Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Sheila Melander

Clinical Mentor

Dr. James Snyder

Committee Member

Dr. Carol Thompson


PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to assess the knowledge of nurses that collect blood culture specimens at University of Louisville Hospital and to implement an educational intervention among those nurses. It was expected that the educational intervention implemented for this project would increase nurses’ knowledge regarding the proper technique for blood culture specimen collection and decrease in the rate of contaminated blood cultures.

METHODS: This study included a prospective pre- and post-test of nursing knowledge followed by an educational intervention as well as a retrospective comparison of the pre- and post-education blood culture contamination rates.

RESULTS: Of the 23 nurses that were eligible, 19 (82.6%) consented to participate in the educational intervention. The mean score of the pre-test was 9.7 and the mean score of the post-test was 13.5, indicating an increase in knowledge (p= < .001). In the pre-education group the medical records of 70 patients over 110 admissions were reviewed from July 16, 2017 to October 18, 2017. In the post-education group the medical records of 91 patients over 123 admissions were reviewed from October 19, 2017 to January 18, 2018. The pre-education blood culture contamination rate was 1.9% and the post-education contamination rate was 0.4% (p=.312).

CONCLUSION: A simple and inexpensive educational intervention can increase the knowledge among nurses that collect blood culture specimens. While the reduction in the contamination rate is not statistically significant, it is clinically significant with a cost avoidance of approximately $11,200 over the three month post-education period. The results of the pre- and post-test could be used to tailor future educational interventions and a retrospective analysis for a longer duration could include enough patients to yield statistically significant results.

Included in

Nursing Commons