Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chair

Dr. Betsy Gulledge


Dr. Martha Richey


Hospitals have sepsis protocols that must be implemented when a patient shows positive signs and symptoms of a septic infection. Nurses learn about sepsis in nursing school and rarely further their education beyond this basic understanding of the disease. So, when nurses fail to comply with organizational instructions outlined within a defined sepsis protocol bundle, this often leads to a progression of severe sepsis in a patient and, most likely, increased cost for the healthcare facility. Multiple sepsis protocol bundle failures negatively impact organizational ratings established by The Joint Commission for patient care and are highly associated with increased sepsis mortality. Sepsis is one of the leading causes of 30-day readmission rates for many hospitals. Four factors have been shown to affect the success rate of sepsis protocol bundle compliance: a lack of effective communication between nurses and nursing units, a lack of continuing education about current evidence-based practices of sepsis prevention and care, cumbersome tasks and mental loads that nurses endure in using electronic health care systems, and high acuity patient loads and responsibilities. Nurses need a set of tools and education methods that will increase their ability to remain 100% compliant with sepsis protocol bundles with minimal distractions.


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