1. Price, Sarah MSN, RN, CNL, SCRN
  2. Clinical Nurse Leader
  3. Higgins, Ashley MSN, APRN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, CNRN, SCRN
  4. Clinical Nurse Specialist
  5. Noe, Rebecca BSN, RN, SCRN
  6. Unit Educator
  7. Ferraro, Laura BSN, RN
  8. Clinical Supervisor

Article Content

Physical" therapy has not seen this patient yet." "The patient is wheelchair bound at baseline." "I need more help." These are common statements made by inpatient nurses when discussing barriers to mobilization. Simultaneously, mobility is an increasingly hot topic in medical and nursing literature, shedding light on the long-standing, understated ill effects of immobility that have pervaded hospital culture in recent years.1 So how do we merge the worlds of real-life nursing and evidence? Begin by breaking down barriers through busting mobility myths.


This quality improvement project provided nurses and aides on a dual intermediate/medical-surgical unit with virtual education, in-person simulation, and real-time validation via a Mobility Myth Busters Challenge. The challenge offered workflow suggestions and safety techniques that are often lacking in current training and education. For example, to address time/staffing constraints, the challenge provided tips for working mobility into head-to-toe assessments for nurses and into activities of daily living for aides. To address comfort level with mobilizing patients before therapy evaluations, the challenge provided education on mobility assessment tools. As a result, patient mobilization increased from 42% in 2021 to 61% by February 2022. In addition, nursing feedback showed improved perceived comfort in performing mobilization overall. Specific areas with most improvement included utilizing a stand-assist device, mobilizing dependent patients, and being the first teammate to mobilize a new patient. Building a mobility culture requires a multifactorial approach that cannot be achieved by education alone, but that is where it starts-busting mobility myths to change staff perceptions, develop knowledge, and build confidence.




1. Young D, Kudchadkar S, Friedman M, et al Using systematic functional measurements in the acute hospital setting to combat the immobility harm. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. Published online December 26, 2020. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2020.10.142 [Context Link]