Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Catherine Garner


In a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital on the East Coast of the United States, behavioral outbursts result in 2 out of 10 veterans dismissed from a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) unit prior to completing the 6-week program. The purpose of this evidence-based quality improvement project was to create a clinical practice guideline (CPG) based on social cognitive theory (SCT) to provide new strategies for managing veterans with PTSD and to improve the confidence of the nurses in managing outbursts. The Star Model guided the project development with the Delphi method to achieve participant consensus, the AGREE II to assess the CPG quality, and the Generalized Self-Efficacy (GSE) scale to measure the change in participant knowledge and confidence. The literature was searched, compiled, assessed, and shared with 10 participants, registered nurses on the PTSD unit. Through the Delphi process, the participants achieved consensus (8/10) for the CPG, with two neutral participants. The GSE was administered pre- and post-test and analyzed using a paired t test to measure the mean differences of the GSE scores. The data was normally distributed to different scores to gauge the impact of the CPG development process on improving nursing knowledge and confidence was normally distributed [t(9) = -4.188, p < 0.05, &, t(9) = -2.714, p =0.003]. The data indicated a significant increase in participant knowledge about role of SCT, and confidence toward implementing the CPG into clinical practice. This project contributes to positive social change as nurses identified a clinical practice problem, transferred evidence about strategies from the literature into their clinical practice through a CPG, and implemented the CPG with the knowledge and confidence to impact patient care.