First Advisor

Patricia Cullen

Second Advisor

Lora Claywell


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

108 pages


Problem: Across the board recognition to decrease the inappropriate, misuse and abuse of opioids has gained real momentum for the past decade. This multifaceted problem is complex, requiring battles to be waged on all fronts. A critical realm in confronting this issue requires solid and effective education for nursing professionals which can then be imparted to patients and caregivers. The PICO for this capstone is: P: Nursing Staff Registered Nurses, I: Pre-test, Didactic, Simulation, Post-test, 30-day Post-test, C: Pre/Post/Post-test current practice knowledge, additional comparison of Naloxone (Narcan) current practice utilization 30 days Pre and Post Implementation and O: Evaluate increased and retained opioid knowledge, skill competency and Naloxone utilization Purpose: The purpose of this study is to increase nursing staff opioid knowledge, strengthen clinical skill competency, raise multi-modal therapy awareness and reduce Naloxone utilization. Goal: The goal of this study is to initiate and standardize yearly nursing staff education, prioritize non-opioid therapies as first-line treatment, decrease inappropriate opioid use and minimize the need for Naloxone. Objectives: This study includes the following objectives: to increase nursing staff opioid education, clinical skill competency, demonstrate knowledge of non-opioid palliative anesthetic techniques and inpatient Naloxone reduction by 50-100%. Plan: Using a quasi-experimental quantitative design, the study’s succession is as follows: 1.) Pretest, 2.) Didactic education, 3.) Enactment of a progressive group simulation scenario, 4.) Post-test and debriefing and 5.) 30-day Post-test initiated for knowledge retention. Additionally, simulation skills were observed by analyzing domains of Noticing, Interpreting, Responding and Action. Inpatient Naloxone utilization reduction was analyzed 30 days pre and post implementation. Outcomes and Results: The results indicate a statistically significant difference in pre-test to post-test and 30-day post-test scores after a combined didactic and simulation session. Results from the post to 30-day post-test were not found to be statistically significant indicating possible knowledge retention post didactic and simulation intervention. While the Naloxone results were not statistically significant, positive data indicators direct the need for continued evaluation noting utilizing the acute pain service consistently may impact inappropriate opioid administration, reduce length of stay and reduce patient transfers to a higher level of care. The simulation observation domains indicated that block techniques from didactic education resulted in learning. Dual intervention, didactic and simulation, provided an evidence-based method to enhance opioid knowledge. Initiating standardized and frequent opioid education is imperative so that nursing professionals provide excellent patient care and contribute to optimal health outcomes with thoughts every pill given wholeheartedly matters.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Location (Creation)

Colorado (state); Denver (county); Denver (inhabited place)

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.