Grant Application

Jeannine DiNella, RN, DNP, CCNS, UPMC Presbyterian

Proposed Innovation

Addiction is often an emotional and uncomfortable topic for health care providers. Nurses are susceptible to the same stigmas that society has about people struggling with addiction. These negative views can affect their willingness to assess or treat patients with these disorders as well as the way they provide care. These attitudes can discourage patients with substance use disorders from seeking the health care they need.

The goal of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a stigma reduction program aimed at improving the staff nurses’ knowledge, sensitivity, skill, and comfort level when caring for patients with substance use disorders.

Improvements in Action

During this project, nurses on 10S will complete eight hours of training designed to increase awareness of the stigmas associated with caring for patients with addictions and improve the quality of care. The program will include sensitivity training as well as motivational interview training and scripting to teach strategies for building healthy and caring relationships with patients. In addition, the program will help integrate practices on 10S, including daily sensitivity huddles and an anti-stigma campaign toolkit with posters and other material.


The stigma reduction program is expected to increase awareness among nurses that stigmas exist and can have a negative impact on the care of patients with substance use disorders. Training also will improve nurses’ knowledge, confidence, and attitudes, and ultimately, improve care for patients as well as job satisfaction for nurses.