Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Deborah Lewis


The United States has the highest childbearing morbidity and mortality rate of any industrialized nation, and the rate has steadily increased over the last three decades. It is estimated that at least half of all maternal deaths are preventable. Hypertensive disorders that present during pregnancy, regardless of etiology, are associated with this increased maternal morbidity and mortality. Obstetrical hypertension, when recognized in settings like the emergency department, readily responds to medical intervention. While guidelines for recognition and treatment of severe and high range blood pressure readings have been defined, hospital emergency departments do not consistently have a related education program for nursing staff. The purpose of this scholarly project was to provide education for emergency department nurses to improve their knowledge and self-efficacy in the recognition of and the risk for elevated blood pressure in pregnant women. Knowles’ theory of adult learning guided this project. The ADDIE model provided the design model for development of the education module. The developed AIM Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy Maternal Safety Bundle was presented via PowerPoint presentation in the project site’s education system. Eighty-one registered nurses from the adult and pediatric emergency departments participated in the pretest, education module, and posttest. Knowledge gain measured by the pretest and posttest indicated a knowledge increase of 35.3% among participants. This project has potential implications for positive social change because it could lead to improved nursing assessment and early treatment that may prevent morbidity and mortality in pregnancy.

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