Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2020


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Cynthia L. Allen, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC; Elzbieta Kmiecik, DNP-EL, MSA, CJCP, CCRN-K; Richard Ricciardi, PhD, CRNP


alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment, emergency department, nurses, clinicians, SBIRT


Background: The impact that results from inappropriate alcohol consumption poses challenges to public health. The rate of alcohol-related visits to the Emergency Department (ED) has increased, which has resulted in an increased annual cost of alcohol-related visits. ED serves as a common portal of entry into the healthcare system for many patients and offers a unique opportunity to impact drinking behaviors.

Objectives: To increase the number of alcohol screenings and brief interventions when indicated to adult patients who visit the ED and increase ED nurses' knowledge regarding alcohol misuse and indications for brief interventions.

Methods: An educational module was delivered through the hospital's E-learning management system. Ten multiple-choice pretest/post-test questions were administered to the ED nurses. A consecutive sample of ED patients, 18 years and older, over a 3-month period was used. A 3 single-item screening questions were programmed into the ED electronic health record to detect alcohol use disorder. Patients with positive screening, a score above 7 were flagged to alert peer recovery coaches to provide brief intervention and referral to treatment.

Results: Seventy-nine nurses, representing 91% of the total number of ED nurses, completed the educational module. A dependent sample t-test indicated a statistically significant gain in nurse’s knowledge (t (78) = 15.91, p < .01). The screening was conducted with 11,897 of 13,529 eligible patients, an 87% screening rate.

Conclusion: The findings from this study were encouraging to support the effect of an educational module on ED nurses' knowledge, and that an SBIRT procedure can impact alcohol use disorder through early identification.

Open Access


Included in

Nursing Commons



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