Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Benjamin Miller


Diane Fuller Switzer


The COVID-19 pandemic of the SARS-CoV-2 virus created significant challenges for healthcare agencies and front-line healthcare workers. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has demonstrated a unique propensity to induce severe lung injury in the form of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). High rates of COVID-19 illness in the initial months of the pandemic in the United States led to a rapid influx of patients admitted to critical care units (CCUs) for ARDS. Prone positioning therapy (PPT) has shown substantial promise in treating refractory hypoxemia in people with severe ARDS but historically received poor acceptance as a first-line therapy. With the onset of the pandemic, hospitals became overwhelmed with critically ill COVID-19 patients experiencing severe ARDS, and utilization rates of PPT increased dramatically. This project evaluates the process by which one CCU in a metropolitan hospital rapidly implemented a PPT protocol for ARDS management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews were conducted with five (n = 5) CCU RNs using semi-structured techniques. De-identified data from interview transcripts were analyzed using the interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) framework to produce a narrative account of nurses’ lived experiences during the rapid implementation of a PPT during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in

Nursing Commons