A Seton Hall nursing student's D.N.P. project on alcohol abuse recently received a prestigious national award. Research conducted by Dr. Teresa Conklin, D.N.P., F.N.P.-B.C., as part of her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree won the 2015 Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award for Primary Care by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).
Dr. Conklin is a nurse practitioner in the AAAHC-accredited Seton Hall University Health Services Department. She completed the project entitled "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program in a University Health Service" in spring 2015. The project explored alcohol abuse prevention and education on college campuses.
"The Centers for Disease Control recently called for greater efforts to prevent alcohol misuse," Dr. Conklin said. "We had no formal screening program in place at Seton Hall, and there has been an increase in alcohol-related incidents on campus in the last few years. I thought it would be beneficial to start a program here."
As part of the project, Health Services asked all students who came in for routine medical issues about their alcohol use, using both interviews and the AUDIT-C, a standard screening instrument. They were then able to educate students about responsible drinking habits.
Students screened as part of the program reported feeling more educated about alcohol abuse and, in many cases, changed their drinking habits as a result.
"It was the perfect opportunity to utilize all of the knowledge and skills I learned in the D.N.P. program. I was able to apply what I had learned to develop a meaningful quality improvement study which led to positive outcomes right here on campus," Dr. Conklin said.
Dr. Mary Ellen Roberts, D.N.P., Dr. Conklin's faculty advisor and director of the D.N.P. program, supported her throughout the project.
"Dr. Conklin's final project is what we expect from our students: a quality improvement project that makes changes in practice. Dr. Conklin's has done that. I am very proud of the work she has done," Dr. Roberts said.
Dr. Conklin will travel to the AAAHC Conference in Las Vegas this December to formally accept the award.
The full project paper is available for download online from Seton Hall University.
About Seton Hall University College of Nursing
Seton Hall University College of Nursing offered the first baccalaureate nursing program in New Jersey in 1937 and is CCNE-accredited through June of 2019. The graduate program was established in 1975, the Ph.D. program opened in 2006 and the D.N.P. was developed in 2009. US News and World Report ranks Seton Hall University College of Nursing as one of the top 75 graduate nursing programs in the country. The College of Nursing's mission is to educate baccalaureate-prepared generalists and advanced practitioners of nursing who aspire to be innovators and leaders in the nursing profession.