Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Mellanie L. Braswell


Medical assistants (MAs) and nurses provide primary care to patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, differences in their standard workflow were observed to affect the provision of preventive care. This warranted intervention due to prevalence of ongoing HIV-related stigma that affects HIV prevention and care. The practice-focused question asked whether an educational program could fill an identified gap in knowledge to assuage the fears of MAs and nurses providing care to HIV-positive patients. The project was guided by Kolb’s experiential learning theory and Lewin’s change theory. The purpose was to develop an educational program to educate the staff based on the recommendations set forth by the Office of National AIDS Policy in its National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020, which includes goals to improve access and reduce health disparities. A 5-point Likert scale, 7-item pretraining and posttraining survey and a training evaluation were completed by 5 nurses and MAs who attended a video-taped training that sought to address the stigma experienced by HIV-positive patients. The survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. A key finding was that 40% of staff reported after the training possessing an undiscovered HIV-related stigma. Findings support the value of implementing an educational program to teach staff the facts about HIV to change their attitudes and assuage their fears. This has implications for positive social change: HIV-positive patients would receive more equitable care and thus health disparities associated with the stigma would be reduced.