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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2002 May-Jun;33(3):112-8.

A study of professional nurses' perceptions of patient education.

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Boise Department of Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Idaho, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe the professional nurses' perception of the role of patient educator and to determine factors inhibiting and enhancing patient teaching.


One hundred and twenty-four hospital-based, acute-care professional nurses were randomly selected from a State Board of Nursing list and surveyed by mail.


Ninety-two percent of nurses reported that patient education was a priority in their nursing care. The top three factors inhibiting patient education were time, staffing, and receptiveness of the patient. The top three enhancers were providing more time to teach, providing inclusive teaching guidance sheets, and making resources more accessible.


Patient education is a valuable part of professional nurses' practice, but many factors impede this nursing function. Key recommendations to enhance patient teaching were suggested, including improving efficiencies in patient care, supporting the staff nurse educational role, and providing essential resources based on survey results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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