Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Pamela Wadsworth

Second Advisor

Elissa Allen

Third Advisor

Lisa Singleterry



The purpose of this presentation is to exhibit the synthesis of research on the prevalence of sexual harassment against nursing students in clinical and academic settings. This presentation will also address research findings on to the effectiveness of programs to combat this problem.

Data Sources

Gather data from the databases CINAHL, ClinicalKey, PubMed, OVID and Scopus using the search terms “sexual harassment in nurs*”, “patient initiated sexual harassment”, “sexual harassment healthcare workers”, and “sexual harassment healthcare environment”.

Data Extraction

Inclusion criteria: published between the years 2009 -2019, primary research, nursing students as participants, sexual harassment experiences, harassment occurrences inside the healthcare setting (excluding intimate partner/domestic violence), research articles, and written in English. A total of 535 non-duplicate articles were initially located.

Titles were rejected for the following reasons: participants were not nursing students (n=521), lack of assessment or focus on sexual harassment (n=1). In addition, there were 260 duplications. Thirteen abstracts were then reviewed; (n=3) were rejected because of a focus on populations other than nursing students, (n=1) was rejected because it was not a research article. Nine articles met all of the inclusion criteria.

Data Synthesis

Initial analysis revealed that there is a wide range of sexual harassment against nursing students, from 4.2% to 71.7%. Most of the research occurred outside of the U.S. (n=7/9). There is scant research on the effectiveness of programs in responding to sexual harassment of nursing students. However, initial findings show that reporting systems and guidelines result in increased nursing student knowledge and appropriate response.


The lack of standardization of assessing sexual harassment against nursing students combined with a lack of research in the U.S. indicate more research is needed. More research is also needed to evaluate the effectiveness of programs to monitor and respond to sexual harassment against nursing students.


Maria Roche-Dean, Fourth Advisor

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Nursing Commons