Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Joan Kearney


Patients with co-existing substance use and mental disorder (dual diagnosis) have complex and challenging care needs especially in acute psychiatric inpatient settings. Acute psychiatric care plays a vital role in mental health service delivery and there is evidence that nurses working in these settings often have unmet learning needs regarding dual diagnosis care, posing a challenge to nursing practice. The purpose of this project was to develop an educational module which will equip nurses with the skills and knowledge required to deliver evidence-based dual diagnosis care in acute psychiatric settings. A survey of 74 acute psychiatric nurses was initially completed to identify their learning needs and challenges. This was followed by a comprehensive review of evidence from literature to identify knowledge, skills and competencies needed to deliver dual diagnosis care. Content for the educational module was then validated by a panel of experts. In all, 35 items within 13 content areas were identified and validated to be used in an educational module for acute psychiatric nurses delivering dual diagnosis care. This project translates evidence into practice, contributes to the body of knowledge on dual diagnosis care and provides nurses with knowledge that will improve their confidence and competency in delivering evidence-based dual diagnosis care. Additionally, this education has the potential to improve patient care outcomes and experiences.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access