Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2016

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Michael J. Terry, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Faculty Mentor

Second Advisor

Kathy James, DNSc, FNP, Seminar Faculty


Background: In the military, completed suicides and attempt rates have risen across the services since 2001 by 82% per 100,000 in spite of various intervention programs. The literature suggests that absent and inadequate suicide assessments may be part of the problem. Primary care providers are often not prepared for risk assessment and management of suicidal patients.

Aim/Purpose of Project: The project sought to improve the consistency of providers in conducting adequate risk assessments and providing crisis hotline information to patients who were cleared to return home after an encounter, as required by NPSG 15.01.01.

Project Plan Process: This evidenced-based project was guided by the Knowledge to Action Framework for translation of relevant evidence and made use of PDSA cycles. Data were collected and analyzed in a pre-intervention and post-intervention fashion. The intervention consisted of an hour-long interactive educational presentation. It was delivered to many of the primary care providers at a military treatment facility. Composite NPSG 15.01.01 trends for the three elements of performance were tracked.

Results: Following the intervention, the highest composite score for suicide risk assessment compliance was achieved in the areas of the medical center that were targeted. Compliance stood at 93.3% in the month that the intervention concluded.

Conclusions and Implications: Inexpensive and brief educational interventions aimed at primary care providers in a military hospital improved provider performance. Also, a project focused on improving suicide risk assessment can shift institutional culture.