Date of Award

Summer 7-1-2020

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Amy Hite

Second Advisor

Trina Larery

Third Advisor

Cynthia Allan


Sepsis is a significant burden to the healthcare field with 1.7 million Americans annually diagnosed with this condition. Earlier diagnosis and treatment are the most effective ways of reducing morbidity and mortality related to sepsis. The current sepsis screening tool in place at Stormont-Vail Hospital, in Topeka, Kansas, is the systemic inflammatory response (SIRS) criteria; however, this screening tool has proven to be less effective than other screening tools available. The screening tools proven more effective than the SIRS criteria, are the quick sequential organ failure assessment (qSOFA) and the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA). For this project, nursing staff on the cardiac unit at Stormont-Vail Hospital received education related to the qSOFA and SOFA screening tools for sepsis and were given a post-education survey to evaluate the education received. The demographic use in this study was a convenience sample of 28 participants, including 25 registered nurses (RNs) and three licensed practical nurses (LPNs) from the cardiac unit. The results of this study concluded that all participants were aware that the SIRS criteria is the current sepsis screening tool utilized by Stormont-Vail Hospital, and 92% of participants had never heard of the qSOFA and SOFA screening tools before. Of the participants, 85% reported they did not feel the current sepsis screening tool (SIRS criteria) was adequate. After education about the qSOFA and SOFA screening tools, 64% of participants reported feeling somewhat comfortable utilizing these screening tools in addition to the SIRS criteria when screening patients for sepsis.