Date of Graduation

Spring 5-14-2020

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

College/School

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Department/Program

Nursing

Program

Population Health Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Robin Buccheri, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita and Adjunct Faculty

Second Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella, EdD, MSN/MPA, RN, CNL, CPHQ, LNCC,

Abstract

Section I: Abstract

Problem: Suicide is a major public health concern that kills over 45,000 people in the U.S every year. At a psychiatric hospital in Northern California, several suicide attempts occur every year.

Context: The aim of this DNP project was to train licensed nursing staff at a large safety net psychiatric hospital in Northern California on interventions and best practices in suicide prevention to improve suicide screening, assessment, and detection for an at-risk population.

Intervention: Interventions consisted of training on the appropriate use of (a) the organization’s Evidence-based Suicide Screening and Prevention Protocol and (b) an evidence-based suicide screening tool, the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), used to conduct suicide assessment levels, and risk detection.

Measures: An author-developed instrument was used for assessment of nurses’ knowledge, skills, and comfort level before and after training on the organization’s Evidence-based Suicide Screening and Prevention Protocol and use of the C-SSRS. Patients’ charts were audited after the training to check for accurate completion of the C-SSRS tool.

Results: Ninety-six percent of licensed nursing staff were trained on the use of the organization’s suicide screening and prevention protocol and the C-SSRS. Knowledge, comfort level, and skills for screening, assessing, intervening, and planning care for patients at–risk for suicide improved post-training.

Conclusions: Training of Licensed Nursing Staff on how to follow the organization’s Evidence-Based Suicide Screening and Prevention Protocol and use the C-SSRS was successful. Licensed nursing staff are prepared to provide successful suicide screening, assessment, detection and prevention, thus achieving better patient outcomes.

Keywords: Suicide prevention, interventions, and suicide in adults.

Available for download on Wednesday, December 31, 2025

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