Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Louise O'Keefe


Health literacy--Evaluation, Patient education, Nursing--Study and teaching (Continuing education)


Background and Review of Literature: Health literacy (HL) has been acknowledged as a nationwide health challenge with over one-third of United States (U.S.) citizens having limited capability to read, comprehend and utilize health information. Nearly one in four parents have low HL resulting in inadequate skills to attain, handle, and comprehend basic health information. Children of parents with low HL experience increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits, increased non-adherence to medical treatments and poor outcomes. Promptly evaluating HL in clinical settings can assist with identifying patients at risk for unnecessary hospitalizations, poor medication adherence, and misinterpreting health information. Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to educate nurses on the importance of assessing HL, educate on a validated HL tool and increase the likelihood of bedside nurses utilizing a validated HL tool. The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy was utilized as the framework for the project. Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre-intervention and post-intervention education design was used to determine if there was a change in beside nurses’ knowledge of HL, nurses’ perception of the importance of assessing the HL level and to determine the likelihood of nurses using a validated HL screening tool. Participants were asked to complete a pre-education survey and post-education survey. The survey results were compared using two-tailed paired sample t-test. Results: Twenty-one nurses, whose nursing education ranged from diploma to masters prepared, participated in the pre-education survey and the education intervention. Seventeen of the twenty-one participants returned a post-education survey. The two tailed paired sample t-test showed statistically significant differences from pre- to post-educational intervention in participants’ knowledge of HL. Statistically significant perceptions were also noted in the importance of assessing HL, the influence of HL education delivery, and the time commitment needed in assessing HL. Answers were favorable in the inclusion of a HL tool in the electronic health record. Implications: Data revealed the majority of participants with five years or more nursing experience were not exposed to HL education during nursing school. Therefore, it is vital leadership provides educational opportunities to increase HL knowledge to bedside nurses. Since nurses are responsible for ensuring patients and families understand discharge teaching, they should be equipped with the tools needed to properly deliver quality individualized discharge education.



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