Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Anna Valdez


Pediatric patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are a unique subset of patients who arrive to the emergency department (ED) for care, and differ from adults regarding symptomology, treatment, and adverse effects. Nurses who will encounter this patient population must have adequate knowledge and confidence to care for them, yet research continues to show a gap in practice. The purpose of this doctoral project was to determine if a staff education project would increase ED nurse knowledge and confidence in caring for pediatric emergency patients with DKA. Utilizing Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model, an evidence-based staff education program was formulated, reviewed by an expert panel, administered via a self-learning packet, and completed by 35 ED nurses. Sources of evidence used to develop the education program were from the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association, and the Emergency Nurses Association and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Evaluation of learning outcomes was completed using a paired-samples t-test. Findings from this project demonstrated that a self-learning module on pediatric DKA was successful in improving both knowledge (p < .001) and confidence levels (p < .001) of ED registered nurses with 100% recommending the course to peers. Recommendations are to provide additional staff education in clinical management of pediatric patients with high risk and low volume diagnoses. The staff education project contributed to positive social change by improving nurse knowledge, which may improve patient care and reduce adverse outcomes for pediatric DKA patients.

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