30192 Limiting Vaccine Resistance: How Using CASE Improved the Ability of Nurses to Transmit Positive Vaccine Messages In Suffolk County, NY

Monday, March 26, 2012
Poster Hall
Mary Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PNP-BC, CPNP , Coordinator Child Health, Suffolk County Department of Health Services


Immunization hesitancy is becoming more frequent among parents of children of all ages.  Nurses are frequently the professionals who answer questions about immunizations.  All too often nurses are not equipped to answer parents’ questions and nurses may even question the vaccines themselves.  Vaccine hesitancy and refusal are endangering the community by leaving not just those who choose to either delay or refuse vaccines, but also those who for medical reasons are unable to be vaccinated.  Nurses need to see these questions not with disdain but as an opportunity to educate.


Immunization clinics, community health centers, private providers’ offices, day care centers, pre-kindergarten programs, libraries, and schools in a suburban county.


Nurses who work in a variety of settings, children under their care, and care givers of these children.

Project Description: Nurses are experiencing larger numbers of parents who are resistant to immunizations.  It is becoming increasingly difficult for nurses to convince some parents to comply with immunization regulations.  CDC data indicates that most parents who have reservations regarding immunizations will allow their children to be vaccinated after speaking with a health care professional.  A paradigm has been developed which gives nurses a tool to systematically discuss immunizations.  The CASE method enlists the use of empathy and common ground to begin conversations, progresses to the science, and then concludes with nurse’s advice to vaccinate.  Nurses are uniquely placed to provide needed information to help parents make appropriate immunization choices for their children. 

Results/Lessons Learned: 

Giving nurses tools they need to effectively resolve immunization resistance has decreased the number of parents who opt out of immunizations.  Ultimately fewer cases of vaccine preventable diseases will be introduced into the community due to a highly immunized population of children.