DNP Scholarly Projects


Background: Opioid abuse is a serious national crisis affecting both public health and economic welfare across the United States. In Tennessee, more than 1,800 overdose deaths were reported in 2018, with nearly 20% of those deaths occurring in Davidson County alone. The number of overdose deaths in Nashville has steadily risen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic by approximately 32% since 2019 to a total of 619 fatal overdoses in 2020, making it the city’s deadliest year on record. Review of evidence: Research shows that intranasal (IN) naloxone training is an effective approach to combating the opioid overdose crisis and can be employed in a variety of populations. Many college-aged students report personal knowledge of peers who have used opioids recreationally, uniquely positioning university students as potential first responders to overdose emergencies. Purpose: The goal of this scholarly project was to test the hypothesis that an opioid overdose prevention education and IN naloxone training program targeted towards undergraduate students would increase knowledge and improve confidence and attitudes in participants’ ability to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency. Project design: This cross-sectional, quasi-experimental project utilized an anonymous pretest/posttest design to assess change in knowledge and attitudes before and after a targeted opioid overdose education and IN naloxone training intervention. Data for this scholarly project was collected using an adaptation of the Opioid Overdose Knowledge Scale (OOKS) and Opioid Overdose Attitudes Scale (OOAS). Results: A total of 39 (n = 39) students participated in this project’s pretest, naloxone education and training intervention, and posttest. Students’ overall scores improved from pretest to posttest by 13.86% (p < .001) on average. Conclusion: As the number of opioid overdose deaths surges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that persons who may be likely to witness an overdose event are educated on the opioid crisis and trained in overdose response with IN naloxone. Data gathered in this scholarly research project supports the need for increasing awareness and education in college students about opioid overdose and response. Other universities should consider implementing similar opioid overdose education and IN naloxone training as it has been shown effective in preparing students to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency and could ultimately help save a life.


Spring 4-28-2021

First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Dambrino

Scholarly Project Team Member

Dr. David Phillippi

Scholarly Project Team Member

Dr. Adam Pace


Nursing, School of


Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of

Document Type

Scholarly Project


Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level


Degree Grantor

Belmont University


opioids; naloxone; opioid overdose; overdose prevention; overdose response; attitudes; knowledge; training; college students; university students