HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 17-19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA

October 17 -19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA
NWC 2023

Katy Fisher Cunningham

Speaker at Nursing Conferences - Katy Fisher Cunningham
The University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, United States
Title : Investigating NICU nurses’ perceptions and understanding of social determinants of health: A pilot study


This pilot study is currently in progress. Healthy People 2030 offers definitions of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH). Currently, SDoH are not addressed consistently across nursing curricula, meaning nurses may have varying understanding of SDoH. Some evidence suggests SDoH have a significant impact on patient healthcare engagement and outcomes (Rochin et al., 2021; Weber & Harrison, 2019). The March of Dimes 2022 Report card revealed that the number of preterm births increased by 4%, bringing the rate to the highest percentage for birthing individuals of all races since 2007. In the United States, being a child of a racial or ethnic minority and having parents with limited education significantly increases the child’s risk of experiencing adverse childhood events that leads to poor health outcomes (Slopen et al., 2016). Birthing individuals with exposure to adverse childhood events (ACEs) and low socioeconomic status are at higher risk for preterm births (Christiaens et al., 2015). Babies born preterm and medically fragile infants are often cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As such, it is important that a baseline of NICU nurses’ understanding of SDoH is established while accounting for the factors that contribute to variability such as nurses’ work experience, age, gender, race, and ethnicity. The need for this proposed study is justified because a review of literature revealed a paucity of evidence outlining nursing perceptions of the influence of SDoH on their screenings/assessments and education. The authors developed an original tool based on the Healthy People 2030 domains of SDoH to determine NICU nurses understanding of SDoH and the barriers to screening clients for these factors. The tool is being pilot tested in March of 2023. The data gleaned from the tools will be both qualitative and quantitative. After data analysis establishes a baseline of knowledge regarding SDoH, education programs can be created to bridge gaps, clarify misunderstanding, and provide insight into holistic care. Providing education tailored to the needs of the clientele within the NICU specialty area has the potential to increase nurse satisfaction and improve patient outcomes.

Audience Take Away:

  1. Define the domains of social determinants of health (SDoH) according to Healthy People 2030.
  2. Identify SDoH specific to various client (patient) populations.
  3. Describe barriers for nurses in assessing SDoH with clients (patients).
  • Nurses can use established definitions of SDoH to develop population-specific screening tools.
  • The target audience for this presentation is nurses in multiple roles. Nurses will administer the screening tool to clients. The processes and protocols will be built into electronic medical records. By having a standardized process for data collection, nurse managers will be able to track data related to the appropriateness of patient-centered nursing interventions, referrals, and outcomes.


Dr. Katy Fisher-Cunningham earned her associate degree in nursing from Murray State College. Dr. Fisher-Cunningham completed her BSN through the Degree Completion (RN to BSN) program, her Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Her BSN, MSN, and PhD were all earned from Oklahoma City University. Dr. Fisher-Cunningham’s nursing career has focused primarily on neuroscience complex care and nursing administration. Dr. Fisher-Cunningham has been a fulltime nurse educator since 2017. Her research interests include fostering pre-licensure nursing students’ clinical judgment, social determinants of health, and social justice issues.