Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Clinical evidence-based practice guidelines providing recommendations for health care decision making have become vital components of long-term health care practice in the United States. Frequently changing guidelines have complicated nurse practitioners' (NPs) efforts to implement evidence-based practice into the daily care that they provide to patients. The purpose of this project was to develop an evidence-based practice guideline for doctoral-prepared NPs working in long-term care facilities. This project is important because practitioners use practice guidelines to provide patients with the most appropriate, evidence-based care. Kolcaba's comfort theory was used to guide this project. Kolcaba's theory holds that comfort exists in 3 forms: relief, ease, and transcendence. Comfort theory, with its emphasis on physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural, and environmental aspects of comfort, will lead to a proactive, diverse, and multifaceted approach to providing patient care. A complete practice guideline was developed for doctoral-prepared NPs. For the review of the scholarly evidence, an electronic search that yielded 34 articles was completed. Twenty-six of these articles were excluded because the articles were more than 20 years old and/or focused on a specialty. Findings from the 8 articles were used to develop the practice guideline, which was reviewed by an advisory committee of 7 experts. The AGREE tool was used by the advisory committee to provide feedback on the quality of the practice guideline. Implementation of the practice guideline will take place in a facility in Indiana that currently uses 3 NPs. A doctoral-prepared NP will evaluate the practice guideline annually for patient trends including hospital readmission and infection rates.