Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Date Information

May 2016


School of Nursing

First Advisor

Hannah Fraley


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Many people are aware that oral contraceptives (OCs) are used to correct unwanted side effects from a woman's menstrual cycle or used to prevent an unwanted pregnancy from occurring, or used in combination. However, many students are unaware of side effects and risks that OCs can have upon each individual consumer. The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate nursing students' understanding of OCs and compare it to undergraduate non-nursing students' understanding ofOCs to see if the side effects of OCs are truly understood.

DESIGN AND METHODS: A quantitative study was conducted among undergraduate students attending Salem State University, located in Salem, Massachusetts. The survey was accessible from early November 2015 until December 2015. An online survey database was utilized to collect responses electronically and was sent to both nursing and non-nursing students who attended Salem State University during that time frame.

RESULTS: Regardless of the major or class standing, most participants had a general understanding of the risks and side effects that OCs can have.

IMPLICATIONS: Healthcare providers should focus teaching on OCs towards helping consumers accurately understand the side effects and risks that are associated with this medication, along with deciphering the truth from various misconceptions.