Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version

May 2017


There are currently more than 29 million people in the United States with diabetes. With increasing numbers of diabetic patients across the nation, it is imperative that health care professionals receive the knowledge and skills required to manage them in the acute care setting. Hypoglycemia is the most common side effect of diabetes treatment (Borzi et al., 2016) and is defined by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as a condition that occurs when one's blood glucose is lower than normal, usually less than 70 mg/dl. Nurses’ knowledge of hypoglycemia and their adherence to hospital protocols are essential to achieving positive patient outcomes. Research demonstrates that nurses in the acute care setting are not receiving consistent formal training on the care of adult diabetic patients and sometimes fail treat the patient according to evidence based hospital protocols. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase nurses’ knowledge of hypoglycemia and treatment in the adult hospitalized patient with diabetes. The project design was a pre-test, educational program and post-test on two medical-surgical units in a small community hospital in Rhode Island. Seventeen nurses completed the pre-test component (N=17, 22%) and eighteen nurses (N=18, 23%) attended the educational program and completed the post-test. Pre-test scores ranged from 11 to 94 out of a possible 100, with a mean score of 59.8%. Post-test scores ranged from 27 to 100, with a mean score of 76.5%. The average of post-test scores increased by about 16.7%. These findings suggest that providing hypoglycemia education can be successful in increasing nurses’ knowledge of hypoglycemia treatment and management in the adult hospitalized patient with diabetes.

Included in

Nursing Commons