Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Janice M. Long
Adolescent obesity is a growing health concern in the United States due to its increasing prevalence and comorbidities that can reduce longevity and increase morbidity. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) providing care in school-based health centers (SBHC) located in marginalized communities are uniquely positioned to work with adolescent students challenged with obesity. The management of adolescent obesity requires advanced skills and knowledge to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent obesity, and to directly address the many factors that contribute to the condition. The purpose of this project was to develop an education program for APNs to prepare them to work with students in prevention and control of adolescent obesity in the SBHC. The Shuler nurse practitioner practice model provided the framework to guide the project. A literature search yielded evidence-based care guidelines for adolescent obesity that were used to develop the education program. The program was provided to a panel of 5 clinical experts made up of 2 APNs and 3 pediatricians who work with adolescents who are obese. The panel evaluated the program using a 5-item, Likert-style questionnaire covering the 5 objectives of the program. Results ranged from a mean score of 3.4 to 4.0, indicating that the expert panel agreed or strongly agreed that the program met the objectives. This education program was provided to the SBHC administration and will be implemented in the next school term. The project may promote positive social change through increased APN knowledge of clinical practice guidelines for managing adolescent obesity and through improved adolescent health.