Graduate Publications and Other Selected Works - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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Human trafficking is a public health crisis on a global, state, and local level. Victims of human trafficking are a vulnerable population who pass-through healthcare systems unrecognized by nurses and other healthcare professionals due to a lack of awareness about identifiable signs, symptoms, and circumstances. Nurses are in a crucial position to assess trafficking victims for a referral. The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) pilot project was to understand nurses’ knowledge and awareness on human trafficking and assess the perceived ability to identify trafficked individuals in a psychiatric care setting for screening and potential referral. Nurses received an online educational module on human trafficking immediately after an online pre-module survey, followed by a post-module survey after 30 days. The findings indicate that nurses lack knowledge on human trafficking and desire training. Improving nursing knowledge can assist with early identification and referral for victims, improve healthcare outcomes, and mitigate healthcare system and individual costs across the lifespan.

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