Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Clarissa Michalak


Introduction: Prone positioning has been used for decades to supplement the treatment of patients diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The effects it has on improving lung aeration, reducing compression, and increasing alveolar recruitment, have become evident through continued research. As a result of the H1N1 and COVID-19 pandemics, proning has become a popular and effective adjunct to treatment. Despite its increased use, there continues to be minimal research regarding nurses’ perceptions of the maneuver and patient care. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to understand the perceptions of nurses caring for patients in the prone position. Identifying implications and considerations for practice can guide improvements in patient care, outcomes, and future research. Methods: A questionnaire was created using similar questions from a 2001 study with approval from authors McCormick and Blackwood. The questionnaire was shared online with critical care nurses. The final sample consisted of 99 critical care nurses who met inclusion criteria. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Results: The results showed a general understanding of how to perform the maneuver. Participants reported concerns related to inadequate staffing and difficulty performing the maneuver. Additional concerns included troubles caring for proned patients, particularly related to patient injury. Ultimately, many respondents voiced the need for implementation of evidence-based guidelines. Conclusion: From the data collected and a review of recent literature, the primary recommendations for practice are the development of foundational guidelines relative to the technique, patient care, and prevention of complications. Future research should address prevention of complications.