DNP Scholarly Projects



Background: Immobility causes grave harm to ICU patients. There is not a body system that bedrest does not affect negatively. The MICU has an early mobility protocol; however, patients are often left in bed, PT/OT is underutilized, and nurses are unfamiliar with the current early mobility protocol.

Methods: The Plan Do Study Act quality improvement method was used for this project which ran from September 1 to November 30, 2022, and involved the MICU RN staff. This QI project evaluated the current early mobility protocol, assessed barriers, determined the nurse’s perceptions, and offered recommendations for sustainability.

Intervention: The project leader employed pre/post surveys, educational videos, weekly audits, interdisciplinary rounds, huddles, nurse champions, and in-person conversations.

Results: The early mobility protocol was evaluated, and recommendations were made. Barriers identified to early mobility included time constraints, inadequate staffing, patient acuity, and lack of equipment. 43.02% of patients eligible to get out of bed were out of bed on weekly audit days. Nurses agreed that early mobility was beneficial to positive patient outcomes.

Conclusions: Knowledge about the early progressive mobility protocol, the identified barriers, and the nurses' attitudes were consistent with the published literature. The recommendations for sustaining early progressive mobility in ICUs are similar to the published literature, including periodic awareness campaigns, EMR enhancements, interdisciplinary rounding, and nurse champions.

Keywords: Early mobility protocol, early progressive mobility, quality improvement, and MICU.


Spring 4-14-2023

First Advisor

Dr. Linda Wofford

Second Advisor

Dr. David Phillippi


Nursing, School of


Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of

Document Type

Scholarly Project


Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level


Degree Grantor

Belmont University


Early mobility protocol, early progressive mobility, quality improvement, and MICU.

Included in

Nursing Commons