Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Hospital-acquired infections such as nonventilated hospital-acquired pneumonia (NV-HAP) are significant patient safety concerns. The lack of oral care in the nonventilated acute care patient population is a major contributor to NV-HAP. Nursing staff are on the frontline in the provision of oral care to hospitalized patients, but a lack of knowledge regarding the relationship between oral care and NV-HAP was identified as a gap in practice at the project site. The purpose of the project was to develop a staff education program on oral care of the nonventilated patient population. The practice-focused question addressed whether an evidence-based education for nurses regarding oral care for nonventilated patients could be developed and validated. Knowles's adult learning theory guided the use of evidence-based practice literature to develop the staff education program. The project team of 2 infection prevention specialists, a nursing professional specialist, and a nurse educator evaluated the education program, plan for delivery, and plan for evaluation of learning through an anonymous Likert-style evaluation survey. The 4 team members also completed program evaluation surveys, and results revealed a 100% score of agreed or strongly agreed that the program objectives were met. A descriptive analysis of the data provided information that supported the evidence-based education on oral care of nonventilated patients as a means of nurse education. When implemented, the project education will be part of a standardized oral care program to reduce barriers in delivering oral care. Social change implications are related to decreasing patients' risk of NV-HAP, increasing quality of life, and decreasing length of hospital stay.