Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Carolyn Coleman

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lakenya Forthner

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) have adverse outcomes to the traditional methods of assessing for and treating withdrawal within the intensive care unit (ICU), which includes a standardized treatment plan. Some negative outcomes include acquiring costly and dangerous hospital-acquired infections, safety concerns, and traumatic experiences that deter further treatment. More individualized assessments and treatments are needed to prevent or decrease the severity of AWS from occurring in critical care settings, which will facilitate more positive outcomes and experiences for the staff and patients. The Minnesota detoxification scale has been shown to be a more appropriate tool for the critical setting and will be the focus of this doctoral project. An educational module was developed for ICU nursing staff, including medical students and advanced practice nurses, on recognizing and treating patients who demonstrate signs and symptoms of AWS. The background of alcohol withdrawal syndrome was discussed to highlight the purpose of this project, which includes installing a training module for critical care staff and allowing time to implement the tool into practice. The module was based on AWS, a more appropriate screening tool for the critical care setting, and possible treatment options. This project's validity was determined through a pre-assessment and post-assessment of the module. This doctoral project included providing an individualized assessment of patients with documented alcohol disorders as the first step to preventing or deescalating the symptoms of AWS.