Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mark Wells


The opioid epidemic in the United States continues to be a national health crisis affecting all populations. From 1999 to 2016, more than half a million people died from drug overdose. Nonpharmacological therapies are underused in nursing practice due to the gap in nurses' baseline knowledge and confidence related to nonpharmacological techniques for pain management. The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop and implement an expert-reviewed, evidence-based education program focused on nonpharmacological techniques for pain management. Participants included 18 registered nurses (RNs) from an orthopedic unit in a large academic medical center. A 45-minute educational session was conducted for RNs. A pre/postquestionnaire, including a 5-point Likert scale on nurses' self-perceived knowledge and confidence in using selected nonpharmacological techniques, was the method of data collection. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The results indicated an increase in nurses' self-perceived knowledge in all nonpharmacological techniques. The most significant increase in knowledge posteducation intervention was guided imagery with an increase of 72% in terms of the response Good. The data analysis indicates that the nurses self-perceived confidence posteducation intervention increased in terms of the response Good by 50 % and response Excellent by 33% demonstrating the efficacy of an evidence- based education program on nonpharmacological techniques. The implications of this project for social change include the empowerment of nurses to provide holistic patient-centered care, opioid sparing in keeping in alignment with patient safety, and the development of an evidence-based program that can be replicated in other settings.