Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Family Nurse Practitioner



Faculty Chair

Dr. Stacy Mikel


Dr. Jeffrey Voreis


Background: Early detection of sepsis in hospitalized patients in small rural hospitals can save lives. Subtle changes in patients can go undetected by nurses and doctors, leading to septic shock, increasing the length of stay in the hospital or death. In a small Alabama hospital, nurses were missing the early signs and symptoms of developing sepsis due to a lack of a monitoring system and proper education regarding sepsis.

Objective: The development of a sepsis screening checklist to place on each direct admitted patient’s chart to collect vital signs every four-hours each 12-hour shift to alert nurses of early signs of sepsis.

Methods: The sepsis checklist was used in a six-week period and then compared to six- weeks without the checklist. The number of sepsis cases data was collected by measuring the quantity of patients with sepsis diagnosis and the reporting of cases to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Results: The first six-weeks resulted in four cases of sepsis out of 100 direct admit patients without the use of the sepsis checklist. The length of stay varied with each patient. The second six-weeks the sepsis checklist resulted no diagnosis of sepsis out of 80 direct admit patients.

Conclusion: It is unsure if the sepsis checklist prevented sepsis or would have decreased the length of stay in direct admit patients in the second six-week period. The sepsis checklist did provide a means to fill a gap in patient monitoring.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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