Knowledge and Attitudes of Advanced Practice Nursing Students Towards Depression

Advanced Practice Nursing students do not have appropriate knowledge and attitudes to manage depression. There have been no previous studies that have looked specifically at the knowledge and attitudes of advanced practice nursing student’s towards depression, prior to graduation. Current research focuses primarily on the knowledge and attitudes of licensed Nurse Practitioners and Physicians, and their comfort level with managing depression. The sample subjects are registered nurses enrolled in one of four Nurse Practitioner programs: 1). CSUSM Family Nurse Practitioner, 2) Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, 3). SDSU Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, and 4). SDSU Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. The survey tool is a modified Depression Attitude Questionnaire, which has been used in various other research articles to assess the knowledge and attitudes of health care providers towards managing depression. Additional questions were added to assess for comfort level of managing depression and demographic information. The questionnaire was distributed in person and electronically via Survey Monkey. Attitudes of APN students towards managing depression is positive, including feeling comfortable assessing for depression and discussing depression related information with other health care professionals. The study also showed significant correlation between APN student’s increasing age and increased positive attitudes towards depression. The study questions pertaining to knowledge were not found to be statistically reliable and therefore were not included in the study findings.