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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Linda Herrick


kidney transplant, clinical pathway, care pathway, patient pathway, quality improvement


Kidney transplant is considered the treatment of choice for patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) as kidney transplantation often increases life expectancy, quality of life, and is more cost effective than a lifetime of dialysis. With the increasing economic burden of kidney transplant, it is necessary to put processes, such as clinical pathways, in place to standardize care, use healthcare resources efficiently, decrease cost, and improve outcomes. This doctor of nursing practice (DNP) practice innovation project (PIP) sought to analyze the effect of development and implementation of an inpatient kidney transplant recipient clinical pathway on length of stay (LOS), 30 day readmission rates, graft function 30 days from transplant, and number of days in intensive care unit (ICU). Post clinical pathway intervention, LOS increased from 5.5 to 6.36 day, while ICU days decreased from 1.2 to 1.1. Changes in LOS and ICU days were not statistically significant. The clinical pathway did not have an effect on 30 day readmission rates or graft function 30 days from transplant. However, based on feedback from staff meetings, the clinical pathway served as a teaching tool for inpatient and outpatient staff and patients and as a means to increase staff knowledge and communication.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Kidneys -- Transplantation
Kidneys -- Transplantation -- Patients
Evidence-based medicine


Includes bibliographical references (pages 43-48)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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