Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Joanne Minnick


Nurse-driven guidelines existed for the management of sedation in adult population; however, there is a lack of guidelines for the critically ill children. Nurses play significant roles in the management of sedation for mechanically ventilated patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), nonetheless, comprehensive guidelines for the management of sedation does not exist. The purpose of this systematic literature review was to evaluate and synthesize evidence-based research that can be used to adapt a pediatric clinical guideline for sedation management. The ACE star model and the evidence-based practice model were used as a framework to guide this review. The practice question focused on investigating the available best practices that can be used to support the nursing management practice of sedated patients in the PICU. This is important because inadequate sedation management can lead to multiple adverse outcomes for patients. The design of this project was a systematic literature review method. The sources of the data were gathered from Medline, PubMed, CINAHL, Joanna Briggs institute and Google Scholar. This review included 17 studies, of which 84.2% showed improvement with positive patient outcomes such as decreased sedation use, decreased length of stay, and improved nursing practice. The results also support recommendations for evidence-based practice guidelines in the clinical nursing practice setting. In conclusion, despite the recommendation for the use of sedation guidelines, this systematic review found that there are few studies comprehensively evaluating the impact of nurse-driven sedation management in the PICU. The social implication of this review is that more studies involving pediatric patients utilizing nurse-driven sedation protocol is needed, before it can be adopted in the PICU.

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