Effects of Education and Exposure on Associative Stigma of Psychiatric Nursing in Junior Level Nursing Students

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George, Geoffrey; Groubert, Hayley; Glandorf, Gabrielle
University of Akron; mental health nursing; undergraduate; stigma by association; student nurse; Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
project description
Stigma towards mental illness affects not only persons with mental illness but the psychiatric nursing professionals who care for them. Education and exposure may affect this associative stigma. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an eight­-week undergraduate mental health nursing rotation on associative stigma towards psychiatric/mental health nursing in students. The study was guided by attribution theory and used a non­experimental design and convenience sampling of undergraduate nursing students enrolled in the mental health nursing course. Associative stigma was measured utilizing the Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Placement Survey for First Day of Placement, (Hayman­White & Happell, 2005), modified for this study. Nursing specialty preferences were ranked with a ranking system (Halter, 2008). Data was collected before and after the mental health nursing rotation. Independent sample t-­tests were used to determine differences in preand posttest data. The study determined significant changes in two areas­­ preparedness for the mental health field and anxiety surrounding mental illness indicating students felt more prepared for mental health nursing but more anxious about mental illness. There were several areas that had no significant changes from pretest to posttest, indicating that this nursing course had no significant impact in these areas.