Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Eric Anderson


Development of an Educational Program to Obtain and Maintain Healthy Weights Among 4th and 5th Grade Students


Stephanie D. Black

MSN, University of Phoenix, 2008

BSN, Southwest Baptist University, 2006

ASN, Southwest Baptist University, 2003

Capstone Project Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Walden University

October 2017

Obesity is prevalent in schoolchildren and increases risk of chronic diseases throughout the lifespan. Strategies are needed to address this growing health problem. Education in elementary schools targeting the topics of nutritional choices and prevention of obesity, particularly in 4th-5th grade population, is one strategy researchers have identified as effective. This quality improvement project designed an educational toolkit to provide students educational knowledge and assist them to develop and explore how to incorporate healthy habits and choices into their daily lives. The purpose of this project was to develop an educational program for use in a southwestern elementary school to improve and/or maintain the weights of 4th and 5th grade students. The educational tool kit was developed for the school to implement to fill a gap their curriculum identified by school board members and educators. Orem's self-care deficit theory informed the development of this program, the educational toolkit, and all associated supplementary materials. An interdisciplinary project team of community and institutional stakeholders led by the Doctor of Nursing Practice student worked together to review peer-reviewed evidence, consider contextual challenges, and develop a curriculum suitable for the population. Plans for program implementation and evaluation were also developed to provide the school with a turnkey solution to the problem of child obesity. This initiative has great potential to promote positive social change through improving the health of local elementary school students and other elementary schools in the area may use it as a model for their own curriculum to improve knowledge, habits, and practices of elementary students relevant to positive nutritional choices.