Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara Niedz


This DNP project focused on the spiritual aspects of care that are often neglected in the outpatient setting. Most patients value their spiritual health and believe that it is just as important as their mental and physical health. The purpose of this project was to improve the overall spiritual care provided to patients, their families, and/or caregivers in times when they were experiencing spiritual distress. This quality improvement (QI) project was designed to determine whether embedding a chaplain in an outpatient clinic instead of providing a pamphlet about chaplain services increases patient satisfaction. Secondary analysis of the data in this project show that of 306 patients who completed the 4-item screener, 70 patients were identified as having spiritual distress. There were 34 people who benefited from having an embedded chaplain. Spiritual distress was measured using a 10-item survey prior to and after seeing the chaplain; a 3.7 point decrease was seen across 6 patients. It was not a statistically significant improvement, largely due to the small sample (p=.08). Non-parametric chi square fisher exact results showed that satisfaction scores were higher in 5 patients seen by the chaplain (p=. 048) versus 4 not seen by the chaplain. Qualitative results were obtained from 5 chaplain participants were all positive. Though a very small sample, this QI project emphasizes that spiritual care needs are an integral part of holistic care provided through nursing practice. Nursing is tasked to be concerned with each person's human experience, which includes spirituality. This QI projects' contribution to positive social change is that it enhanced the health outcomes and quality of life of those participants involved.