Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Barbara Niedz


In the United States, 79 million people are currently infected with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and it is estimated that an additional 14 to 20 million people will be infected with HPV every year. Infection with HPV increased to 52.7 % of preventable infections within the United States in 2012, and 39.6% of the infected population are adolescents engaged in sexual activities. The practice-focused question that this project addressed was: To what extent can an educational program influence the HPV vaccination rate in a small family practice clinic located in Texas? The main purpose of this project was to increase education within the clinic community using a quality improvement approach and guided by Healthy People Goals 2020. Barriers to HPV vaccination were validated through focus group discussion held with clinic staff. Parental resistance was due to a misconception that the vaccine would lead to sexual promiscuity in the adolescent population, and that a single dose is adequate protection. A bilingual educational session was held with 15 clinic staff members with the purpose of enhancing knowledge, influencing parental attitudes and beliefs, providing patient educational tools, and thereby increasing vaccination acceptance by 37.8% within an underserved and vulnerable population. The results of the focus group and educational sessions were presented to an expert panel made up of five community leaders and the senior clinic leader who approved the approach and suggested additional ways to promote HPV vaccination. Clinic leadership agreed to adjust policy mandating use of the educational materials with clinic patients. Positive social change will result from the integration of this educational approach into clinic practice by increasing vaccination acceptance.