Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara Niedz


AbstractDementia is a progressive chronic disease that requires skilled nursing care. Staff at a skilled nursing facility were not using best practices to prevent and manage the psychological and behavioral symptoms of dementia. The purpose of this DNP project was to implement a dementia care education to address this gap in knowledge. The question for the evidence-based educational project was whether the program increased knowledge, promoted positive attitudes, and increased confidence in dementia care staff. A 5-hour workshop was presented in person, twice in two weeks. The person-centered care model served as a framework for the project. Nursing staff (N = 23), most (n = 13) with 3 to 5 years of experience in health care, completed a survey containing demographic questions and items from the Dementia Knowledge Assessment Tool, Attitudes- Confidence Scale. Results for knowledge improvement showed total scores increased from 67.1% to 79.5% at the first and to 89% in 2 weeks. The analysis for knowledge test using Friedman test was significant, X2 = 43.07, 2 df, p < .001. Increased frequencies showed improvements in areas of confidence and attitude related to care of dementia patients. Staff indicated less frustration, an important attitude associated with the care of the dementia patient, from 15 on the pretest, to 12 on the posttest and 2 staff members reported frustration on posttest after 2 weeks. Staff also indicated lack of confidence in communication which improved from 16 staff members on the pretest 69.6% to 100%, 23 on the posttest after 2 weeks. The robust educational approach to dementia care may resolve the knowledge deficit and promote positive attitudes among staff involving the care of vulnerable populations such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.