Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The purpose of this Major Applied Research Study was to develop adult AIDS-related education programs for the Tampa and Bay Pines Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) nursing departments that were based on the needs and preferences of the licensed nurses, and appropriate for implementation in these facilities. Major research questions addressed by this study included: (1) What are the perceived learning needs and preferred learning methods of the Tampa and Bay Pines VAMC Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) nursing staff? (2) What are the current and proposed Florida legislation and/or regulations relating to AIDS? (3) What are the State of Florida Board of Nursing criteria for Continuing Education Units? (4) What theories, principles and practices of adult education are appropriate for AIDS-related education programs designed for implementation in the Tampa and Bay Pines VAMC nursing departments? The research procedures included: (1) development of a survey instrument based on the results of the content validity index and adult learning methodology identification: (2) survey of seventy-two (72) RNs and thirty-four (34) LPNs from Tampa VAMC, and eighty (80) RNs and thirty-one (31) LPNs from Bay Pines VAMC (a stratified random sample of twenty-five percent of the RN/LPN patient care staff from Tampa and Bay Pines VAMC: n=217) to identify their AIDS-related learning needs/preferences: (3) analysis of the data relating to learning method and program scheduling preferences, and a two way analysis of variance on the content item rating data to determine any significant differences between the RNs and LPNs within each VAMC facility and between the Tampa and Bay Pines VAMC nursing departments: (4) formal and informal evaluation/ validation of the study product by appropriate VAMC nursing staff and by two doctoral level nurse educators and one adult learning national expert, using the Florida Board of Nursing continuing education peer review criteria and form. The results of the study included the following: (11 06 the 217 surveys distributed. 176 (81.1%) were returned: (2) the respondees rated all fifteen content items at 4 or above on a 5 point Likert scale, indicating that they considered all fifteen items important/relevant to their learning needs: (2) there was no significant difference between the learning needs and preferences identified by the RNs and LPNs in or between the two VAMC facilities: (3) the lecture learning method received the largest percent of the responses for fourteen of the fifteen content items; the lecture/demonstration learning method received the largest percent of responses for the remaining item: (4) the most frequently selected program scheduling preferences were: four hours in length. from 8 am to 12 noon, on Wednesday, with small group work sessions, and local or national presenters. The study product was one four hour, lecture based, group AIDS-related education program which reflected the results of this study, plus all AIDS-related subjects required by the Florida legislation and Board of Nursing regulations. It was reviewed, evaluated. and validated as appropriate for implementation in the VAMC nursing departments by the experts identified above. Conclusions of this study include: (1) the RN/LAN staff in the Tampa and Bay Pines VAMC are willing to be actively involved in the identification of their perceived learning needs: (2) the survey method of needs/preference assessment is an effective mechanism for identification of learner needs/preferences, and involving the learner in the planning stage of proposed education programs: (3) it was appropriate to develop one AIDS-related education program. that would be in compliance with all Florida legislative regulations, for both levels of licensed nurses in both facilities: (4) the study sample can be considered a fair representation, relevant to age. academic level, and AIDS-related knowledge and experience, of the RN/LPN staff in the 172 VAMC facilities throughout the United States. Recommendations include: (1) the study should be replicated in VAMC facilities of various size, classification and location, as well as in non-government hospitals to corroborate and support the finding of this study: (2) the study should be replicated in order to contribute to the growing body of evidence relating to the results of incorporating appropriate adult learning principles and practices in education programs designed for licensed nurses: (3) the AIDS-related education program developed as the product of this study should be implemented in the Tampa and Bay Pines VAMCs as soon as possible: (4) the findings of the study should be forwarded to appropriate VAMC regional centers as soon as possible to facilitate the dissemination of the findings to VAMC facilities through- out the country, provide a model for the AIDS-related education programs being developed throughout the VA system and encourage replication of the study: (5) a report of the study should be submitted for publication to appropriate journals.

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