Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Cathy Hughes

Committee Chair School

Professional Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lisa Morgan

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that happened to a person at a young age, and when untreated they have a higher risk of developing a mental illness. ACEs are associated with social problems, illnesses, and physiological issues. ACEs are related to increased health risks and an increase in high-risk behaviors. Despite increase evidence relating ACEs to physical and mental issues, nurses lack training in ACEs and trauma-informed care (TIC). The overall goal of this project was to increase knowledge of ACEs and TIC in mental health nurses when caring for mentally ill patients. Pre-test and Post-test surveys were sent out to 26 healthcare professionals over a four-week period. A quantitative analysis was conducted of the pre-test and post-test survey. The mean was used to measure the central tendency in both questionnaires, using a t-test. After training and education, the results show that mental health nurses did gain knowledge, awareness, and confidence in identifying ACEs and trauma. The results lastly show that overall, the training was effective and there was a need for additional information.