Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Janice Long


Low health literacy (LHL)--when patients do not understand their treatment or medications--has been linked to poor healthcare outcomes. Nurses need to know how to assess health literacy (HL) and teach pediatric patients and their families to help ensure that patients and family members can understand and follow health education messages. Evidence-based HL tools were obtained from a literature search and used to create a nursing staff education program on pediatric patient HL assessment and education. The project answered the practice-focused question that asked whether a staff education program on HL assessment and management would improve nursing knowledge of HL for pediatric patients and families. Piaget's theory was used to guide the development of the education program on age-specific literacy needs; Kotter's theory of change was used to inform the plan for using HL assessment, which was presented to 34 participants in the local practice setting. Participants were randomly chosen from local professionals in nursing education and participation was voluntary. A panel of 3 experts, including a nurse expert on HL, reviewed and approved the education program, quiz questions, and participant survey. Pretest results (N = 32) showed a mean score of 6.53, and the posttest mean score was 7.66. Results of the paired t test showed significant improvement (t = -4.378, p = .000) in participant knowledge of HL after the education program. The project findings can promote positive social change through improvement in nurses' knowledge about HL and health outcomes for pediatric patients.