Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN, CNS



Due to an array of reasons relating to vaccine hesitancy, many newborns are without their standardized and recommended vaccinations as a result of their parent’s beliefs. Parents hold the power to vaccinate their children. Nurses must provide reliable information, debunk myths, and pursue pro-vaccination ideas when educating a parent about newborn vaccinations. By doing so, vaccine hesitancy should decrease and vaccination rates should increase. Unvaccinated newborns are put at a greater risk of contracting serious illnesses that may spread to others or even lead to one’s own death.


To identify common factors regarding vaccine-hesitant parents of the newborn population using data from the research studies investigated. Some studies may include data from a newborn and adolescent population (up to 18 years of age), but the primary focus of this thesis is on the newborn population. Both reasons for vaccine hesitancy and probable educational interventions will be researched. The evidence gathered will then be interpreted to formulate an effective plan to promote the benefits of getting vaccinated using face-to-face patient education and appropriate healthcare resources.

Summary of Findings

After reviewing a variety of reliable research studies, it is evident that there is a pattern between those who feel vaccine hesitancy versus those who do not. The overarching factors include personal beliefs, religious beliefs, political beliefs, lack of knowledge, and lack of access to resources. However, one study revealed that parents are not against vaccinations as long as the benefits clearly outweigh any potential consequences. Parents are also likely to turn around their vaccine-hesitant perspective for their children.


Once a clearer understanding of vaccine hesitancy in parents and its relation to their children is developed, the proposal of a quantitative study will be made. This quantitative study will be quasi-experimental and will focus on expecting mothers. The study will use survey and experimental methods to determine if patient education intervention is effective for combating vaccine-hesitant beliefs and improving vaccination rates.