Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Eileen Fowles


The nursing culture of an inpatient pediatric unit was resistant to activating pediatric rapid response team (PRRT) alerts despite guidelines for activation. Nurses routinely assessed patients and assigned a pediatric early warning score (PEWS); however, the level of illness severity was not interpreted consistently among nurses and a PEWS action algorithm did not exist to guide nurses' minimal actions based on the PEWS score. Guided by 3 adult learning theories (Knowles, Kolb, and Bandura) and 1 evaluation model (Kirkpatrick), this staff education project sought to educate pediatric nurses on a PEWS action algorithm and determine whether this project improved nurses' knowledge, situational awareness, and attitude toward activating PRRT alerts. A convenience sample of 30 pediatric nurses completed a preeducation knowledge survey (EKS), attended an interactive PEWS education class, and completed a postEKS. After participating in the class, correct responses on the EKS increased from 43% to 82% and, using the Wilcoxon-signed rank test, a significant increase was noted in nurses' responses to questions related to self-efficacy, factual knowledge, and application. The overall increase in the nurses' self-efficacy and knowledge about the PEWS might enhance critical-thinking skills, foster identification of patients at risk for clinical deterioration, and empower nurses to follow the PEWS action algorithm including activation of PRRT alerts when indicated. This project has the potential to effect positive social change by supporting nurses' actions designed to improve pediatric patient outcomes.

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Nursing Commons