Nursing students often harbor negative stereotypes and feel unknowledgeable and unprepared to work with mentally ill people. In addition, nursing students rarely choose the psychiatric specialty as a career option. A quantitative quasi-experimental study was conducted to examine nursing student feelings about engaging those with behavioral health problems. Over 300 nursing students in eight Bachelor of Science in Nursing professional nursing programs were surveyed on the first and last day of their program’s psychiatric mental health nursing course (the independent variable). A valid and reliable survey instrument was used to collect nursing student responses characterizing attitudes, impressions of knowledge and preparedness, and career interests relative to psychiatric nursing. This work was supported by the theoretical tenants of Labeling Theory, Benner’s Model, and Peplau’s Theory on Interpersonal Relations. Statistical Package for Social Sciences software was used for exploration of the data. Data examination included descriptive analysis and paired t tests of four component subscales identified by the survey tool authors which were associated with the research questions and research hypotheses in this study. The results indicated nursing students manifest negative attitudes and a moderate sense of knowledge of and preparedness for interacting with the mentally ill. In addition, nursing students had a low interest in behavioral health as a career path. However, significant improvements in all of these factors except the latter were observed at the end of the psychiatric mental health nursing course. Nurse educators may use the information generated from this project to modify psychiatric nursing courses for fostering improvement in student feelings about the mental health specialty.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Nursing, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Attitudes, Clinical experience, Mental illness, Negative stereotypes, Nursing students, Psychiatric nursing|
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