Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Scholarly project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing




Emily W. Nowak


Nursing staff must always be prepared to care for a patient experiencing a cardiac arrest. Fast, high quality interventions are imperative in achieving optimal patient survival and outcomes. A code blue in situ simulation program was piloted at two hospitals in northern Minnesota with the purpose of providing opportunities for learning the knowledge and skills necessary for handling emergency situations, improving staff confidence and performance in caring for a patient experiencing a cardiac arrest, and ultimately, improving patient outcomes. The simulation program focused on the first five minutes of a code blue (cardiopulmonary arrest). During this pilot, 30 simulations were completed with the participation of 152 staff members. Following the simulations, 86.2% of participants reported an increased confidence in their ability to respond to a code blue. Similar learning themes were identified throughout the facilities and included teamwork and communication, utilizing emergency equipment, timely interventions, and high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Although the majority of staff ranked the quality of interventions provided as being good or exceptional, only 1/3 of units met the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Get with the Guideline: Resuscitation goal of defibrillation in less than two minutes (AHA, 2014). Continuation of the code blue in situ simulation program is recommended with an integration of the facilities’ other emergency response calls including stroke, STEMI (ST elevated myocardial infraction), sepsis, and trauma.


Please note: This is an abbreviated form of this project, without the appendix. The full version of the paper might be available from the author upon request (send a message to