Date of Graduation

Winter 12-15-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises from a complication of severe infection characterized by a systemic inflammatory response (SIRS). As a time critical illness requiring early identification and treatment, delayed recognition of sepsis can lead to organ failure and death. Effective sepsis protocols need to be established and implemented to reduce the number of patients declining to sepsis in the hospital setting. For this project, nursing practice and knowledge of SIRS and sepsis protocol were assessed to obtain a baseline measure of the nurses’ knowledge.

A root cause analysis was used to identify existing barriers to performing timely sepsis screening and discrepancies with the inpatient units’ sepsis algorithm and the hospital’s protocol. The CNL students collaborated with the Director of the Sepsis Screening Committee to develop a “Sepsis Screening Observation Checklist” to ensure nurses were documenting the sepsis screenings in a timely manner. A chart review audit was conducted by using a “Sepsis Chart Screening Data” form, allowing students to review EMR charts of 100 patients in five inpatient units. The students administered a “Sepsis Survey” to assess nurses’ knowledge of sepsis and obtain feedback of the current sepsis protocol.

Results indicated that vital signs were reported to nurses in a timely manner 50% of the time, and only 38% of the participating nurses feel adequate sepsis educational resources were provided. The participants’ responses and subjective interpretation of the current sepsis protocol suggested that inpatient units would benefit from the project’s sepsis educational campaign to improve early sepsis identification.

Included in

Nursing Commons