Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Sepsis can lead the body into organ failure, tissue damage, amputations, and in severe cases, even death. Yale New Haven Health-Westerly Hospital has several new RN’s that are at a novice level of knowledge about how to treat and care for the septic patient. Knowledge of the signs and symptoms of sepsis can lead to a quicker diagnosis and improve patient outcomes. The purpose of this program development project was to improve the knowledge of sepsis identification and treatment by providing education to the critical care nursing staff at Yale Westerly Hospital.

A non-probability convenience sampling plan was utilized. Fifteen nurses out of a potential twenty nurses completed the pre-test and post-test component. Each participant’s test score from the pre-test in comparison to the post-test improved after the education component of the project was implemented. Pre-test scores encompassing the entire exam, ranged from 35% to 60% and post-testing scores ranged from 65% to 85%. The mean score of the pre-test was 52% and the mean score of the post-test was 78.6%. The mean scores from the pre-test compared to the post-test improved by 26.6%. More experience in the critical care setting did influence the average test scores in both the pre and post-test. APRN’s are in a unique position to enable educational programs and assess educational needs of a certain department. The APRN can deliver education not only for the novice nurses, but for all nurses throughout the experience spectrum.