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Changes in medical practice have led to decreased provider face-to-face time with patients. Healthcare providers are increasingly reliant on nurses to provide patient education during clinic visits. However, lack of knowledge and confidence in educating patients is a significant barrier to the utilization of nurses to enhance the delivery of comprehensive health care by providing health education to patients and families. Postgraduate nursing education is often presented as informal information rather than during dedicated formal education. Formal teaching of disease specific content is associated with increased knowledge and self-confidence which may translate to improved patient education. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of formal contraceptive education on nursing knowledge and confidence in the delivery of patient education.


This was an IRB-exempt Quality Improvement (QI) study at a large metropolitan children’s hospital. A survey with established content validity consisting of 20 questions with responses on a Likert scale (Figure 1) was administered to a convenience sample of nurses within the Division of Gynecology. The survey was administered immediately pre- and post- as well as 30 days after a 1-hour formal educational session delivered by an APRN that included hormonal contraceptive options, instructions on use, and potential side effects (Figure 1). Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS Version 28.0 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY).


Seventy-five percent of the gynecology nurses (9 out of 12) completed the pre and post surveys, 1 dropped out for the 30-day post survey. There were varying responses regarding confidence about nurses’ ability to answer questions about contraceptive medications, ability to teach medications and review adverse effects with patients/families (Table1). There was an increased confidence with assessing learning, illness and disease states.


Although patient education is a key part of patient care, nurses express varying levels of confidence in teaching patients about hormonal contraception despite formal education. Limitations of this pilot study include small sample size with precluded inferential statistical analysis on the effect on formal teaching on survey responses. Future studies are needed to evaluate factors associated with lack of nurses’ expressed lack of confidence with patient education and the effects of nursing education on patient comfort with use of prescribed hormonal contraception.

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Nursing Knowledge and Confidence Scale