1. Workman, Charlie A. MBA, MSPT
  2. Davies, Claire C. PhD, PT
  3. Ogle, Karen C. DPT, PT
  4. Arthur, Charity MSN, RN
  5. Tussey, Kathy MSN, RN, NEA-BC


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of nurses' mobility plan use on patients' length of stay, discharge destination, falls, physical therapy consults, and nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding patient mobility.


BACKGROUND: Functional decline due to decreased mobility during hospitalization results in diminished quality of life. Sixty-five percent of older inpatients lose the ability to ambulate during hospitalization and 30% do not regain that capability.


METHODS: Using a quasi-experimental design, nurses' use of a mobility assessment on 4 patient outcome variables was examined before (n = 2,259) and after (n = 3,649) use. Nurses' attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs regarding mobility were also examined.


RESULTS: Positive changes in patient variables occurred. Limited change occurred relative to nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.


CONCLUSIONS: Implementing a nurse-led mobility plan enhances therapy resource utilization through identification of appropriate consults and improves patients' discharge home. In addition, nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs toward patient mobility planning can be positively influenced.