Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Nursing


Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Deborah McQuilkin


This project sought evidence for the effectiveness of pedagogy in professional nursing continuing education and its effect on emergency department nurse attitudes towards patients seeking crisis intervention for suicide. Approximately 12 million emergency department (ED) visits annually were for patients suffering with mental illness and/or suicidal ideation. Emergency department staffs were often not adequately prepared to manage these problems. The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of an educational initiative on nurses’ attitudes about patients expressing suicidal ideation in the emergency departments 2 rural southeastern towns.

The project question was; in two different rural community emergency departments of the Greenville Health System, did suicide training positively affect self-reported nursing attitudes towards suicide ideation? Respondents were asked to complete the Attitudes towards Deliberate Self- Harm Questionnaire (ADSHQ), participate in an educational program, and repeat the ADSHQ survey. Of 76 possible respondents, 33 nurses (43%) completed the study. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including matched paired t test and Pearson coefficient correlation, were used

Demographic information established a time interval of up to over a decade between suicide training in nursing school and actual practice. Sample size was too small to support full interpretation of nurse’s attitudes. Results did not support the PICO question. Overall mean scores were slightly increased post intervention, but not statistically significant. Implications for nursing include a) the need for specialized suicide training, b) identification of suicide training format; c) methods for closing the training gap between nursing school and practice; and d) examining was to decrease emergency department nurse’s undesirable attitudes towards suicidal patients.