Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Allison Terry


Nonmedical prescription drug (NMPD) use is a well-documented problem among college students, but few studies have examined nursing students' attitudes regarding NMPD. The purpose of this study was to compare nursing and non-nursing students' attitudes, risk factors, and current substance use. This descriptive, comparative design utilized a convenience sampling and social media to reach students over 18 years of age and enrolled in a Midwestern university. Twenty-nine students, 14 non-nursing and 15 nursing students, participated in this online survey. Substance use attitudes were measured using the Drug Attitude Scale (DAS). Risk factors for substance use were used as demographic questions and current drug use was measured using the Drug Abuse Screening Tool (DAST). Logistic regression (Chi-Square/Fisher's Exact) analyses were used to observe the association between risk factors for substance abuse and nursing/non-nursing students. Additionally, a Simple Linear Regression (Two-Sample T-tests) was used to assess the relationship between DAS and DAST scores between nursing/non-nursing students. Prior to discussing the results of the statistical tests, descriptive statistics of the demographic variables of the participants are presented. Data analysis revealed no significant difference in attitude, risk factors, and substance use among nursing students and non-nursing students. Limitations included the low number of participants and access to students via social media only. The fact that nursing students receive additional training in pharmacology, we presume these students know the risks of drug use, therefore nursing students would have a lower rate of substance use; however, this study revealed no significant difference in attitudes or current substance use among nursing and non-nursing students.

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