Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Sharon Coffey

Committee Member

Kathy Donofrio


Alcohol withdrawal syndrome, Nursing care plans


A nurse driven alcohol withdrawal protocol implemented at a community hospital aimed to improve early recognition and treatment of patients at risk for complicated alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Patients affected with alcohol used disorder (AUD) have an abrupt cessation in alcohol consumption when hospitalized and are at risk for the life-threatening symptoms of complicated alcohol withdrawal syndrome. A quality improvement project incorporating the evidenced based tool, the Prediction of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Severity (PAWSS), into a nurse driven alcohol withdrawal protocol demonstrated improvement in early identification (p = 0.015) and treatment (p = 0.011) of patients at risk for complicated alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Patients in the quality improvement project had a significant reduction in hospital length of stay (p = 0.037) which translates to reduced healthcare expenses. Limitations of the study included the small sample size and short time period for data collection. Educating and arming nurses with compelling evidenced based research resulted in a statistically significant improvement in patient outcomes.



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