Predictors of students outcomes on perceived knowledge and competence of genetic family history risk assessment




Collins, Cathleen

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The purpose of this predictive correlational study was to determine the degree to which certain nursing school characteristics predict graduating undergraduate nursing student perceived knowledge and perceived competence of genetic family history risk assessment. The predictors for the study were chosen based on Rogers' (2003) Diffusion of Innovation theory. These variables included nursing school size and it's proximity to a large city, faculty's perceived barriers to diffusion of genetics into nursing practice, faculty innovativeness, faculty who have attended a genetics program for nursing faculty, and the integration of genetics content into the curriculum. Student characteristics controlled for included the student's age, years of college education, and prior genetics courses taken.

Faculty and students from 103 nursing schools from across the United States participated in the study by completing online surveys. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 14.0. Hierarchical multiple regression was employed to determine how well the independent variables predicted student perceived knowledge and student perceived competence.

No combination of the independent variables in this study predicted student knowledge or competence to the degree expected. This could be attributed to a lack of diffusion of genetics content across nursing curricula, based on Rogers' (2003) theory. Other findings included faculty continue to believe they are not competent to teach genetics, and the curriculum is too dense to include more content. However, contrary to other research, faculty did believe the content was valuable.

The findings of this study give direction for further research into student outcomes and curriculum evaluation after 2011, when a consensus panel working to diffuse genetics into nursing curriculum and practice will have fully implemented their strategic plan for this diffusion.



Health and environmental sciences, Curriculum, Genetics knowledge, Nursing education