215548 Improving Immunization Coverage: Clarifying Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs of School Nurses

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Nichole K. Bobo, RN, MSN , National Association of School Nurses, Silver Spring, MD
Background School nurses are in a critical position to promote the importance of immunizations, thus improving immunization rates and herd immunity. Identifying and addressing knowledge gaps, and erroneous attitudes and beliefs can ensure that the school nurse is a competent immunization champion in their school community.

Purpose People look to healthcare providers for reputable information about vaccines and vaccine preventable disease. School nurses are healthcare providers within the school, often sought out by students, parents and staff for advice about immunizations. Assessment of the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs (KAB) of school nurses about immunizations is foundational to addressing knowledge gaps and erroneous attitudes and beliefs, ensuring the information they share is credible.

Significance As an immunization champion, the school nurse can contribute to easing the burden of vaccine preventable disease, reducing school absenteeism, and promoting a healthy school environment that fosters student health and academic success.

Methodology The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) in partnership with the Minnesota Institute of Public Health conducted focus groups in Minnesota, Colorado and Rhode Island to understand the KAB of school nurses practicing in private/parochial, elementary and middle/high school settings. The NASN membership received an online survey.

Findings/Results Focus group findings, survey results and preliminary program planning will be presented.

Conclusions/Recommendations Clarifying the KAB of school nurses can improve immunization coverage, herd immunity and promote a healthy school environment that fosters student health and academic success.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Identify the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs (one of each) of schools nurses about immunizations that will guide NASN program planning.

Keywords: Immunizations, Nurses

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: National Association of School Nurses Continuing Education Director and Immunization Project Director 2000 to present. RN, MSN.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.