Registered nurses' attitudes towards substance use and abuse

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University of Alabama Libraries

Substance use disorder (SUD) is an escalating problem in the United States, both in the general population and nursing profession. The purpose of this quantitative research study was to explore the attitudes of registered nurses toward substance use and abuse. The variables of age, gender, ethnicity/race, years of nursing experience, highest degree of education, and nursing specialty were explored through the administration of the Substance Abuse Attitude Survey (SAAS) instrument. The first component, attitude, of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) served as the framework for the study. Results of this study noted that Asians had more positive attitudes toward early identification and treatment than Caucasians and African Americans, suggesting culture may play a role in attitudes. Caucasians held the highest moralistic attitudes of all the ethnic groups. Additionally, nurses with 6-15 years of experience had the most permissive attitudes, while the 16-25 years of experience had more optimism in treatment success. Education played a major role in decreasing moralistic attitudes, with master’s level only slightly surpassing doctoral prepared nurses. Medical-surgical nurses held the most negative and moralistic attitudes in the acute care specialties. Homecare had the most common thread of negativity in acceptance, stereotyping, and non-moralism attitudes in the non-acute care specialties.

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Educational leadership, Nursing