Date of Completion

Spring 4-29-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Ruth Lucas

Honors Major



Family Practice Nursing | Maternal and Child Health | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health


Introduction: Due to the decriminalization of marijuana use by states in the United States, marijuana use has drastically increased in the general populations and in women who are pregnant. During prenatal care, nurses provide education about pregnancy and fetal development.

Objective: This study explore the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of undergraduate nursing students on marijuana use for individuals and during pregnancy.

Method: The study design was cross-sectional survey with 15-question survey using Likert scale and yes/no questions. Nursing students and non-nursing undergraduate students responses were compared.

Results: Sixty-four nursing students (female, n=50) completed the survey. Nursing students in comparison to the population as a whole agreed that marijuana use was okay (M = 64, SD = 11.515), t(63) = 47.7803, p = .0001, was okay for the general population (M = 64, SD = 1.25), t(63) = 22.765, p = .0001, and for use during pregnancy (M = 64, SD = 7.93), t(63) = 47.678, p = .0001. In comparison to non-nursing students, nursing students were significantly more supportive of general marijuana use t(111) = -2.03, p = .045 and use during pregnancy t(111) = -2.35, p =.020 but not in their belief on the effect on the fetus.

Discussion: Nursing students significantly approve of marijuana use in both the general population and during pregnancy but demonstrate a lack of knowledge related to effect marijuana has on fetal development or the infant. As future providers, nursing student’s understanding of the therapeutic use of marijuana should be addressed throughout their curriculum.