Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mary Verklan


Despite indications that colorectal cancer (CRC) screening strategies can decrease mortality and morbidity, screening rates among veterans remains to be low. In the Veterans Affairs (VA), the performance measure for CRC screening is lower than the national standard. This quality improvement (QI) project evaluated the effect of a team-based approach, effective electronic information structures, and the provision of education to nurses and patients in increasing CRC screening rate in primary care from 77% to 85%. CRC screening data were retrospectively collected prior to the start of the project and then compared to screening data 3 months after project implementation. The t test showed a statistically significant increase (p = .009) in CRC screening post intervention. Descriptive analysis was performed to evaluate the knowledge and proficiency of nurses with regard to CRC screening by using pre- and posttest questionnaires. The findings showed that emphasizing the importance of CRC screening among team members as well as appropriately dividing the work was effective in contributing to an increase in CRC screening in primary care. This project contributes to positive social change by increasing the nurses' confidence and proficiency in promoting health and disease prevention among the veterans; decreasing patient suffering; and improving collaboration between providers, nurses, and other departments in the VA primary care.

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