Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Vowell Johnson, Kelly

Reader

Smith-Blair, Nancy J

Second Reader

Scott, Allison

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles and perceptions of elementary school nurses in the management and prevention of childhood obesity within the school environment. An emailed online survey was distributed to school nurses of 35 elementary schools located in Washington County in Northwest Arkansas. The survey used for this study contained 42 questions and was an adaptation of the Minnesota School Nurse Survey, which was developed by Dr. Martha Y. Kubik. The study sample consisted of all school nurses employed by the Elkins School District, Farmington School District, Fayetteville School District, Greenland School District, Lincoln School District, Prairie Grove School District, Springdale School District, and West Fork School District. The number of complete survey responses was seventeen. Data was analyzed using frequency distribution to examine the prevalence of key variables. Interestingly enough, the majority of nurses surveyed agreed that schools should provide annual assessments of students’ weight, height, and body mass index and make that information available to parents, but disagreed that the school nurse has adequate time to supervise and monitor obesity prevention efforts at school. Additionally, since the majority of nurses surveyed disagreed that the school nurse is prepared to supervise and monitor obesity prevention efforts at school, future focus needs to include increased professional development about measures in which the school nurse can participate in to increase obesity management and prevention and increased time and support from the school and healthcare professionals.

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