Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Annika Adams


Individuals suffering from mental illness are often adversely affected by tobacco use. Historically, clinicians are reluctant and inadequately prepared to recognize and treat comorbid nicotine addiction in the chronic mentally ill (CMI) client. As evidenced by a review of the literature, healthcare providers are missing opportunities for nicotine cessation treatment. There is a lack of educational preparation amongst clinicians to treat nicotine addition and a concern that treatment of nicotine addiction can negatively impact existing psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this project was to create an educational plan for nicotine cessation for CMI clients at a community health center. The conceptual framework to guide this project is premised on Lewin's Change Theory and the Logic Model. Nine clinicians, specializing in mental health, reviewed the developing education program at three distinct times and responded to a 12-item author-developed questionnaire to determine their understanding of nicotine cessation and their willingness to initiate the nicotine cessation program. A review of the questionnaire responses indicates the clinicians agreed nicotine abuse is a problem for the CMI client, they had not received adequate training on nicotine cessation, and they would be comfortable incorporating the nicotine cessation education program in their practice. The findings were presented to key organization stakeholders at the community mental health center. Social change will result with implementation of the education program empowering clinicians, in this mental health center, to gain the knowledge to effectively diagnose and intervene when clients present with comorbid nicotine addiction and mental health conditions.