Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Carolyn Sipes


Unplanned 30-day readmissions among patients diagnosed with ischemic stroke (IS) is a significant public health problem in the United States. The Affordable Healthcare Act introduced financial penalties and incentives for facilities to encourage the adoption of care plans aimed at reducing 30-day readmissions rates for stroke and 5 other illnesses. Therefore, facilities with high rates of 30-day readmissions for IS patients are penalized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services in addition to receiving poor scores on the quality of care they provide. This project was a staff education program aimed to improve postacute stroke transitional care and reduce 30-day readmission rates. The project was guided by a research question about if an educational program focused on active engagement and caring for patients, compared to standard practice increases nurses’ knowledge of poststroke transitional care to reduce 30-day readmission rates in discharged patients, within 8 weeks. The project was implemented in a stroke unit of rehabilitation facility where a total of 14 nurses were educated. The evaluation outcomes indicated a 61% improvement in nurses’

knowledge of transitional care after the implementation of the educational program. Implementing the nurse education program has the potential to improve clinical practice by preventing and reducing the rates of 30-day readmission rates for postacute stroke patients.