This article discusses the development and implementation of an evidence-based protocol to induce hypothermia and improve outcomes for patients with cardiac arrest.

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center is a Catholic facility in Reno, Nevada, that provides care to many rural communities. The critical care unit had not had a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or an educator for approximately 2 years before I was hired as a cardiovascular CNS in the fall of 2005. I was hired because there was an opportunity to improve quality measurements and best-practice standards, and increase staff education in the department. In this article, I describe how having a CNS in the department changed practice, facilitated the development of a protocol based on current research, and improved outcomes for patients who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Patients who have out-of-hospital cardiac arrest historically have had high mortality and morbidity rates.1 More than 90% of these patients...

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