Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Benjamin Miller


Diane Fuller Switzer


Human trafficking (HT) is an epidemic within the United States, resulting in what could be deemed a public health crisis. HT remains concealed due to the criminal, secretive nature of the enterprise, in addition to inconsistent definitions, historically perpetuated biases, and stigmas, in addition to an overall lack of education, knowledge, and awareness. Data around HT are also minimal due to these same barriers. The majority of HT victims report accessing the emergency department and hospital during their time of trafficking, placing healthcare professionals in a unique position to recognize and assist victims. Studies indicate that few healthcare professionals have general knowledge of HT and no healthcare professionals report having formal education or training around HT. No standardized education or training exists for healthcare professionals concerning HT, and no standardized screening tool has been created to identify HT victims. Screening tools currently utilized have not been tested for sensitivity, specificity, or positive outcomes. The implementation and testing of an education and training system for healthcare professionals, and a screening tool for identifying HT victims, is imperative in affecting change within the United States to assist HT victims in advocating for their safety and ultimate freedom.

Included in

Nursing Commons