Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Cathy Hughes

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Individuals suffering from serious mental illness (SMI) often suffer concurrent with chronic medical illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Those individuals with SMI have higher morbidity and mortality rates and require more healthcare services than individuals without SMI (Rao, Raney, & Xiong, 2015). Medical illnesses are often overlooked in the behavioral health setting because mental health care providers’ lack training and knowledge about medical illnesses. Lack of confidence also plays a role in treating concurrent medical illnesses. Psychiatric mental health nurses in behavioral health settings mainly focus their attention on the aspects pertinent tomental illness and often neglect the medical illnesses that are also present. Because of trends towards provision of care more holistic integrated care, psychiatric mental health nurses will need essential knowledge and skills in recognizing, assessing, treating, and referring to those with medical related problems. The purpose of this project was to determine whether psychiatric mental health nurses are prepared and have the confidence to provide integrated care in a behavioral setting. Four registered nurses completed the confidence survey and pre and posttest. Pretest results revealed that nurses could benefit from continuing education interventions. Posttest results revealed that educational interventions can help prepare nurses to work in an integrated setting. The confidence survey revealed that nurses felt more confident working in an integrated setting. Findings from the project indicated that evidence-based educational interventions can increase nurses’ confidence and prepare them to work in an integrated setting.