DNP Scholarly Projects


Controlled substance abuse is a global epidemic. Several factors that influence health care providers prescribing habits have been presented in recent literature. However, the existing evidence primarily reflects the prescribing habits of physicians, while relatively little is known about the prescribing habits of nurse practitioners. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of a brief web-based continuing education module targeting appropriate prescribing of controlled substances for recent graduate nurse practitioners. The project served to assess the provider’s knowledge, attitude, and practice compared to current integrated curriculum on prescribing and assess change in knowledge. Two online educational modules and associated Pre and Post-Test knowledge assessments, Demographics survey, and Course Evaluation survey were conducted on a total of 22 new graduate nurse practitioners from Belmont University’s family nurse practitioner program. Results were obtained, analyzed, and coded using Qualtrics Survey Software, IMB SPSS Statistics Version 23 and by direct item analysis. The mean knowledge score of participants significantly increased after completing the online educational intervention. Most participants (63.6%) reported feeling adequately prepared by their graduate level pharmacology course to prescribe controlled substances, however, over three fourths of participants indicated they would “definitely” or “probably” make a practice related change. Knowledge deficits pertaining to the ability to classify pain, recognizing appropriate adjuvant therapies, utilizing systematic prescribing approaches, and the ability to assess, screen, and monitor for substance use disorder (SUD) were identified. Despite reports of feeling prepared to properly prescribe, knowledge deficits were identified in graduates who have only been exposed to information surrounding controlled substance prescribing found in current integrated curriculum. The online educational intervention was found to successful in increasing participant knowledge after participation and was reported by respondents to be very practical and applicable to clinical practice.



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Morse

Scholarly Project Team Member

Dr. Joseph M. Price

Scholarly Project Team Member

Dr. Charlene Dewey

Scholarly Project Team Member

Bill Swiggart

Scholarly Project Team Member

Dr. Sandra Murabito


Nursing, School of


Sciences and Mathematics, College of

Document Type

Scholarly Project


Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level


Degree Grantor

Belmont University


opioid analgesics; primary healthcare; providers; attitudes; dosing; guidelines; Tennessee; prescribing; pilot; nurse practitioner