Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Dr. Melissa Vandeveer


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2015) has cited ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) as the most common infection in the ICU. In 2014, four episodes of VAP were identified in the 25-bed adult cardio-thoracic ICU (CTICU), a dynamic clinical environment within an academic medical center in Northern California specializing in complex cardiac surgery patients, including heart and lung transplants. In early 2015, the CTICU embarked on an evidence-based project to decrease the number of episodes of VAP to zero. Using the ACE Star Model of Knowledge Transformation as the theoretical framework and the CUSP (Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program) standards as a guide in its implementation, the CTICU conducted in-service presentations about the impact of VAP, and displayed the CUSP Wheel poster in the unit as visual reminder. Moreover, project champions educated and role-modeled best practices to the staff, and conducted audit rounds to monitor compliance with VAP prevention guidelines. These audits successfully identified the deficits that required corrective action, and as a result, no reported cases of VAP in 2015 have occurred. Moving forward, ongoing staff education, adherence to evidence-based guidelines, and effective communication among healthcare providers are imperative to continue to prevent VAP in the CTICU.

N653_ProspectusSummaryBrief.pdf (2827 kB)
VAP Prevention in the CTICU