Finding methods to improve the delivery of educational materials by the practicing nurse is imperative in the current health care arena. Time, energy, and effectiveness are all aspects that are critical as the health care provider attempts to meet the growing needs of the compromised client. Low functional health literacy is one public health problem that impacts the nurse's ability to effectively provide health instruction in a timely, organized manner. This article presents a pilot research project used to investigate the mastery of educational information by clients in a West Texas area. The research project is used as the foundation for discussion of several interesting facets resulting from the initial research. Ideas are presented as a direction for implementation for practice within the health care community. Low health literacy is a grave challenge, which currently is not understood nor considered by the nurse at the bedside. Practicing health care providers need the opportunity to carefully and specifically investigate the role of health care literacy in producing positive client outcomes.
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