Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How Accelerated Nursing Students Learn: A Comparative Case Study of the Facilitators, Barriers, Learning Strategies, Challenges, and Obstacles of Students in an Accelerated Nursing Program
by Johnson Lewis, Edna, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2010, 246; 3436218
Abstract (Summary)

Accelerated nursing programs for non-nurse college graduates are a relatively new concept in nursing education. They were developed within generic nursing programs and individualized by schools in response to low enrollments and the pressure by hospitals to increase the supply of nurses to alleviate the nursing shortage. Little in the literature suggests that, other than time reduction, any emphasis was placed on modifying the existing undergraduate curriculum to meet students' learning needs.

The purpose of this study was to explore and describe how students in an accelerated nursing program learn to become nurses. The goal was to identify the facilitators and barriers to learning in an accelerated nursing program and which learning strategies students relied on and found valuable in learning to be nurses. This study also explored the kinds of learning experiences students had that enabled them to overcome the challenges and obstacles they encountered in nursing practice.

This study was conducted using naturalistic inquiry. A case method was used to collect data describing the experience of students in an accelerated nursing program within an urban state university setting. This case study enabled the researcher to get beneath the surface, offering opportunities for reflection and in-depth analysis from multiple perspectives. In-depth interviews were used to provide insight into the meaning of the students' experience, the influence of the educational environment on learning, and the sense of personal and professional growth as understood by the students.

The findings indicated that the accelerated nursing students identified motivation, a supportive environment for learning, teaching methods, curriculum design, previous academic success, and learning abilities as facilitators of learning. Barriers to learning were similar and were identified as unsupportive environment for learning, teaching methods, curriculum design and pace of program, learning abilities, and stress. Learning strategies utilized to meet educational goals included: experiential learning, self-directed learning, and social-cognitive theory of learning. The results provide nurse educators with a basis for making recommendations regarding curricular design and program planning. In addition, this understanding may lead to modification of teaching strategies to meet the unique needs of non-nurse college graduates.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bitterman, Jeanne
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Health education
Keywords: Learning strategies, Nursing students
Publication Number: 3436218
ISBN: 9781124353401
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