Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Emergency Management




College of Natural & Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Shelly Randall, PhD, RN

Second Committee Member

Terri McKown, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Third Committee Member

Melissa Darnell, PhD, RN

Program Director

Jennifer Helms, PhD, RN

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Sarah Gordon, Interim Dean


This study aims to prove that improved comprehension of the Neonatal Abstinence Scoring Tool on neonates born to mothers with addiction will decrease the length of stay and decrease medical interventions. The Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring Tool consists of 21 questions with different symptoms, each associated with a number. This scoring is compared to determine the degree of learning or increase in knowledge after the educational presentation. Participants (N= 16) were recruited through a convenience sampling of registered nurses working at an acute care hospital in Northwest Arkansas on a Women’s and Children’s department. The participants completed a pre-questionnaire, attended an educational presentation about the NAS tool then took a post-questionnaire. The results of these questionnaires are favorable for re-education. For example, when participants were asked about when you begin looking for signs of withdrawal on the pre-questionnaire, only 35% answered correctly compared to 65% on the post-questionnaire. Additionally, when participants were asked if the presentation on the use of the Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence scoring tool was helpful in my care of NAS infant, 38% agreed, and 10% strongly agreed the presentation was helpful. In conclusion, there was an increase in the accuracy in the scoring of the Finnegan Abstinence Scoring tool after receiving the educational presentation.