• flu vaccination;
  • health disparities;
  • homeless persons;
  • undergraduate nursing education



The objective of this pilot research study was to explore the beliefs and barriers to flu vaccination from a sample homeless population in a small metropolitan community.

Design and Sample

In a collaborative academic-community partnership of a university undergraduate nursing education program, a local health department, and nonprofit agencies, a social marketing education program was developed by nursing students which included surveying the homeless for perceptions regarding flu vaccinations. There were a total of 87 homeless subjects that were surveyed.


The measurements were obtained from various questions regarding flu vaccinations on a Qualtrics survey examining the barriers, beliefs, and practices of the homeless population. The focus addressed health disparities and barriers with nursing students serving as the catalyst to reach the homeless in an educational service-learning project.


This project demonstrated a positive impact in meeting health care needs of homeless persons as the rate of flu vaccination was doubled from the previous year at one community day shelter.


Nursing students developed their ability to impact a hard-to-reach population with positive changes in their attitudes by increased understanding of the health needs of the homeless.