Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

MacMillan, Deborah, Ph.D, CNM

Second Advisor

Baker, Carol Dean, RN, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Foote, Dorothy G., Ph.D, FNP-BC, GNP-BC



Nurse practitioners (NPs/APRNs) who provide primary care services may be the first line providers in situations where adults present with symptoms of memory loss and forgetfulness. Though protocols are available for evaluating dementia, specific guidelines for evaluating early cognitive changes, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), are lacking. This descriptive research project assesses the knowledge, current screening methods, and barriers to screening for MCI by nurse practitioners (APRNs) in the state of Georgia. One hundred and thirty two NPs participated in the survey. Forty-five percent of the participants were unfamiliar with the diagnostic category of MCI. Of the major barriers identified, fifty eight percent of APRNs identified not having enough time, thirty-four percent were unsure of the best screening methods, and twenty percent of participants were unsure of protocols. Using Spearman rho correlation, MCI screening was significantly correlated with completion of continuing education (CEUs) for both MCI (rs = .245, p < .006) and dementia (rs = .243, p < .006). The Spearman’s rho revealed a statistically significant relationship between MCI screening and routinely screening for depression (rs = .478, p <.000). The second stage of this project was to develop practice protocols for MCI. A practitioner panel was recruited from the participants in the initial survey. The protocol and evaluation algorithm is presented and discussed.

Included in

Nursing Commons