Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Janet Long


Impaired nutrition is associated with prolonged hospitalization, poor patient outcomes, high mortality, and increased health costs. Nutritional assessment in intensive care unit (ICU) patients is important in recognition of changes in the patient’s nutritional status from admission to discharge and may promote early nutritional interventions by the health providers to prevent complications of poor nutrition. The purpose of this staff education doctoral project was to assess ICU nurses’ knowledge of nutritional assessment for critically-ill patients and to provide education on an assessment tool for patient nutritional assessment- the malnutrition universal screening tool (MUST). The guidelines from the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition were used to develop the education program and the advancing research through clinical practice and close collaboration model was used as a framework to inform the pretest, posttest designed project. The project took place in a local hospital medical ICU over 4 weeks with 72 nurse participants. Surveys were administered to determine nurses’ knowledge of nutritional assessment, then the pretest, education and posttest were completed. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the answers on the 5-point Likert scale pre- and posttests, and significance (p<.05) was determined using a paired t-test. Results indicated significant improvement on the posttest compared to the pretest for questions on screening protocol, nurses’ responsibility, compliance, knowledge, and recognizing risk factors. Through increasing nursing knowledge on the use of the MUST screening tool, the risk of malnutrition in ICU patients may decrease and patient outcomes improve providing positive social change.

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Nursing Commons