Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)

First Advisor

Dr. Shonda Phelon


The need for advance directives is increasingly relevant to the current healthcare system. Advancing technology has transformed chronic, terminal illnesses to conditions that cause slow debilitation. Individuals now enter into care alone more often than in the past. With no advance directive in place, families and/or healthcare providers are forced to make difficult healthcare decisions alone. Advance-care-planning affords the opportunity for disease detection and improving patient outcomes while lowering overall costs; however, such conversations are not easy to approach. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to deliver education to primary care providers in rural Mississippi to improve provider attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding the advance directive in order to improve current return rates of the advance directive. An educational session was conducted with pre- and post-surveys. Descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized to analyze the responses to the two surveys as independent samples. Standard statistical analysis was performed on these results, and it was determined that the project goals were met. Primary care provider knowledge rates increased significantly from pre-survey to post-survey (χ2 (1, N = 14) = 4.667, p = 0.031). Self-reported competency skills increased significantly from pre-survey to post-survey (χ2 (1, N = 14) = 7.143, p = 0.008). The percentage of respondents who reported lacking competency or skills decreased from 85.7% to 14.3%, and provider compliance increased significantly from pre-survey to post-survey (χ2 (1, N = 14) = 7.778, p = 0.005). It was concluded improving knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of 5 primary providers with respect to advance directives could improve the quality of care provided for residents in Mississippi.