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


Improper positioning of patients in the lateral decubitus or prone positions can lead to significant complications, including but not limited to: airway and invasive line loss, physiologic derangements, soft tissue injury, and peripheral nerve injuries (PNI) (Barash et al., 2017; Butterworth et al., 2018). Chui et al.’s (2018) analysis found that PNIs accounted for 12% of anesthesia malpractice since 1990, making PNIs costly. PNIs effects are not limited to cost and result in increased lengths of stay, increased pain levels, and decreased quality of life (Wojtkiewicz et al., 2015). The massive effect poor positioning can have requires that the anesthesia provider is suitably trained, as they ultimately are responsible for patient positioning.

Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) are an educational tool for teaching, developing, and uniformly evaluating skills in students in clinical simulations. An OSCE for positioning patients in the lateral decubitus and prone position at The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Nurse Anesthesia Program (NAP) did not exist. Therefore, an OSCE for each position was developed from the best available current scientific knowledge to address this knowledge gap. A panel of currently practicing anesthesia providers evaluated the OSCEs to determine if the OSCEs agreed with current clinical expertise. Survey results determined that the OSCEs were evidence-based and represented doctoral-level work; thus, the tools were well received.