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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing


cognitive impairment, rural, screening, primary care, dementia, outcomes, referral, and elderly


The following paper describes an innovation project required for the completion of the doctoral of nursing practice degree through South Dakota State University (SDSU). The project took place in a rural mid-western primary care clinic. The project included the implementation of a screening toolkit for assessing the presence of cognitive impairment, and the determination of its utility as a method to help practitioners’ measure cognitive and functional changes over time. The methodology for the project was a non-experimental descriptive evidence based project. The outcomes measured by this project were identified by a thorough literature search of the most recent evidence. The project also assessed the practitioners’ satisfaction, and degree of practicality and feasibility within their rural practices. The project was able to assist providers with identifying previously undetected cognitive impairment and identified outcomes as a result of screening. Qualitative data suggests that the screening toolkit improved patient outcomes but also improved communication between providers, patients and families. Further research will be needed to assess the long term impact on outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cognition disorders -- Diagnosis
Rural health services
Primary care (medicine)
Rural elderly -- Care


Includes bibliographical references (pages 57-65)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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