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US Nurses’ Perceptions Regarding Caring for Suspected, Probable, and Confirmed Ebola Virus Disease Patients, Part 1

A Quantitative Analysis

Speroni, Karen Gabel PhD, RN; Seibert, Dorothy J. PhD, RN, CIC; Mallinson, R. Kevin PhD, RN, AACRN, FAAN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: October 2015 - Volume 45 - Issue 10 - p 477–484
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000238

Objective: This study examined US hospital, ambulatory/outpatient facility, and clinic nurses’ perceptions regarding care of persons under investigation (PUIs) and confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) patients and EVD nursing workforce impact.

Background: Timely research was warranted to better understand nurses’ perceptions.

Methods: This survey research used convenience sampling of RNs, LPNs, and nurse technicians. Respondents completed a 45-item electronic validated survey.

Results: Overall average perceived risk with providing care was higher for confirmed EVD patients (5.2) than PUIs (4.8) (0 = no risk, 10 = highest risk). Few had cared for confirmed EVD patients (0.3%) or PUIs (0.7%). Whereas 48.4% felt prepared in protecting themselves from contracting EVD, 25.2% were concerned with contracting EVD. More nurses (45.9%) felt they should be able to opt out of caring for confirmed EVD patients as compared with those caring for PUIs (39.2%). EVD emergence had not affected (85.8%) nurses’ willingness to provide direct patient care; however, 6.8% reported EVD has decreased years planned in the nursing workforce.

Conclusions: Nurses reported moderate risk for EVD-related patient care; 6.8% may leave the workforce earlier.

Author Affiliations: Clinical Nurse Scientist (Dr Speroni), Independent, Leesburg; Infection Preventionist (Dr Seibert), Independent, Warrenton; and Associate Professor, Assistant Dean, Doctoral Division (Dr Mallinson), School of Nursing, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Speroni (

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