Nurses' agricultural education in the southeastern United States

Deborah B. Reed, Carol Hoffman, Susan C. Westneat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The number of nurses across the United States with expertise in agricultural health nursing is unknown, yet as many as 8,000 are needed. This article describes agricultural health content in nursing programs in the southeastern United States. Agriculture is primarily family based but ranks among the top three most hazardous industries in America. Nurses in the southeastern United States serve more than 541,000 farm families, more than a quarter of the nation's agricultural population. A 15-item survey was mailed to 185 nursing schools located within 13 southeastern states. Information was requested about undergraduate and graduate curricula that included information about agricultural health and safety. Surveys were returned from 113 programs (61.1%). Schools with larger percentages of rural students were more likely to include mention of agricultural health; however, scant attention was given to any rurally focused content. In 27.4% of the schools, no mention of agricultural health issues was made, and 54.0% of nursing faculty who completed the survey were not aware of the need for nurses with agricultural health expertise. Results suggested that, when agricultural health topics were presented in class, student interest in the topic increased. Given the occupational hazards faced in agriculture and the region's economic dependence on agriculture, increased attention should be focused on agricultural health content within nursing programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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