Influence of a poverty simulation on nursing student attitudes toward poverty

J Nurs Educ. 2012 Nov;51(11):617-22. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20120914-01. Epub 2012 Sep 14.


This study aimed to determine a poverty simulation's influence on nursing students' attitudes toward poverty. Five cohorts of baccalaureate nursing students participated in the study; two cohorts (experimental group, n = 103) participated in the simulation and three did not (control group, n = 75). The Attitudes Towards Poverty Short Form was administered before the simulation and 6 weeks later; higher scores indicated more positive attitudes toward poverty. Experimental group pretest scores were higher. Higher pretest global scores were negatively correlated with religious affiliation (Spearman's rho = -0.294, p = 0.000) and positively correlated with prior poverty exposure (Spearman's rho = 0.284, p = 0.000) and liberal political views (Spearman's rho = 0.444, p = 0.000). Controlling for pretest differences, posttest mean scores for the experimental group (78.73) were significantly higher (p = 0.007). The poverty simulation is an engaging learning experience providing an opportunity for students to gain sensitivity in working with this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Poverty / psychology*
  • Stereotyping
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Young Adult