Date of Scholarly Project Submission


Degree Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chairperson

Katherine Menard

Second Committee Member

Anne Stein

Third Committee Member

Theresa Durley


Sepsis is a complex and costly problem that continues to afflict hospitals across the globe (Napolitano, 2018). If it is not identified quickly and treated promptly, sepsis will progress to septic shock and create an increased risk of mortality (Napolitano, 2018). The best way to improve patient outcomes is through early detection and precise treatment (Rello, Valenzuela-Sánchez, Ruiz-Rodriguez, & Moyano, 2017). Through staff education and clinical decision tools, such as checklists, septic patients are more likely to have a favorable outcome (Storozuk, MacLeod, Freeman, & Banner, 2019). The purpose of this DNP project was to decrease fluid resuscitation fallouts and sepsis-related deaths by enhancing the education provided to nursing staff regarding the early warning signs of sepsis and providing a comprehensive checklist to help standardize care for septic patients admitted to the acute care unit at a rural midwestern hospital. Education regarding sepsis early warning signs and current sepsis protocols was provided to the acute care unit nursing staff through an in-person PowerPoint presentation. A comprehensive sepsis checklist was also implemented to standardize care for patients with sepsis. Using a quasi-experimental design, sepsis case fatality rates and fluid resuscitation pre-and post-intervention were examined. There was not a significant difference in sepsis case fatality rates (p = .98) or fluid resuscitation fallout rates pre-and post-intervention (p = .68). This project was implemented within a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which likely impacted the results. While the results of this DNP project were not statistically significant, previous research does support the use of a sepsis checklist and nursing education.