Date of Award

Fall 12-8-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Lachel Story

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Gregory Bozimowski


Anesthesia practice is learned in a stressful environment, and these stressors may lead to the students’ development of maladaptive coping mechanisms. Despite significant improvements in our understanding of addiction and our approaches to combat this problem, the risk of substance misuse remains high in nurse anesthesia students. Education and intervention are imperative when taking preventative measures. The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to determine whether delivery method of chemical dependency/wellness educational program effects the level of understanding of anesthesia providers and substance misuse and the development of healthy coping mechanisms.

In determining whether the delivery method of chemical dependency/wellness educational program influences the level of understanding regarding substance misuse and healthy coping mechanisms, a systemic review of literature was conducted. Following the analyzation of the evidence from the review of literature, the goal was to develop, implement, and evaluate an effective classroom setting chemical dependency/wellness educational program at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Nurse Anesthesia Program. To evaluate this chemical dependency/wellness program, a pre and posttest was administered before and after the program to students entering the nurse anesthesia program in January of 2017. A retrospective posttest was also administered to the students who began the program in January of 2015 and January of 2016 after completing the previously established online chemical dependency/wellness program.

The results of these tests were compared to the results of the students who began the program in January of 2017 using. The results indicated that there was a significant improvement in perceived knowledge following chemical dependency and wellness education. However, the results were inconclusive as to whether one method is more effective than another. This project’s results indicated only a significance between the first and second year students. Chemical dependency and wellness education is a necessary component of the nurse anesthesia curriculum; however, the results did not conclude that one delivery method was significantly more effective than another.