Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Degree Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Track

Family Nurse Practioner

Year Degree Awarded



Month Degree Awarded



Trauma Informed Care, Adverse Childhood Experiences


Dr. Karen Kalmakis

DNP Project Chair

Dr. Annie Lewis-O'Connor


Background: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) continue to demonstrate negative effects on children and adults’ health. A dose-response relationship exists between the number of adverse experiences a person faces during childhood, and the extent and severity of chronic illnesses developed in adulthood, including early death. Identifying patients who have ACEs is key to managing their health care. Trauma-informed care provides a clinical framework in which patients with a history of ACEs receive optimal health care to prevent and manage the health influences of ACEs.

Purpose: The purpose of this Quality Improvement (QI) project was to increase nurse practitioner (NP) knowledge about the chronic health effects of ACEs, and assess the awareness and acceptability of trauma-informed care in a variety of clinical settings.

Methods: A pre and post intervention approach was used to assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention focused on trauma informed care among NPs.

Results: 35 NPs participated in the online surveys completed the educational content. When compared with the pre-intervention results, there was a reported increase in familiarity and awareness of ACEs and TIC. Participants also reported fewer anticipated barriers to inquiring about ACEs during routine visits in their area of practice.

Conclusion: An educational intervention to raise awareness of the health effects of ACEs and the practice of Trauma Informed Primary Care was successful in increasing NP knowledge. This intervention has the potential to influence the effect of ACEs on health by increasing provider knowledge.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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