BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia is a serious global health concern. It is essential that student nurses who are the future of healthcare are equipped with the right knowledge to care for the unique needs of patients with neutropenia.
OBJECTIVE: The study assesses student nurses' knowledge of neutropenia management and examines the difference in their knowledge with regard to their demographics.
DESIGN: A descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used.
SETTINGS: Participants for this survey were recruited from four nursing schools from three countries: Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
PARTICIPANTS: The study sample comprised 230 student nurses representing all three countries.
METHODS: Online data collection was implemented. A message including the link to the study questionnaire was sent to students through their university portal. Demographic data and the neutropenia knowledge questionnaire were collected.
RESULTS: The student nurses showed poor knowledge of neutropenia and its management (mean = 10.1 out of 30). The bridging students (M = 12.6, SD = 9.8) had significantly higher mean total knowledge scores than the regular students (M = 9.8, SD = 5.5) (t = 2.9, df = 38.9, p = 0.006). However, students who had received previous education about neutropenia management (M = 11.6, SD = 5.0) had significantly higher mean knowledge scores than those who had not (M = 9.5, SD = 5.6) (t = -2.73, df = 134.8, p = 0.007).
CONCLUSIONS: The study findings underscore the overarching necessity to improve students' knowledge of neutropenia and its management. However, addressing this concern is multifaceted and requires deliberate effort from various agencies. Developing innovative strategies to increase the coverage of oncology nursing in the curriculum, improving faculty expertise, enhancing staff nurses' knowledge and skills, provision of funding, and adoption of oncology-related competencies in the nursing program need to be explored as key solutions.
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