Award Date

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)



First Committee Member

Carolyn Yucha

Second Committee Member

Jessica Doolen

Third Committee Member

Christopher Cochran

Number of Pages



The introduction of the Affordable Care Act has brought about change in the way the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburses for hospital care. Hospitals are being rewarded for making the patient experience a positive one as evaluated by the patients. This information is provided through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. These survey results allow consumers to compare hospitals locally and nationally with other hospitals. Patients are able to evaluate the hospitals in their area and make informed decisions about where they want to get their care based on previous patients’ experiences. In addition to comparisons with other hospitals, facilities are eligible for improved reimbursements based on the HCAHPS scores. With these two incentives it is in the hospital’s best interest to maximize the opportunity to improve the patient experience.

With this new focus on reimbursement, hospitals are placing more emphasis on customer service training for their staff and newly hired graduate nurses. This training is focused on improving patient care while at the same time improving the patients’ responses on the HCAHPS survey. Introducing these concepts to undergraduate nursing students will prepare them for expectations they will experience as staff nurses.

The aims addressed in this project were to assess if the undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge of HCAHPS and practice could be improved through the implementation of the HCAHPS Survey tool and Learning Module during simulation activities. The undergraduate nursing students’ baseline knowledge of HCAHPS was established, students were provided education through the HCAHPS Learning Module, and an HCAHPS survey was completed on the care they received. The students’ HCAHPS knowledge and practice were assessed. The results showed a statistically significant improvement in the participants’ HCAHPS knowledge. There was no statistical significance noted related to the practice between the students as nurses on Day one or Day two.

This project educated the students on how the HCAHPS survey assesses the patient experience and the impact the nurse can have to improve the patients’ responses. This type of training is a win-win for both the hospital and the undergraduate students. The students have been educated and have experience with HCAHPS which should lead to reduced orientation time, more marketability and provide more competent patient centered care.


HCAHPS; Patient Experience; Patient Satisfaction; Simulated Hospital Day; Simulation; Undergraduate Students



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Included in

Nursing Commons