College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-23-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Shannon Simonovich, PhD, RN

Second Advisor

Anne Sauri, DNP, CRNA


The opioid epidemic has had significant consequences across the healthcare system in the United States. While anesthesia providers have historically provided quality intraoperative analgesia utilizing opioids, research to date suggests that these care experiences may have lasting implications on patients’ long term health outcomes. In contrast, opioid sparing anesthesia can provide patients superb analgesic coverage without the noxious side effects of opioids or the risk of misuse. As an emerging topic, no known study to date has described anesthesia providers’ qualitative experiences with opioid sparing anesthesia. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to conduct semi-structured interviews to examine the practices of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who utilize opioid sparing anesthesia (N=16). Two major themes emerged: (1) perioperative benefits of opioid sparing anesthesia and (2) prospective benefits of opioid sparing anesthesia. Perioperative benefits described include: reduction or elimination of postoperative nausea and vomiting, superior pain control, and improved short-term recovery. Prospective benefits described include: higher surgeon satisfaction, superior surgeon-managed pain control, increased patient satisfaction, reduction of opioids in the community, and awareness of positive prospective benefits of opioid sparing anesthesia. This study highlights the significance of opioid sparing anesthesia and its role in comprehensive perioperative pain control, reduction of opioids in the community, and patient recovery beyond the walls of the Post Anesthesia Care Unit.

SLP Collection


Included in

Nursing Commons