Graduation Year


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Fontaine Sands

Department Affiliation


Second Advisor

Molly J. Bradshaw

Department Affiliation



Every day in the United States forty-two people are killed or injured as a direct result of fire. Building construction materials and furnishings have evolved from natural textiles to synthetic plastic-based goods that release excessive lethal toxic gases when heated. Rapid release of gas results in critical levels of hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide leading to fatal toxic exposures. Nursing knowledge and confidence can improve victim survivability by improving rapid recognition and assessment of these complex patients. The purpose of this DNP project was to increase emergency department nursing knowledge, confidence and ability in assessing and appropriately triaging smoke inhalation victims exposed to the lethal byproducts of smoke. Forty-one ED nurses attended one of eight two-hour didactic presentations offered covering assessment, toxidromes, testing and treatment of smoke inhalation victims. Assessment of nursing confidence and knowledge in EBP was conducted both pre- and post- education utilizing the EBP-ERI Survey Tools. Paired t tests were conducted on the pre- and post-mean scores to evaluate nurses’ EBP confidence and knowledge. Nurses reported a 30% increase in confidence (p < .01) and demonstrated a 10% improvement in knowledge (p < .01) immediately following the program. Two weeks later a post-education knowledge assessment was conducted that showed a median score of 82% accuracy triaging these victims. The findings of this project indicate that ED nurses can improve knowledge, confidence, and proficiency in triaging smoke inhalation victims based on EBP through didactic, case-study education.

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)


Included in

Nursing Commons