Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Laura Kuensting


Louise Miller

Keri Jupka


Problem: To date, little evidence exists to understand attitudes of SARS-CoV-2 in frontline healthcare workers (HCW) and first responders (FR), related to best practices in mitigating virus spread. The purpose of this project was to assess attitudes toward COVID-19 in young adults, ages 18-44 years old, who are frontline workers related to their adherence to PPE guidelines, social distancing, hand hygiene, community exposures, and vaccinations.

Methods: A descriptive survey design using five-point Likert scale questions and 26 open-ended questions and was implemented one-year after onset of the pandemic. A purposive sample working in a large, urban, Midwest metropolitan area was recruited to participate.

Results: A total of 176 survey responses were completed by frontline healthcare workers (n = 158) and first responders (n = 18). A significant positive correlation was observed amongst agreements to mask mandates and social distancing (rs = 0.35, p < .001), agreements to social distance and receive vaccinations (rs = 0.16, p = .042), and experiencing an emotional impact from COVID-19 and agreeing to vaccinate (rs = 0.24, p = .002). Over one year into the pandemic, 86% of frontline workers agree with the need to receive a COVID-19 prevention vaccine.

Implications for Practice: While COVID-19 vaccines were first presented to essential workers, their influence and encouragement spreads to their fellow friends and family which in turn, can impact vaccination willingness and ultimately rates.