Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Kay Setter Kline

Second Advisor

Mary Horan

Third Advisor

Brian Curry


This study evaluated the effects of implementing a standardized nursing protocol on decreasing the length of time it takes the patient to wean from long-term ventilation using an ex post facto comparison group design. The standard nursing protocol is a set of 10 nursing interventions used to standardize the weaning process. A retrospective chart review was performed on 24 patients who were in the intensive care unit of a community teaching medical center, and required long-term ventilation of six days or more. After nine months of implementation of a standard nursing protocol, allowing for the intensive care nurses to become familiar with the protocol, data were collected from a convenience sample of 22 records of intensive care unit patients who required long-term ventilation and who were weaned for the first time. A weaning flowsheet based on the standard nursing protocol was completed by the nurses at the patient's bedside. A t-test was used to identify differences in the length of time required to accomplish the weaning process between the two groups. Although there was no significant difference, the length of time patients were on the ventilator was decreased by 1.7 days when the standard nursing protocol was implemented.


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