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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

MaryLou Mylant


Midwest, rural, emergency department, alcohol misuse, SBIRT


Purpose: The purpose of this project is to improve emergency department nurses’ attitudes toward alcohol misuse and increase rates of screening for alcohol misuse.
Review of Literature: Alcohol misuse is a major global public health burden. Complications include alcohol-related injuries, chronic health issues, lost productivity, and mortality. Utilization of SBIRT in emergency departments significantly decreased alcohol consumption among patients who were misusing alcohol; however, many emergency department nurses are not following practice recommendations regarding screening and intervention for excessive alcohol use. SBIRT training increases emergency department nurses’ self-efficacy, knowledge, and confidence in screening and delivering brief interventions for alcohol misuse.
Summary: This project took place in a Midwest rural emergency department which serves an agricultural community of approximately 34,000 residents, including many university students who attend the local university. Content from the Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addictions (IRETA) (2017) National Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Training of Trainers Manual was used by two certified SBIRT trainers for the training sessions. The education focused on screening for alcohol misuse, delivering effective brief interventions, and initiating referrals to further treatment. Nurses’ attitudes toward alcohol misuse was assessed pre- and post-education to determine change.
Findings: Data obtained for pre- and post-test data was evaluated using the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test. Statistically significant results were obtained for an improvement in emergency department nurses’ role legitimacy in working with patients who misuse alcohol. The level of role adequacy, motivation, task-specific self-esteem, work satisfaction, role security, and therapeutic commitment in working with patients who misuse alcohol were also increased. Implications for NPs: Given appropriate education, emergency department nurses are more likely to believe they have a role in screening for alcohol misuse, which may increase the rates of screening for alcohol misuse and lead to lowering alcohol consumption among patients who misuse alcohol. The education was developed by IRETA and allowed nurses to receive nationally recognized training in intervention for alcohol misuse. It is hoped that nurses will feel empowered to screen for and address alcohol misuse, which may lead to an improvement in the quality of care and enhance nurses’ ability to provide quality care to individuals who misuse alcohol.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Alcoholism -- Diagnosis.
Alcoholism -- Treatment.
Medical screening.
Emergency medical services.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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