Perceived genetic knowledge among pre-licensure undergraduate nursing students

Leighsa Sharoff


Objective: This study assessed the perceived retention of genetic knowledge of pre-licensure undergraduate nursing students who received a stand-alone genetics course.

Methods: Design: Two analyses of total score were of interest: 1) Assessment of retention of knowledge of education group at sophomore level [n = 62; 2013], junior level [n = 60; 2014] and senior level [n = 42; in 2015] and 2) Comparison of the education group [n = 62] to a control group who learned genetic content that was woven into their clinical courses [n = 74]. Methods: Data were analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), as the total scores were approximately normally distributed. p-values less than or equal to alpha = 0.05 were considered statistically significant.  Some subjects in the assessment of retention knowledge over time remain the same.

Results: The education group had a statistically significantly higher total score than the control group: mean ± standard deviation = 70.1 ± 13.8 vs. 54.2 ± 19.6, respectively for education and control groups; p-value < .001. Although education clearly had an impact on total score, the perceived knowledge was not retained over the years: average total scores of 70.1 in 2013 to 67.2 in 2014 and 61.6 in 2015; p-value = .006.

Conclusions: Education has a significant effect on perceived knowledge, yet maintaining that knowledge base requires reiteration of the content through-out the curriculum. Clinical Relevance: Nurse educators’ need to be able to integrate genetic/genomic competencies into nursing curricula and reinforce the content to ensure nursing students are able to retain and utilize this knowledge when in practice.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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