The emergency contraceptive pill is a method of postcoital contraception. The method, often called the morning after pill, is relatively unknown, both among potential users and some health care providers. Morning after pills are available at the health centers of many universities. Recently, proposals have appeared in the academic and popular press to expand the availability of emergency contraceptive pills. On college campuses, where many students risk becoming pregnant but where few pregnancies are wanted, there may be a considerable unmet need for expanded availability of emergency contraceptive pills. At this time, few studies have documented the prevailing knowledge, attitudes, or need for the emergency contraceptive pills in a college population. Results from this type study would be useful in refining efforts to educate students at risk of unwanted pregnancy about the morning after pill and assessing plans to dispense these pills more widely. The purpose of this study was to measure the knowledge level and attitudes of college-age 111 students regarding the use of emergency contraception. King's Theory of Goal Attainment was the theoretical framework guiding this study. A descriptive design was utilized to answer the research questions: What is the knowledge level of college-age students regarding the use of emergency contraception and what are the attitudes of college-age students regarding the use of emergency contraception? Knowledge and attitudes were measured using the Harper/Ellertson Questionnaire. The student union of a southern state college was the setting for data collection. This study suggests that the knowledge level of college-age students increases with the amount of time spent on campus. In addition, there appears to be a strong correlation between students' knowledge of the dosage and effectiveness of emergency contraceptive pills. The attitude of the students toward emergency contraceptive pills appeared to be correlated to their personal experiences. Both the knowledge and attitudes of these students may be influenced by their regional environment. The advanced practice nurse could be instrumental in developing educational programs to meet the needs of college-age students and health care providers. Further research could be conducted to pursue and investigate attitudes of clinic employees and health care providers.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Melinda Rush

Second Advisor

Lorraine Hamm

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Patricia Curtis

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons