Document Type



Doctor of Nursing Practice



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Cathy Koetting, PhD, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FNP-C


Cathy Koetting, PhD, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, FNP-C

Sarah Jackson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Cathee Wolford, MSW


Problem: Nurse practitioners lack knowledge and skills to effectively communicate with D/deaf individuals which potentiates risk for health disparities and gaps in care. Graduate nursing programs rarely incorporate D/deaf-focused education in their curriculums.

Methods: This descriptive quality improvement project implemented the first D/deaf-focused educational online module at a Midwestern university’s College of Nursing. A purposive sample of 38 BSN-DNP students enrolled in the Spring Intensive completed a pre- and post-education survey. Both surveys assessed students’ D/deaf perceptions through Lewis and Keele’s (2020) D/deaf and Hard of Hearing Interaction Beliefs Scale for Registered Nurses (DdHH-IBS/RN) and evaluated students’ knowledge through a modified version of Greene and Scott’s (2021) and Ruesch’s (2018) published instruments. Additionally, the post-education survey included two Likert questions to rate the education and its inclusion in the graduate curriculum.

Results:Students’ mean pre-education knowledge score (71%) was below Ruesch’s (2018) 75% benchmark score, indicating a need for educational intervention. A statistically significant increase in students’ D/deaf perception and knowledge scores were seen after completing the D/deaf focused educational online module (p

Implications for Practice: The D/deaf-focused online module provided foundational education on how to effectively approach D/deaf individuals, and the results suggest the online module could be valuable for future graduate cohorts. Further research is needed to evaluate how successful students are in translating knowledge into clinical practice.

Additional Files

Pauley, B Poster.pptx (673 kB)