Nursing Students' Perceptions and Beliefs About Immunizations

Friday, 20 July 2018

Kathryn Lucette Wilson, SN
Jennifer Sjostedt Avery, PhD
School of Nursing, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA

Immunizations have contributed to the health of our citizens for decades, but some citizens still have many leering concerns about their safety and effectiveness. Nurses are on the frontline of care, serving as a main source of education and information on vaccines in today’s health care system. They continue to greatly influence informed decisions about vaccinations (Wiley, 2015). To be an advocate and answer questions appropriately, nurses must be experts about immunizations, recommendations, and have access to trusted information (Danchin & Nolan, 2014; Wiley, 2015). Education and advocacy of immunizations can be enhanced by understanding the perceptions and beliefs about vaccinations as (future) nurses are still immersed in their own education. There is little research that exists on nursing students and no parallel studies were found upon review. The purpose of this study is to explore nursing students’ perceptions and beliefs about immunizations and the diseases they are aimed to prevent. To further explain, the following research questions are addressed: (1) What are nursing students’ perceptions of vaccinations? (2) What are nursing students’ beliefs about vaccinations? (3) How do perceptions and beliefs differ between students based on their demographics? For this study, a quantitative design and convenience sample population were used. An online survey, adapted from Gellin, Maibach, & Marcuse’s Do Parents Understand Immunizations? A National Telephone Survey (2000) was created to collect these perceptions and beliefs. Questions regarding Influenza, Human Papillomavirus, Hepatitis A, Meningococcal, and Pneumococcal vaccines were integrated to update the survey. Informed consent was obtained by each participant and all survey responses were anonymized. Data collection is currently in progress with anticipated completion prior to July 2018. At this time there are 47 subjects who have participated. The results from this study will contribute to known perceptions and beliefs of immunizations, specifically from nursing students. The results from this study can discover areas of needed improvement in nursing education.