Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Community Health Behavior and Education (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Joanne Chopak-Foss

Committee Member 1

Moya Alfonso

Committee Member 2

John Luque


Health literacy is a public health problem. In the era of healthcare reform, the role of nurses is steadily evolving from patient education to health education and health promotion. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in health literacy knowledge and experience among senior nursing students. A quantitative, descriptive research design was used for this study. The Health Literacy Knowledge and Experiences Survey (HLKES) was utilized to measure health literacy knowledge and experiences of nursing students. Two-hundred senior nursing students were administered a 3-part survey that emphasized health literacy knowledge, health literacy experience, and demographic data. Descriptive statistics were used for this research. Study results revealed that nurses lack sufficient health literacy knowledge and experiences to apply health literacy strategies. Statistically significant differences were found in mean scores for health literacy knowledge and program sites. Variations were found in health literacy knowledge scores among senior nursing students in the same program. There were statistically significant differences for health literacy knowledge between program sites. The findings of this study offer implications for incorporating health literacy into nursing curricula.