Document Type

DNP - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia Elverson

Second Advisor

Brandi Pravecek


Background/Purpose: Pediatric home health patients with chronic respiratory conditions often have a higher risk of developing respiratory tract infections leading to emergency room (ER) visits and unplanned hospitalizations. A sick day plan (SDP) can help nurses recognize signs of illness early and prompt them to intervene with supportive respiratory care, thus preventing worsening illness and hospitalization.
Methods: A SDP respiratory assessment and intervention tool was implemented in a pediatric home health organization. The number of pre and post intervention ER visits and unplanned hospitalizations were compared.
Results: The total mean ER rates over 1 year before project implementation was found to be 0.69 (SD = 0.046). The total mean ER rates after project implementation was found to be 0.33 (SD = 0.043). The total mean hospitalizations per week before the implementation of the SDP was found to be 0.46 (SD = 0.033). The mean hospitalizations per week after the implementation was found to be 0.33 (SD = 0.036). Nurses reported that the SDP was an acceptable, appropriate, and feasible intervention.
Discussion: Barriers to the project implementation included variability in nursing hours to complete training and a lack of a validated survey to assess family satisfaction with SDP implementation.
Implications for Practice: This project impacted the organization by reducing the burden of illness for immunocompromised populations and helped pediatric patients by reducing ER visits and hospitalizations.


South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2023 Katie Anderson

Available for download on Friday, March 01, 2024