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Keywords

Dermatology, Improving Skin Cancer Knowledge, Lesion Identification, Neoplasms, Nurse Practitioner Students, Skin Cancer

 

Authors

  1. Woodmansee, Ryan
  2. Turnage, Dawn
  3. Loerzel, Victoria

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Early detection and treatment of skin cancer is directly related to patient outcomes. However, little is known about how prepared nurse practitioner students are to assess and manage skin lesions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess nurse practitioner student knowledge to determine how well they are being prepared to perform skin cancer assessments. This exploratory, descriptive study surveyed 20 nurse practitioner students about their knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in identifying different skin lesions. Most participants had average knowledge scores related to general skin cancer knowledge (6.4/13 correct) and photo lesion identification (9.65/20 correct). Most students felt they lacked enough dermatology training to prepare them for practice. Most students did not feel confident performing skin cancer assessments, had a hard time differentiating between benign and malignant lesions, and would rather refer patients to a specialist for diagnosis. Nurse practitioner curricula should consider allotting more time for dermatology topics, especially learning to recognize whether a lesion is benign or malignant.