Date of Graduation

Spring 2010


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens


perception/attitude of poverty, students' perception/attitude of poverty, health care workers' attitude/perception of poverty, poverty, perception

Subject Categories



The purpose of this quasi-experimental pre and post-test study was to evaluate university nursing students' perceptions of poverty before and after planned learning experiences. There is a lack of empirical evidence in the literature about perceptions of poverty. Therefore, the research question for this study was, "Is there a change in nursing students' perceptions of poverty after educational instruction, coupled with experiential clinical engagement with impoverished groups in society?” The key variables are student nurse education, clinical exposure to poverty, and measured changes in students' perceptions of poverty. A convenience sample of 22 nursing students enrolled at a Midwest university was utilized. A 63 question survey, researcher developed, evaluated student perceptions related to the working poor without health insurance, nonworking poor who could work, and the poor who are not able to work. Paired T-tests with directionality indicated a positive change in students' perception of poverty in post-survey results. The implications of this study can provide insight for nurse educators on the importance of increasing student involvement with the poor, to identify student misperceptions related to poverty, assess current program criterion, and modify existing curriculum and clinical experiences. Nursing programs should consider increasing student involvement with impoverished groups in society, which could enhance student relations with the homeless, leading to improved outcomes for the population as a whole. KEYWORDS: perceptiottitude of poverty, students' perceptiottitude of poverty, health care workers' attitude/perception of poverty, poverty, perception


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