Date of Award

Fall 10-1-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Michong Rayborn

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Dr. Mary Jane Collings


In 2017, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared that the country was experiencing an opioid crisis (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). As a result of this phenomenon, healthcare providers are examining how they are managing pain and researching new avenues for the treatment of pain. Anesthesia providers are in a unique position to help reduce postoperative pain and ultimately the development of chronic pain. This doctoral project was conducted in order to write an evidence-based policy that directs and educates anesthesia providers in the administration of intraoperative ketamine to reduce postoperative pain in patients undergoing spinal surgery. A review of the evidence and collaboration with a physician anesthesiologist contributed to the creation of the policy. A presentation of the evidence and policy was given to a panel of experts. The policy was evaluated using a survey provided to the experts. The feedback provided by the panel of experts revealed that the policy provided the information needed to inform the anesthesia providers about the current best practice regarding intraoperative ketamine administration for reducing postoperative pain. The panel also agreed that the information provided changed their practice in regard to adding ketamine as an adjunct therapy. An executive summary was completed after reviewing the feedback provided by the panel of experts and presented to the key participating members.