Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barb Gross


Eating disorders are described as excessive dieting, limiting food intake, and withholding of food. Over 30 million people suffer from eating disorders. Some people may also have preconceived notions that this disease is easily fixable and that eating more and stopping dieting will solve the problem. Registered nurses struggle with having preconceived ideas, a lack of confidence in their assessment skills, and fear of using the eating disorder diagnosis. Barriers that have surrounded the eating disorder mental health disease need to be addressed. The staff development project was based on the question if nursing knowledge would improve on eating disorders and decrease the knowledge gap that was identified. The function of the program was to educate RNs how to identify high risk patients and increase their knowledge base about symptoms of eating disorders. The Roy adaptation model and Watson’s theory of caring were used to provide direction in development of the educational program on eating disorders. The project provided education to 30 staff nurses regarding the need for misconceptions, misperceptions, and attitudes to change in order to deal with this disease process. Registered nurses were educated on understanding, treating, and attitudes regarding eating disorders. The project included pre- and post-tests as a tool to measure nursing knowledge, PowerPoint Presentation, and a program survey. After completing a data analysis of the questions on the tests, a p value of 0.04 was the result. The focus for the project was proven to increase nursing knowledge. As nurses learn to better their skills, positive social change will be inevitable as better health outcomes are promoted and the health of society will continue to transform.