Nurse educator attitudes toward people with disability in the southeastern United States

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The purpose of this quantitative study was to assess the attitudes of nurse educators toward people with disability. This study also compared the relationship between nurse educator attitudes toward disability and their definition of disability. Furthermore, the research investigated the influence of age and professional years of experience on the nurse educator's attitude toward people with disability. Prior research shows that nurses and nursing students have negative attitudes toward people with disability and there is a gap in research on the attitudes of nurse educators. In addition, the literature suggests a link exists between educator attitude and student attitude development. If the nurse educator has a negative attitude toward people with disability, it will influence the developing attitude of the student nurse. The subjects, 126 nurse educators from Baccalaureate programs in the Southeast, completed the World Health Organization's (WHO) multidimensional Attitudes to Disability Scale (ADS) and provided disability model preference, professional experience, and demographic data using a web-based survey. Demographic results showed that nurses had an average age of 53 years, an average of 29 years as a nurse, and 13 years as an educator. Results indicated that nurses had generally positive explicit attitudes toward people with disability and preferred for a bio-psychosocial view of disability as defined in the International Classification of Function, Disability, and Health (ICF). The data showed no relationship existed between attitude and definition of disability or attitude and the age and years of experience as a nurse educator. A Principle Component Analysis (PCA) performed on the ADS resulted in reordering and renaming of the subscales to enhance its use with nurse educators. The original ADS subscales, inclusion, discrimination, gains, and prospects were changed to belonging, discrimination, gains, and opportunity.

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Educational leadership, Nursing