Nursing students and health literacy: The effect of region and programme level

Deborah Balmer, Anna King, Willoughby Moloney, Emma Moselen, Robyn Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Low levels of health literacy have been associated with poor health outcomes. If an organisation does not have a health literate workforce, it cannot be expected to create a healthcare service that supports the development of health literacy among its users. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the health literacy profiles of undergraduate student nurses over year groups and between regions. The collaborative study employed an anonymous online survey using the Health Literacy Questionnaire which investigated the health literacy profiles of 845 undergraduate student nurses from eight universities in four regions from mid-2014 to early 2016 with co-investigators in each of the universities. Results show specific significant changes in health literacy profiles as a function of year level across the four regions; for example, in the Ability to find good health information. Different regions have different health literacy profiles; however, all could be improved. The results from this study provide specific direction to educators on what student health literacy may look like upon graduation as well as challenge current assumptions. Graduating nurse professionals have a role in mediating and sponsoring a health literate health system as well as being part of supporting patients’ health literacy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102688
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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