Immunization training modules: Identifying student nurse learning

Michael S. Robinson, Katie Bates, Karlen E. Luthy, Janelle L.B. Macintosh, Renea L. Beckstrand


Background and objective: Despite the importance of vaccination in disease prevention some people choose to remain unvaccinated. Nurses are influential in the choice to vaccinate. Considering the possibility of poor public understanding of vaccines and need for continued improvement in vaccination rates, it is essential for nurses to be knowledgeable and adept at addressing vaccine concerns, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination education formally begins in nursing school. The objective of this study was to identify nursing students’ vaccine understanding by exploring information learned from formal online vaccine education specifically the Nursing Initiative Promoting Immunization Training Modules (NIP-IT).

Methods: Nursing students enrolled in a Community Health Nursing course were required to complete three online, self-study, modules entitled Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Vaccine Concerns, and Nursing Roles. The nursing students who completed these modules responded, in writing, to an open-ended prompt asking them to identify what new piece of information they learned. Responses gathered from 244 nursing students between September of 2016 and April of 2018 were categorized and grouped according to theme using a first and second cycle coding process. Responses containing more than one idea were considered separate responses and categorized accordingly totaling 273 responses.

Results: Nursing student responses revealed five major themes regarding new information learned from the online modules: (1) barriers to vaccination; (2) components of vaccines; (3) the influence of nurses; (4) vaccine-preventable diseases; and (5) community immunity.

Conclusions: Formal vaccine education is a critical component of a comprehensive nursing program. The nursing students in this study described information they learned when completing the NIP-IT modules, thus it was inferred the nursing students did not have a full understanding of vaccine concepts prior to viewing the modules. Formal nursing school vaccine education is essential in developing nurses capable of navigating vaccine issues and promoting health and preventing disease through vaccination advocacy.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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