Date of Award

Fall 12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Lisa Morgan

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lakenya Forthner

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


Despite billions of dollars invested in research, education, and equipment, high blood pressure remains a significant contributor to mortality rates across the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control (2019), hypertension was listed as a primary or contributing cause of over a half-million deaths in the United States (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2021). Without regard to race, gender, background, or socioeconomic level, this “silent killer” the Mississippi State Department of Health estimated that over 700,000 Mississippi adults were diagnosed with high blood pressure and thousands more at an increased risk each year (MSDH, 2019). Failure to identify and effectively manage high blood pressure is a significant contributing factor in these deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that only one in four adults have adequate knowledge and resources to control their high blood pressure (CDC, 2021). Individuals with high blood pressure are often unaware they have the disease due to the lack of signs and symptoms and with many Americans lacking health insurance and access to primary health care, high blood pressure is often not detected until the individual presents to the healthcare facility upon their initial visit or on subsequent visit for an unrelated complaint. The objective of this DNP project was to assess the knowledge and technique of nursing staff personnel assigned to rural and underserved Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Mississippi when obtaining blood pressure readings in the adult population. Incorrect technique and/or poor interviewing skills can potentially result in the APRN misdiagnosing hypertension, committing errors in prescribing antihypertensive and other cardiovascular medications, ineffective management of the hypertensive patient, and possible litigious actions on behalf of the patient. A retrospective unbiased assessment of blood pressure measurements was conducted in the clinical setting 4 weeks before the beginning of the intervention utilizing a checklist that was developed based on guidelines and recommendations published by the American College of Cardiology (Blood Pressure Assessment: JACC Expert Panel Report, n.d.).