Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Melanie Hardin-Pierce

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Andrew Bernard

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Butler


Purpose: The purpose of this evidence-based education project was (i) to evaluate baseline nursing knowledge of anemia, blood conservation and transfusion medicine, (ii) to identify current blood conservation practice and the nurse’s prior exposure to blood conservation education (iii) to determine the potential impact of evidence-based education on nursing knowledge, and (iv) to determine the impact of education on the nurse’s attitudes towards future implementation of blood conservation practices based on the nurse’s self report.

Setting: The project was implemented in the Cardiovascular and Thoracic ICU (CVICU) at an 875-bed level-1 Trauma and Multi-Organ Transplant Center located in central Kentucky.

Population: The population for this study was a diverse sample of 48 registered nurses (RNs) who practice in the CVICU. Among the 48 participants, 77.1% were female, which is consistent with the current demographics of the national nursing workforce. The average age of participants was 31.1 years (SD = 7.4). Of the participants 18.8% were Associated Degree Nurses (ADN), and 81.3% had either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN). On average participants had worked for 5.8 years (SD=5.6) in nursing, and had 4.7 (SD=4.3) years of ICU experience.

Inclusion criteria: All RNs with a current Kentucky nursing license, who practice in the CVICU.

Design & Methods: A quasi-experimental pre and post-test design was used for this project. Nurses were educated on the subjects of anemia, blood conservation, and transfusion medicine during a 45-minute face-to-face presentation. The impact of the education was measured using a pre/post test analysis of nursing knowledge and the nurse’s self report of perceived impact on future practice.

Results: A total of 48 CVICU nurses participated in the educational intervention and completed the surveys, pretests and posttests. Results showed a statistically significant difference between pretest (60.2 %) and posttest scores (98.6 %). Additionally, survey results revealed that 95.8% (n=46) of participants did not receive any education relating to blood conservation in their undergraduate nursing programs, and only 10.4% (n=5) reported receiving any education on blood conservation during their CVICU nursing orientation. Only 31.3% (n= 15) reported routine use of blood conservation devices and strategies in daily practice. Post study survey results revealed that 81.3% (n=39) of participants were “much more likely” to implement blood conservation devices and strategies into practice, and 17% of subjects reported that they were “somewhat more likely” to use blood conservation devices and strategies as a result of the knowledge they had gained through participation in the program.