Past experiences, current realities and future possibilities for HIV nursing education and care in Canada

Judy Mill, Vera Caine, Cheryl Arneson, Geoffrey Maina, Anthony De Padua, Margaret Dykeman


Nurses may have inadequate basic education and opportunities for continuing education in relation to HIV care. As well nurses may perpetuate and impose stigma. We developed, implemented and evaluated an educational intervention to reduce stigma and discrimination among nurses providing HIV care. The intervention used a mentorship model that brought experienced nurses in HIV care and people living with HIV together with nurses who wanted to learn more about HIV nursing care. We examined our findings in relation to past experiences, current realities and future possibilities for HIV nursing education and care in Canada. Our findings demonstrated that many nurses were interested in improving their HIV care, yet few opportunities existed for them to do so. We found that HIV nursing education and expertise were significantly different among participants and across clinical sites. This difference was visible in basic education, services offered for HIV and AIDS care, the collaborative and inter-professional nature of care, and opportunities for continuing education. Mentorship education is an effective strategy to not only address a critical void in knowledge, but also to promote a fundamental shift in attitudes. With the recent call by the World Health Organization to place nurses in key positions to provide HIV care, treatment and prevention, it is imperative to prepare nurses at both the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as those in practice, to fulfill this call.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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