Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Cassandra Taylor


Perinatal drug abuse is becoming a profound issue facing the health and wellbeing of neonates. The community serviced by the project site, which lies within the boundaries of an Indian Reservation, suffers from perinatal drug abuse at a higher rate than state and federal averages. The purpose of this project was to provide the project site with a policy to consistently screen for perinatal drug abuse. Lave's theory of situational learning and the Sanford Way model for quality improvement framed this project. To guide policy development, data were compiled through a systematic review of current literature, national and state guidelines, state law, local tribal government, and community stakeholders. Data included: (a) studies completed in the past 10 years specifically targeting drug abuse in child-bearing aged women, with intentional exclusion of tobacco and alcohol studies; (b) prevalence of illicit drug abuse in child bearing aged women at a local, state, and national levels; and (c) local, state, and national guidelines, as well as state law, for perinatal drug abuse intervention and screening. In addition, interviews and meetings with local stakeholders were completed and their feedback was incorporated into the development of the perinatal drug abuse screening and intervention policy. To evaluate policy effectiveness, it is proposed that perinatal drug screens ordered at the project site be monitored for six months prior to and after implementation of the new policy. The desired outcome will be that providers consistently intervene with perinatal drug abuse in a non-biased fashion. This quality improvement project will create a positive social change by allowing non-biased intervention with perinatal drug abuse using evidence-based practice and by promoting nursing-driven policy development.

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