Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Committee Chair

Tracy Arnold


Health literacy has been defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (Somers & Mahadevan, 2010, p. 7). Poor health literacy is directly and indirectly linked to negative health outcomes, to include an increased rate of mortality (Alijassim & Ostini, 2020; Wittenberg, et al. 2018; Nantsupawat, 2019; Torres & Nichols, 2014). An essential component for effective delivery of health information is the use of “plain language”, which makes information easier to understand (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). There is limited information regarding organizational training about health literacy assessment and support for nurses. Communication between a nurse and a patient is critical when addressing health literacy; however, education and training provided by organizations for healthcare staff does not routinely address effective communication techniques using clear, plain language (Coleman & Fromer, 2015; Warde et al., 2018). Communication problems between healthcare staff and patients are worsened when healthcare staff assume that a patient understands more of what is being discussed (Warde et al., 2018). The following documentation provides recommended action plan that focuses on designing an educational session that will equip nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure that effective health literacy support is provided for patients in rural and medically underserved areas.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Nursing Commons