Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Robert McWhirt


Sepsis is a severe blood stream infection that claim the lives of almost 220,000 Americans annually. Delayed patient treatment results in multi-organ failure, morbidity, mortality, and increased hospital length of stay. Timely sepsis management enables hospitals to have decreased expenses, increased patient survival, and judicious interventions. The problem addressed in this project was the lack of sepsis- training for registered nurses (RNs) working in the emergency department (ED) of a 628-bed hospital in the southeastern United States. Under the direction of the director of the ED, 269 patient charts were reviewed during 2014 to February 2015 for data related to a sepsis diagnosis. Data showed that 19.4% (n = 103) of patients diagnosed with sepsis had the sepsis order set implemented by the ED nurse. The purpose of this project was to create an educational sepsis-training program for ED nurses. The program included a 2-hour educational module on signs and symptoms of sepsis, including guidelines from the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and the Emergency Nurses' Association. Stetler's Model of Research Utilization and Benner's Novice to Expert conceptual frameworks supported the project. The director of professional practice provided formative feedback on module content and the program evaluation tool. Director feedback indicated that content was beneficial in educating ED nurses on the signs and symptoms of early sepsis recognition. The ED director has now mandated that all ED nurses take the training module and posttest. The project has the potential to improve early sepsis recognition by ED staff and to improve patient outcomes, thus promoting positive social change for patients, families, and nurses.