Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding RN workforce education in the rural north-central region of Michigan
by Owens, Susan J., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 179; 3609666
Abstract (Summary)

National calls for a better-educated nursing workforce are proliferating. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) challenged the nursing profession by setting the goal of having 80% of the nation's nurses prepared at the baccalaureate level (BSN) or higher by 2020. This is an ambitious goal given that, nationally, only 50% of nurses have a BSN. In fact, only 40% of nurses in Michigan have a BSN, and in the rural North-Central Region of this state, only 29% (the lowest in the state) of the nurses have a BSN. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to understand and interpret the meaning of being an associate degree (AD) nurse, the meaning attaining a BSN has for rural registered nurses who currently have an AD, and the barriers they experience that inform their decisions to return to school (or not). The investigator interviewed 11 AD nurses from rural North-Central Michigan and analyzed interview transcripts to identify common experiences and shared meanings using methods identified by Diekelmann, Allen, and Tanner (1989). Two themes were explicated in this study: "Getting in and Getting out" and "What Difference Does it Make?" The findings in this study challenge many of the common assumptions about academic progression in nursing and provide educators, administrators, and legislators with insight about the strategies that may be most helpful for achieving the IOM goal in rural Michigan.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ironside, Pamela M.
Commitee: Friesth, Barbara M., Horton-Deutsch, Sara, Simms, Sharon L.
School: Indiana University
Department: Nursing Science
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Health education
Keywords: Associate degree nurses, Baccalaureate level nurses, Nursing workforce, Rural communities
Publication Number: 3609666
ISBN: 978-1-303-68742-6
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