Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Nutrition--Study and teaching; Nursing--Study and teaching; Nurses--Education


A study to investigate the influence nutrition instruction during the nurse’s basic academic program has on the interest and involvement of the nurse practitioner in nutrition and nutritional care has been completed. This investigation was conducted for two reasons: 1. To determine the problems inherent in teaching the subject of nutrition to students of nursing; and 2. To elucidate the means whereby nurses will be motivated to continue to be interested in nutrition and its relationship to health. The subjects were 250 registered nurses who were either practicing their profession or were undergraduate or graduate students in nursing. The subjects were from health care facilities; from diploma, associate degree or collegiate nursing school faculties; or from the Department of Nursing student body at Northern Illinois University. The age range was from eighteen to over fifty years with the mean age of 33.5 and the years since completion of the basic academic program ranged from zero to over twenty-four years with the average number of years of 14.4. Fifty-nine percent were graduates of diploma programs, fifteen percent from an associate degree program and twenty-six percent from a collegiate program. Fifty-seven percent classified themselves as patient care nurses; twenty-nine percent as nursing school instructors; ten percent as undergraduate or graduate students; and less than five percent as administrators. A questionnaire was administered to gather data about the nurse's academic instruction in nutrition and its bearing on the nurse's concept of the role of nutrition in nursing care, and the relationship between the nutrition instructor and the health care team member selected by the nurse for dietary consultation. Information was also tabulated concerning the nurse's self expressed confidence in diabetic dietary instruction; interest in continuing education and/or inservice programs in nutrition; faculty status of nutrition instructors; and the nutrition information resources utilized by the nurses. The data collected was tested by using the chi square test with a 0.05 level of significance. It was found that there was a difference in the nurse's concept of the role of nutrition in nursing care if nutrition is taught throughout the basic academic program, and that there was no difference in the frequency of consultation with the dietitian in nutrition-related situations by the nurse taught nutrition, basic and/or clinical, by a dietitian and by a nurse taught by others.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [47]-49)


55 pages




Northern Illinois University

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