Good oral health is important to overall health. Oral and pharyngeal cancers account for 2% of all cancers, yet no signify cant improvement in mortality has been demonstrated over the past 30 years. Nurses are in a unique position to integrate and conduct oral health assessments across a wide range of practice settings. Although nursing programs include health assessment and promotion in their curricula, there is poor integration of oral health as a focus. This study aimed to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of baccalaureate nursing students about oral health assessment. A convenience sample of 163 students in two undergraduate courses within a baccalaureate nursing education program was surveyed. Findings indicated that these nursing students felt that oral health was essential to their nursing practice; however, they did not have a full understanding of the key components of an oral health examination or about effective smoking cessation strategies.
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