Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


Pressure ulcers are a widespread and expensive problem that people with impaired mobility of all ages face in both acute care and community settings. Nurses have the primary responsibility for ensuring patients do not experience pressure ulcers. Nurses perform an instrumental role in the assessment and evaluation of pressure ulcers and their risk management. Nurses are initially taught about pressure ulcers and pressure ulcer prevention (PUP) during their basic nursing education. If nurses are insufficiently educated or ill prepared to effectively prevent pressure ulcers, the patient ultimately suffers. For this reason, nursing students must be well educated and knowledgeable about pressure ulcer prevention to improve patient outcomes and collaborate efficiently with other healthcare professionals in preventing pressure ulcers. The purpose of this study was to analyze senior undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes about and experiences with pressure ulcer prevention. The research methodology was qualitative exploratory descriptive design. The primary data sources were 16 undergraduate nursing students in a baccalaureate program. Eight participants completed the first two years of nursing courses through affiliated associate degree programs, and eight completed all their nursing courses in the baccalaureate program. Data were collected through face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with email follow-up. Interviews were digitally recorded and data transcribed and subsequently analyzed to identify salient themes using a generative coding strategy. Six themes were identified from the data: 1) Experiences associated with pressure ulcer prevention practices; 2) Attitudes towards pressure ulcer prevention; 3) Experiences of passionate and committed nursing students; 4) Conspicuous lack of focus about pressure ulcer prevention; 5) Patient autonomy—a challenging concept for nursing students; and 6) Student recommendations specific to learning pressure ulcer prevention. The implications of this study may serve as a resource for schools of nursing to revise and incorporate PUP education into their curricula. Nursing faculty should develop and incorporate evidence-based educational materials and activities about PUP and pressure ulcer management that target meaningful learning activities using immersive, hands-on experiences in pressure ulcer prevalence studies, engagement in activities with “skin champion” preceptors, and clinical experiences targeted at PUP. Nursing faculty should collaborate with wound care nurses, clinical preceptors, and clinical staff to involve nursing students in PUP learning activities and direct exposure to severe pressure ulcers.




School of Nursing

Available for download on Friday, December 31, 9999