Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Nursing

Date of Award

12-2015

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wendy Nehring

Committee Members

Patti Vanhook, Florence Weierbach, Beverly Lunsford

Abstract

Spirituality is a subject which is often neglected in nursing education. The purpose of this study was to determine associate degree nursing faculty’s perception of their ability to teach the spiritual dimension in the delivery of nursing care. The study explored whether faculty have received training related to spiritual care, how and where nursing programs integrate spirituality education into the curriculum, nursing faculty’s understanding of the terms spirituality and spiritual care, and faculty members perception of whether they receive sufficient support and guidance in teaching related to spirituality and spiritual care.

Survey research was used in this study. The participants were recruited from publicly funded associate degree nursing programs in the southeast who are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The number of faculty participants was 206.

The Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale (SSCRS,) (McSherry & Jamieson, 2011) was used to explore nursing faculties’ understanding of the terms spirituality and spiritual care. The findings showed that participants had very strong beliefs about spirituality and its intrinsic value to patients.

The Spiritual Care Content Scale (SCCS; Lemmer, 2002) explored what content was taught in nursing programs, the content most often covered included (a) the influence of cultural beliefs on spiritual care (77.9%), (b) spiritual needs of the dying and their families (76.2%), (c) the assessment of spiritual needs (71.3%), and (d) active listening as a means of spiritual care (66.2%).

Integration of spirituality education into the nursing curriculum was also, addressed. Not surprisingly, lecture was the main method for teaching the spiritual dimension, followed by discussions, clinical and reading assignments, nursing models, role play and guest speakers.

The final question sought faculty member’s perception of whether they receive sufficient support and guidance in teaching related to spirituality and spiritual care. The majority of the faculty said no (84.1%, n=146).

These findings support the literature regarding the lack of perceived training and support for nurses related to the spiritual dimension and the need for greater integration of spirituality and spiritual care in the nursing curriculum. Providing guidelines for the provision of spiritual care and continued research in this area is warranted.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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