Date of Award

Spring 2021

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School




Program or Major

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Name


First Advisor

Donna Pelletier

Second Advisor

Gerald Ojukwu


Background: Suicide is a public health problem and the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Suicide accounted for more than 47,5000 deaths in the US in 2017, translating to about 130 suicide deaths each day. An average of 20 veterans commits suicide each day compared to 93 suicides in the general population in the US. Individuals with suicide risks are 300 times at an increased rate of suicide death in the first week and 200 times in the first month of hospital discharge. Nurses are in a strategic position to improve the care transition of individuals with suicide risk. But nurses lack the use of EHR suicide risk decision tools and nursing-specific suicide training.

Purpose: This project aims to improve the care transitions of individuals with suicide risk discharged from acute care units to outpatient by 50% over 6 weeks.

Methods: The IT embedded the C-SSRS template as part of patients' EHR instead of a standalone tool. Ten 5-point Likert scale pre-survey questionnaires were administered face-to-face to the nurses to assess their baseline skills. The project leader facilitated nursing-specific suicide education, including training regarding the C-SSRS template embedded in EHR. The project leader administered a post-survey two weeks after the training to determine the impact of the intervention.

Results: Overall, the nurses demonstrated mean improvement scores of 89% with patient care transitions and 90% in nurses' professional skills and attitudes after the intervention compared to 0% and 47.1% before intervention.

Conclusion: Decreasing suicide rates and prevention poses a significant challenge to healthcare professionals and organizations. With the implementation of an embedded EHR C-SSRS, staff training, and professional collaboration, healthcare organizations can improve the care transitions of individuals with suicide risk and decrease the rates of suicide.