Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Eva Fried, DNP, WHNP

First Committee Member

Dr. John Chovan, PhD, DNP, RN, CNP, CNS

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Biddinger


Opioid, Naloxone, Substance Use Disorders, Overdose Epidemic

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences


The opioid overdose epidemic continues to escalate in the United States. Some of the morbidity and mortality associated with opioid overdose can be prevented with the timely administration of naloxone, an opioid reversal agent. The literature emphasized that the emergency department (ED) venue and registered nurses are well positioned to screen and identify high risk individuals whether they present as a result of an overdose or for other medical reasons. The literature also pointed to the importance of providing naloxone to high risk individuals and those who would be most likely to be at the scene of an overdose. This is critical because most overdoses occur at home. Additionally, negative attitudes and stigmatization towards individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) can result in provision of suboptimal patient care for this population. The literature demonstrated that education can improve knowledge gaps and negative attitudes towards patients with SUD. The purpose of this evidence-based practice improvement project (EBPI) was to address the knowledge gaps and attitudes of Emergency Department Registered Nurses (EDRNs) about the scope of the opioid overdose epidemic, SUDs as a disease, pathways from prescription opioids to heroin, treatment, recovery, harm reduction education, and nasal naloxone spray. The goal of the EBPI was to use evidence to increase the EDRNs’ knowledge and improve attitudes to facilitate delivery of evidence-based care.



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