very dissatisfied to very satisfied and for the 180 submitted evaluations 100% answered very satisfied.


• A total number of 120 RNs and 45 CPs completed the activity. • Total of 29 RN and 10 CP sessions were conducted over a period of 4 months. • RNs completed twelve and CPs completed five competencies. • The pre-test average scores measuring knowledge for the RNs were only 50% and post-test increased to 91%. The CPs pretest average scores were 42%and posttest increased to 92% (Figure 2). • Staff evaluations determined a 100% satisfaction rate.


• The innovative method for measuring competency of RNs and CPs in the medical-surgical areas was initiated by the exploration of non-traditional strategies for engaging the team through active learning. • The nurse educators searched for modalities to demonstrate competency, improve nurse satisfaction, bridge the generational gaps of the staff, while saving cost associated with annual education. • The escape room competency validation approach proved to be a successful method where staff demonstrated skill proficiency and teamwork in an entertaining setting. • Staff felt glad to show competency in their role and reinforce current knowledge.

Implications for Practice

• Staff competency is essential to provide adequate care to patients. • Validation of staff’s ability to perform skills within their role has traditionally been designed based on staff’s lack of proficiency in performing a designated skill. • Clinical nurse educators need to find new learning strategies to engage clinical staff in active learning while increasing their level of competence. • Overall, increased competency and satisfaction may positively reflect an improvement of clinical outcomes.

Publication Date


Presented At:

Nursing Consortium Conference

Content Type

Conference - Poster

Author Credentials




Open Access

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