Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Vicki Ericson


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Problem Statement: In 2018, septicemia was the number one diagnosis for hospital inpatient stays for ages 65-74 in the United States (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2018). Most hospital admissions due to sepsis come from the community- as many as 87% (Rhee et al., 2017). People over 65 are 13 times more likely to end up hospitalized due to sepsis (Sepsis Alliance, n.d.). Sepsis in Home Hospital Care (HHC) and Home Care (HC) patients is prevalent because these patients are typically over 65. HC and the HHC program within the project site have noted a rise in hospital readmissions due to sepsis. HC nurses do not always identify early sepsis signs and symptoms due to a gap in sepsis knowledge. Early recognition and prompt action can improve outcomes and decrease unnecessary hospitalizations in HHC patients.

Purpose: This quality improvement (QI) project aimed to provide sepsis education and sepsis screening tool training to HC nurses. The training was intended to increase HC nurses’ ability to identify early sepsis signs and symptoms, improve patient outcomes, and decrease hospital readmissions related to sepsis.

Methods: A QI project provided sepsis education to 114 HC nurses who completed pre, post, and 5-week follow-up questionnaires that measured staff knowledge of sepsis's early signs and symptoms. Education occurred over two mandatory HC nursing staff quarterly meetings, and data collection occurred before and after the meetings.

Results: Due to various intervening factors, only three HC nurses completed the pre-sepsis knowledge assessment; only 1 (33%) completed the post-sepsis assessment. This participant did not complete the 5-week knowledge retention assessment. The post-sepsis knowledge assessment score (10 out of 16) was one point lower than the pre-sepsis knowledge assessment score (11 out of 16). 5 HC nurses completed the 5-week sepsis knowledge retention assessment. The average score ranged from 10 to 15 (62.5% to 93.7%) out of 16.

Conclusion: The implementation of sepsis education for HC nurses successfully educated 114 HC nurses; however, participation in the sepsis knowledge assessments was very poor. As a result of poor participation, a conclusion cannot be drawn as to whether or not sepsis education was directly related to increasing HC nursing sepsis knowledge.