Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Evelyn Parrish

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Julie Perry

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Makowski


Background: Substance use disorder (SUD) is a disparity affecting nearly 24 million individuals in the U.S., nearly 10% of the total population. Oftentimes, the emergency department (ED) is the only medical care this population receives. There is often a lack of screening for SUD in ED’s, therefore referred care may be limited for these individuals. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Modified Assist (NMASSIST) is an evidence-based tool developed to educate and screen for SUD. This tool can be completed in a timely manner and aid in the recommended referral of care for this select population.

Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to evaluate clinician knowledge regarding SUD and screening ability in the adult population in an acute ED setting.

Methods: A pre/posttest design was utilized to examine changes in clinician knowledge and ability to screen for SUD. An educational module was developed and administered to 15 registered nurses and 12 advanced practice providers/physicians. Clinicians completed a pre/posttest questionnaire prior to and after reviewing the educational module as well as a satisfaction survey.

Results: There was a statistically significant increase in clinician knowledge, comfortability, and frequency of screening for SUD (p<0.001) after the implementation of the educational module. Baseline knowledge increased by 87%, comfortability of screening for SUD increased by 100%, and frequency of SUD screening showed an increase of nearly 37%. All clinicians that partook in this project (100%) felt this module was useful, should be recommended to clinicians, and felt the NMASSIST could be utilized in the ED setting.

Conclusion: Clinicians demonstrated an increase in knowledge of SUD, increase of screening, and felt more comfortable screening after the implementation of this module.