Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Health Services


Diane Whitehead


Sepsis is life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a response to infection that causes multiorgan failure. This condition causes high mortality and morbidity rates and leaves permanent disabilities. The purpose of this project was to create a sepsis protocol and an education training program for clinical staff in a hospital setting where no sepsis protocol was in place. The practice-focused question examined whether an educational program would improve clinical staff perception of their knowledge of the early recognition and management of sepsis. A literature review was conducted to identify an evidence-based practice protocol; the results were used to develop the education program for the clinical staff at the site. Malcolm Knowles'€™s theory of adult learning framed the project that included a team of 9 content experts consisting of physicians, physician assistants, and an educator who reviewed and approved the protocol and education program prior to implementation. The education program was then presented to 45 staff members including physicians, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. Results of a 14-item knowledge test before and after the education program were examined for percent correct; results were compared using a paired-samples t test. Participant knowledge increased significantly (p <.05) from 20% correctly answering 10 of the 14 questions on the pretest to 87% answering all of the posttest questions correctly. The results of this project may promote positive social change by supporting clinical staff in early recognition and treatment of sepsis thereby reducing the morbidity and mortality that accompanies sepsis.