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Barriers to Skin Cancer Practices, Improving Skin Cancer Knowledge, Nurse Practitioners, Primary Care Providers, Prevention, Skin Cancer, Sun Protection



  1. Hartnett, Pamela D.
  2. O'Keefe, Catherine


Background: The surgeon general states that skin cancer is a key public health problem. Skin cancer is highly preventable; however, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States.


Purpose: The purpose of this scholarly project was to increase the skin cancer knowledge and lesion identification among primary care nurse practitioners.


Methods: A descriptive survey using a convenience sample of current members of the Nebraska Nurse Practitioners Association was administered to determine baseline knowledge of skin cancer. This was followed by a 15-minute online educational program. A posttest was then administered. The data were collected using, and a pairwise comparison was completed. The program was available online for 9 weeks with one reminder at 4 weeks. This was approved by Creighton University Institutional Review Board as an exempt study.


Results: Approximately 350 surveys were distributed to members of Nebraska Nurse Practitioners via e-mail with 14 respondent; three completed only the pretest and one completed only the posttest. There were 10 who completed the entire program.


Findings: Ten of ten respondents improved their overall scores from pretest to posttest. A paired t test was used, and on average, subjects improved their scores by 25% (p < .0001). The evaluation indicated that 70% of respondents were likely to change their practice because of participating in this program.


Conclusions: This study revealed that nurse practitioners can increase their skin cancer knowledge and skin lesion identification after a brief online educational program. A larger sample would be needed to be able to generalize these findings.