Major Article 

Influence of a Poverty Simulation on Nursing Student Attitudes Toward Poverty

Joanne Noone, PhD, RN, CNE; Stephanie Sideras, PhD, RN; Paula Gubrud-Howe, EdD, RN, FAAN; Heather Voss, MSN, RN; Launa Rae Mathews, MS, RN, COHN-S

Abstract

This study aimed to determine a poverty simulation’s influence on nursing students’ attitudes toward poverty. Five cohorts of baccalaureate nursing students participated in the study; two cohorts (experimental group, n = 103) participated in the simulation and three did not (control group, n = 75). The Attitudes Towards Poverty Short Form was administered before the simulation and 6 weeks later; higher scores indicated more positive attitudes toward poverty. Experimental group pretest scores were higher. Higher pretest global scores were negatively correlated with religious affiliation (Spearman’s rho = −0.294, p = 0.000) and positively correlated with prior poverty exposure (Spearman’s rho = 0.284, p = 0.000) and liberal political views (Spearman’s rho = 0.444, p = 0.000). Controlling for pretest differences, posttest mean scores for the experimental group (78.73) were significantly higher (p = 0.007). The poverty simulation is an engaging learning experience providing an opportunity for students to gain sensitivity in working with this population.

Dr. Noone is Associate Professor, Dr. Sideras is Assistant Professor, and Ms. Voss is Clinical Assistant Professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, Ashland; Dr. Gubrud-Howe is Associate Professor, and Ms. Mathews is Clinical Assistant Professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Joanne Noone, PhD, RN, CNE, Associate Professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, 1250 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland, OR 97520; e-mail: noonej@ohsu.edu.

Received: September 18, 2011
Accepted: May 30, 2012
Posted Online: September 14, 2012

10.3928/01484834-20120914-01

This study aimed to determine a poverty simulation’s influence on nursing students’ attitudes toward poverty. Five cohorts of baccalaureate nursing students participated in the study; two cohorts (experimental group, n = 103) participated in the simulation and three did not (control group, n = 75). The Attitudes Towards Poverty Short Form was administered before the simulation and 6 weeks later; higher scores indicated more positive attitudes toward poverty. Experimental group pretest scores were higher. Higher pretest global scores were negatively correlated with religious affiliation (Spearman’s rho = −0.294, p = 0.000) and positively correlated with prior poverty exposure (Spearman’s rho = 0.284, p = 0.000) and liberal political views (Spearman’s rho = 0.444, p = 0.000). Controlling for pretest differences, posttest mean scores for the experimental group (78.73) were significantly higher (p = 0.007). The poverty simulation is an engaging learning experience providing an opportunity for students to gain sensitivity in working with this population.

Dr. Noone is Associate Professor, Dr. Sideras is Assistant Professor, and Ms. Voss is Clinical Assistant Professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, Ashland; Dr. Gubrud-Howe is Associate Professor, and Ms. Mathews is Clinical Assistant Professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, Portland, Oregon.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Joanne Noone, PhD, RN, CNE, Associate Professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, 1250 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland, OR 97520; e-mail: noonej@ohsu.edu.

Received: September 18, 2011
Accepted: May 30, 2012
Posted Online: September 14, 2012
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