Health Literacy Education in Baccalaureate Nursing Programs in the United States

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This study’s aim was to determine the prevalence of health literacy education in nursing programs. Health literacy content and teaching strategies were also explored.


Over 75 million Americans have low health literacy, a problem that can cause negative health outcomes. Knowledge about health literacy is important for nurses; yet, the extent to which the topic is included within nursing curricula is unknown.


An online survey was distributed to 150 nursing programs to obtain information about health literacy education in the curricula.


Fifty-seven programs responded, with the majority reporting that health literacy is taught in their curricula. The impact of low health literacy and the importance of plain language were noted as common topics.


The majority of participants reported inclusion of health literacy in their curricula using various teaching strategies. However, a low response rate prevents generalized conclusions.

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