Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Maija Petersons

Second Advisor

Dr. Linda Dannison

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Lagerwey

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Malnutrition is widespread in healthcare and effective protocols are needed to identify those at risk. Nurses are well suited to carry out screening for malnutrition because they are in close contact with the patient and are responsible to coordinate each patient's care. In order to perform this role nurses must have nutrition knowledge and the skills to complete an accurate nutrition screen. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between nursing nutrition knowledge, nursing attitudes towards nutrition, and the accurate completion of a nutrition screening protocol. Patient's charts were reviewed for accurate completion of the nutrition screening protocol and appropriate referral to the Registered Dietitian. Nutrition knowledge and attitude scores were obtained by surveying each nurse. Results were then compared.

This study confirmed that patients at nutritional risk were not consistently identified. No correlation was found between the nurses' knowledge of nutrition and successful identification of patients at nutritional risk with appropriate referral to the R.D. Years in acute care correlated significantly with opinions strongly agreeing that nutrition has an impact on health and wellness. Factors including part time status and attitudes towards identification of malnutrition may be worthy of further examination.

Included in

Nursing Commons