Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2020

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Sarah M. I. Cartwright, DNP, MSN-PH, BAM, RN-BC, CAPA, FASPAN

Second Advisor

Bruce K. Wilson, PhD, RN


Practice Problem: Healthcare volunteer responders are an asset during disasters, and their retention is necessary to meet rising demands. This project aimed to develop and implement an evidence-based practice change using a healthcare volunteer retention program and evaluate its influence on retention.

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this evidence-based practice project was: In healthcare volunteers, how does the participation in a formal healthcare volunteer retention program influence healthcare volunteer retention rate, intent to stay, and volunteer satisfaction 12 weeks after Healthcare Volunteer Retention Program introduction?

Evidence: The evidence from the literature supported mentoring, education and training, and social support to retain healthcare volunteers.

Intervention: The Iowa Model Collaborative guided this project using the Plan, Do, Study, and Act framework to implement the Healthcare Volunteer Retention Program. Healthcare volunteer retention, education and training, and surveys before and after implementation were monitored to evaluate the retention program’s influence.

Outcomes: The implementation resulted in a retention rate of 98%, the intent to stay improved by 6%, and 89% of the survey participants were satisfied with the retention program. Additionally, a paired-samples t-test conducted to compare the survey’s results before and after implementation resulted in a t-value of 3.508 at alpha = .05, which supported the effectiveness of the retention program.

Conclusion: Local, regional, national, and worldwide opportunities exist to build capacity for healthcare volunteers. Disaster response readiness by healthcare volunteers requires mentoring, education and training, and social support to improve this workforce’s retention.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.