Date of Award

Summer 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Lachel Story

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Marti Jordan

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 3

Dr. Hwanseok Choi

Committee Member 3 School

Health Professions

Committee Member 4

Dr. Elise Juergens


Anti-intellectualism is often offered as an explanation for irrational actions, especially in the grips of uncertainty. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have uncovered the consequences of anti-intellectualism within the healthcare system. Nurses, the most identifiability trusted healthcare professionals, have been used to illustrate a healthcare paradox regarding COVID-19. The healthcare paradox presents nurses as highly trained healthcare professionals who do not believe in their own science and reject scientific expertise. Furthermore, nursing anti-intellectualism has been used to spread misinformation during a major health crisis. Yet, we do not know the depth in which anti-intellectualism exists within the nursing profession. Very little empirical research has been done on anti-intellectualism with even less scholarly work done within the nursing profession.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the depth in which anti-intellectualism exists among a group of practicing nurses, and if relationships and predictors exist between intrinsic factors, pertaining to demographic variables, and anti-intellectualism. The quantitative study utilized a descriptive, correlational design based on Hofstadter’s (1963) work on anti-intellectualism. Demographic data and anti-intellectualism levels, quantified by an Intellect-Anti-Intellectualism Scale (IAIS), were collected through 639 online surveys. The study population included American nurses, who have practiced within the past two years, after completing all requirements for licensure. Nurses were recruited through various social media sites over a 6-week period, and data were analyzed using descriptive, correlational, and regression statistics methods. Statistical tests included frequencies, cross tabulation, bivariate analyses, and binary logistics regression analyses, which were performed to identify independent variables on the dependent variable, anti-intellectualism. Quantitative data identified the existence of anti-intellectualism among a group of practicing nursing and correlations between anti-intellectualism and (a) age, (b) U. S. location, (c) additional non-nursing degrees, (d) religiosity, (e) political party affiliation, and (f) information obtainment for healthcare trends. The findings are significant regarding nursing anti-intellectualism and provide insight into the existence of anti-intellectualism within the nursing profession.

Included in

Nursing Commons