Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Yvonne Smith


This Doctor of Nursing Practice Project examined the effect of an evidence-based staff development education program on the attitudes and knowledge levels of nursing staff regarding the mentally ill adolescent patient population, for which they provide treatment and supervision. A convenience sample of 61 nursing staff members participated in the Improving Therapeutic Relationships among Psychiatric Nursing Staff and Patients project, with 74% of the available sample completing all project surveys. Descriptive statistics were used to compare the scores for the responses of participants to the Community Attitudes toward Mentally Ill (CAMI) pre and post-surveys. Concepts scored by this survey included: benevolence, social restrictiveness, authoritarianism, and community mental health ideology. Bar graphs and tables were used to present the results of the pre and post-surveys, which demonstrated a significant change for some concepts while others remained the constant. Benevolence was the concept most strongly scored but only had two statements that were scored differently when comparing the pre and post-survey scores. The changes indicate nursing staff had a greater understanding of their roles as part of the mental health care team and the responsibility of working together to address the problems of the mentally ill. Social restrictiveness had three statements with significant changes which reflects an increase in the number of nursing staff who strongly agree or agree mentally ill people should have a right to live life as normally as possible. Community Mental Health Ideology concept had two statements with significant changes from pre-intervention to post-intervention indicating most staff strongly agree or agree mentally ill people should live in a community setting. When comparing pre-intervention and post-intervention results, authoritarianism only had one statement with a significant increase in the number of staff who strongly agree or agree it is difficult to identify the problems of a person who is mentally ill. These results demonstrate this evidence-based, targeted education and training program improved and expanded the perspectives and ideas of the nursing staff. This change in thought processes, knowledge, and attitudes can potentially have a direct impact on the development of therapeutic relationships among psychiatric nursing staff and patients.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.