Registered Nurse (RN) circulator attrition is detrimental to the future of the nursing profession. The high average age of perioperative nursing leaders and high intent to leave of younger nurses in the perioperative setting leads to a high vacancy percentage and high expense to retrain and recruit nurses. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the influence of resilience, emotional intelligence (EI), and teamwork on intent to leave RN circulator positions in full-time nurses who are members of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). Understanding factors that influence RN circulators’ intent to leave is key to developing interventions to reduce attrition and realize cost savings for healthcare systems.

This dissertation includes three manuscripts. The first manuscript includes a concept analysis of mental conditioning in high-stress positions, such as the RN circulator role. The second manuscript includes a proposal for a study of the relationship between RN circulators’ intent to leave and resilience, EI, and teamwork, which was submitted for grant consideration. The Teamwork-Clinical Wellbeing-Patient Safety Framework of Welp and Manser (2016) was used with EI theory to guide design of the study survey. The third manuscript includes a presentation of results of the exploratory path analysis of self-reported resilience, EI, and perception of teamwork of AORN full-time RN circulator members’ intent to leave. This manuscript concludes with suggestions for utilizing these factors to positively influence the future of perioperative nursing.

Date of publication

Spring 5-5-2021

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Danita Alfred, Dr. Gloria Duke, Dr. Chaluza Kapaale


Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing