The recent impetus to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses comes from within and outside the profession, prompting increased numbers of registered nurses (RN-BSN) to return to college. Yet little is known about what these adult, non-traditional students do to prepare for the challenges ahead. Therefore, the purpose of this mixed-methods case study was to learn how RN-BSNs prepare for their return to college, why they go about doing so, and what resources they utilize. Secondly, what are the gaps, how do they overcome them, and what is their advice to potential RN-BSN students so they could be better prepared. The Transtheoretical Model and the Epidemiological Model were used to guide the study. The eight participants interviewed ranged in age (32-57). Each had contemplated the return to school since their initial nursing program. Six were enrolled at a rural satellite site at their place of employment. While participants prepared in a variety of ways, findings showed they also did not know what to expect and thus felt unprepared in many respects. The most common type of preparation was mental; whereas the most frequent gap in preparation was academic, including writing papers, presentation skills, computer literacy, citations, obtaining books, information literacy, and study skills. Overall, five themes summarized their advice to future students: (a) obtain academic skills early on, (b) find balance, (c) make connections, (d) embrace the difference, and (e) don't wait; make the decision. Based on the findings, examples of recommendations that are both practical and affordable are outlined.
|Commitee:||Brunell, Julie, Michela, Nancy J.|
|School:||Sage Graduate School|
|Department:||School of Health Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Nursing, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Case study, Epidemiological model, Non-traditional, Registered nurses, Rn-bsn, Rural, Transtheoretical model|
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