Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Mary Jane Collins

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Nina McLain

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Airway management is an essential component of providing safe anesthesia. Management of the difficult airway is a valuable skill. Student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) may be unprepared to manage a difficult airway in the clinical setting due to limited exposure. Lack of preparation in the management of the difficult airway can result in poor patient outcomes, including brain injury and death, and poor student outcomes, including increased anxiety and decreased intubation success (Wands & Minzola, 2015). The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) nurse anesthesia faculty recognized the need for an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in difficult airway management. The OSCE was developed and may be utilized by first-year SRNAs prior to entering the clinical setting, with the aim of increasing student competence and preventing adverse patient outcomes.

The Difficult Airway Algorithm OSCE and an anonymous evaluation survey were presented to four USM nurse anesthesia faculty, 25 practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), 19 third-year SRNAs, and 19 second-year SRNAs. Fifty-four participants completed the survey, and 100% of participants agreed that the OSCE contained evidence-based information that is relevant to current anesthesia practice. Open-ended feedback resulted in common themes of the OSCE being very well thought out and incredibly useful, as well as a suggestion to include the ASA Difficult Airway Algorithm as a visual aid along with the OSCE packet and to clarify the objectives in the given scenario. Based on the reviewed literature and survey results, it is concluded that the Difficult Airway Algorithm OSCE could potentially positively impact SRNAs, and ultimately impact the outcomes of patients.