Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Mary Rose Mueller, PhD, RN, Chairperson; Ann M. Mayo, DNSc, RN; Susan L. Instone, DNSc, CPNP


California, children & youth, nursing, school nurses, Sexual health education


A critical need exists to provide adolescents with sexual health education as demonstrated by our nation's position in having the highest adolescent pregnancy rates among all the developed nations. The critical need is further pronounced by California's changing demographic profile of young Latinos who are projected to be the majority in 2042 and continue to demonstrate higher pregnancy and birth rates than other racial and ethnic groups. Currently, there is limited evidence to confirm if California's students are receiving sexual and reproductive health as required by law, nor is there evidence to link school nurses as teachers or consultants in sexuality education (SE). The purpose of this study is to describe the degree of knowledge, attitude, and subjective norm with intent to participate in SE. Three articles evolved from the dissertation: 1) a historical research article about the history and politics of adolescent sexual education policy and collaborative opportunities for bi-national nurses, 2) a methods article on the process of utilizing the content validity index on a pre-existing, theoretically-based instrument, and 3) the analysis of the research findings that resulted from a survey with California school nurses utilizing the adapted and recently validated questionnaire that describes the variables that lead to intention and participation in SE. This research is the first of its kind to describe the perspectives of school nurses as educators of sexual health content in the U.S. This study takes a step towards addressing gaps in research about school nurses and their contribution in sexual health education. This study will be instrumental in defining the role of the school nurse as sexual health educator and provides foundational data to advance school nurse research, translate knowledge into evidence based practice, and supports the need to incorporate sexuality education into nursing's core curriculum.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons