Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemic has created an unparalleled public health threat that has not yet been adequately addressed. Despite the gravity of the situation, Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs have not yet responded effectively. The current lack of AIDS curricula covering the ethical and practical aspects of nursing care to this growing patient population represents a serious shortcoming. In order to address this deficiency, the proposed research study utilized data from several relevant populations in the development of a set of AIDS Guidelines and Policies and a Model AIDS curriculum for nursing programs. The research design was largely developmental, with the goal being the development, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of both a set of policies and guidelines and a model AIDS curriculum for ADN programs. The study sample was composed of three groups. First, the program directors of NLN-accredited ADN programs in California were surveyed to determine the degree to which AIDS-related issues have been integrated into their curricula. Second, second-year nursing students (four weeks from graduation) in a representative AND program were given an AIDS knowledge examination. The most knowledgeable ten percent were selected to serve on a student committee that provided feedback and advice on the development of the Guidelines and Policies and the Model curriculum. The third group consisted of a focus group of patients with AIDS, who discussed their experiences with nurses while hospitalized. Results of the Program Director Questionnaire showed a low degree of compliance with existing guidelines, and relatively little integration of AIDS-related issues into the curricula. The AIDS knowledge examination results showed a relative lack of knowledge among the nursing students, although the upper ten percent selected for the student committee scored above ninety-five percent on the examination. Results of the AIDS focus group discussion showed clearly that, at least in their perception, there are serious deficiencies in the nursing care being delivered to hospitalized AIDS patients. An advisory committee from the Registered Nursing Program at Long Beach City College was selected, and was comprised of five Registered Nursing faculty, the Program Director and the Department Chair. The committee scored the student knowledge assessment instrument, and acted as a curriculum advisory panel. In addition, an expert committee made up of three health care professionals with extensive experience in AIDS-related issues was recruited. This expert committee reviewed the draft of the curriculum design, and provided feedback utilized in formulating the final model curriculum. The applied results of the project consist of a set of AIDS Guidelines and Policies and a Model AIDS curriculum. These are presented in Chapters 4 and 5. Both the Guidelines and Policies and the Model AIDS curriculum will be regularly evaluated and updated. In addition, the Guidelines and Policies and the Model Curriculum will be disseminated to all programs that participated in the study, as well as to any other interested registered nursing programs in California.

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