Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dr. Brian Garrett, DNP, CRNA

First Committee Member

Sabina Lamichhane Wagle, BSN, RN

Second Committee Member

Dr. Sara Jordan Hyland, PharmD, BCCCP

Third Committee Member

Dr. Kacy Ballard, DNP, CRNA


Regional Anesthesia, Dexamethasone, Brachial Plexus, Local Anesthetic, Additive, Nerve Block

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Brachial plexus blocks (BPB) are a type of regional anesthesia that inhibits the sensory and motor function of the upper extremity. The efficacy of a BPB depends on the type and dose of local anesthetics (LA), as well as the use of any additive agent. The selection of LA depends on the type, concentration, and volume of LA. Certain additives, such as dexamethasone, when added to BPB, were shown to increase motor and sensory block duration.

A chart audit conducted by the pharmacy and anesthesia departments revealed a significant variability of clinical practice in the use of LA and additives in BPB at a large Level 1 trauma center. The audit also revealed that only 46.4% of anesthesia providers used the additive dexamethasone. Further complicating the issue, key stakeholders also reported a lack of standardized evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines for the choice of LA and additives utilized in BPB, which may have also contributed to the inconsistent practice among providers.

The following objectives and methods were framed using the Johns Hopkins Model for EBP and were established to achieve the project’s goals: 1) synthesize the evidence around the choice of LA and the additive dexamethasone with BPB, 2) develop a guideline based on the evidence, and 3) present the guideline to the Clinical Process Improvement Team (CPIT). To enhance EBP guideline development, data was compiled through a systematic review and local/national/standard clinical practice guidelines, using the Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Synthesis and Recommendations Tool.

The project was significant because the incorporation of newly developed EBP guideline into clinical practice may improve patient outcomes. The findings of the scholarly project served as a beginning point for a greater understanding of the importance of EBP, clinical knowledge, and policy. The guideline was communicated to the anesthesia and pharmacy departments for potential implementation.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use

Included in

Nursing Commons



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