Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


JT Seaman
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Ty Williams, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, CNE
  • Committee Member Name & Credentials:
    Matt Schroer, DNP, PMHNP-BC


DNP Project Abstract

Changes in Beliefs and Attitudes of Registered Nurses Following Participation in a Trauma-Informed Care Education Program

The purpose of this project was to evaluate a trauma-informed care (TIC) program that was presented to registered nurses (RNs) in the behavioral health unit of a general hospital in January and February of 2020. Following presentation, no mechanism of evaluation was implemented. This project set out to evaluate the changes in beliefs and attitudes of RNs and how their behavior may have changed as a result of their participation in the TIC program.

The TIC program was presented based on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s treatment improvement protocol entitled Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Program evaluation followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health. The six-step framework included stakeholder buy-in, describing the program, focusing the evaluation design, gathering credible evidence, justifying the conclusions, and disseminating the results. A 15-question survey was developed to collect quantitative and qualitative data, and included seven Likert-style questions, three yes or no questions, and five open-ended questions. Quantitative data was described using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was analyzed using thematic analysis.

Fifteen of 24 eligible register nurses completed the survey. The nurses had a range of five to 40 years’ behavioral health experience. Both the quantitative and qualitative data supported the purported changes in beliefs, attitudes and behavior and supported the achievement of program outcomes.

Implications for Practice
There is a need for ongoing TIC education and evaluation of these programs in behavioral health departments and other areas where behavioral health issues are diagnosed and treated, including outpatient behavioral health and emergency departments. The implementation of TIC results in more satisfied clients and avoidance of re-traumatization.