Date of Graduation

Fall 12-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




DNP Completion

First Advisor

Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Carlee Balzaretti


Problem: Safety concerns have existed for more than 40 years about how hazardous drug (HD) exposure contributes to long- and short-term adverse health outcomes for healthcare workers (HCWs). Careless handling may cause toxic residues to infiltrate hospital environments and patient care areas, and can even be traced to patients’ homes. New government regulations will require healthcare organizations to minimize exposure risks to HCWs by fully implementing the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention Chapter 800: Hazardous Drugs: Handling in Healthcare Settings (USP, 2016) on December 1, 2019. According to Polovich and Olsen (2017), “The implementation of the USP <800> Standards will represent an important step forward for nurses and other potentially exposed HCWs”.

Context:The proposed Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project will implement an HD safe-handling personal protective equipment (PPE) toolkit at an ambulatory cancer infusion center to improve nurses’ adherence with the USP <800> Standards and hospital policies addressing PPE use when handling, administering, and disposing of HD.

Proposed Interventions: Interventions for this project will consist of (a) an HD safe-handling PPE toolkit for infusion nurses, (b) a PPE observation tool, (c) an expert panel discussion, (d) a nurses’ skills session, (e) safe-handling adherence between observation and self-assessment survey, (f) hazardous drug administration safe handling peer-to-peer checklist, and (g) a performance dashboard to display progress.

Proposed Outcome Measures: Outcome measures include (a) 90% or higher compliance rates with PPE use and (b) sustained adherence to USP <800> Standards and hospital policies for safe HD handling to 100% by February 2020.