Undergraduate Pediatric Nursing Education: Issues, Challenges and Recommendations.

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Prof Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


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The topic is a national review of content and clinical experiences in undergraduate pediatric nursing education with recommendations for strengthening the pediatric nursing curriculum. American Association of Colleges of Nursing member programs (N = 596) were surveyed with 344 schools responding. A 39-item survey collected school demographics, faculty characteristics, pediatric classroom and clinical information, and actual and perceived barriers to implementing the pediatric curriculum. Recommendations for change were offered by participants attending the 2011 Institute of Pediatric Nursing Nursing Forum. A mean of 33 (SD = 27) total undergraduate faculty included an average of 3.1 (SD = 3.11) faculty with graduate specialization and/or recent clinical experience in pediatrics. Within a mean of 43 (range = 0-136 hours) pediatric classroom hours, more than 59% of programs reported 2 hours or less in pediatric genetics, environmental health, and child nutrition. Content focused on acute and specialty care with programs using pediatric inpatient medical (68%) and surgical units (40%) for clinical learning. Recruiting pediatric faculty was a common issue and reported as extremely (23%) to moderately difficult (26%). Competition for clinical practice sites (76%) was a reported barrier. Adjustments in the pediatric undergraduate curriculum are recommended to highlight current health issues experienced by children including expansion of clinical learning experiences to settings where children live, learn, and play.

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