NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED575557
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 156
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3696-8024-9
A Gadamerian Phenomenological Study Examining the Meaning of Having a Bachelor's Degree Expressed by Associate Degree Nurses (ADN) Who Educationally Transitioned to a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN)
Sauld, Jill Pierpont
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Minnesota
Since the inception of associate degree nursing programs, professional nursing conversations and debate have grappled with reckoning differences between the associate degree in nursing (ADN) and the bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). Research reporting better patient outcomes with more baccalaureate prepared nurses has been a driving force for pursuit of higher numbers of baccalaureate prepared nurses by nursing professionals, policy makers and health leaders (IOM, 2010). In spite of national efforts, a progress report evaluating the effectiveness of such efforts revealed slow progress (NASEM, 2015). A literature review of the ADN-BSN transition phenomenon suggests the knowledge, insights, and experiences of nurses at the heart of the ADN to BSN transition are missing. This Gadamerian phenomenological study presents narratives from twelve ADN-BSN nurses, from semi-structured interviews, asking about their experiences, opinions, and thoughts on practicing nursing with a bachelor's degree post associate degree. "Difference of Opinions" emerged with subthemes. Some participants shared they did not experience any difference in terms of personal, community or professional nursing. Others commented on themes of "Self-fulfillment", and "Self-improvement". Three sub-categories of self-improvement were identified (a) "The value of research and developing into a change advocate"; (b) "Becoming well rounded, looking at things differently"; and (c) "You don't know what you don't know, and education is only a piece of it". Concerning the community perspective people noted "Nursing Goes beyond a Patient and a Disease Process into the Community". A major theme highlighting different opinions from a professional nursing perspective was "Greater Respect", "More Active Engagement". Personal, social, and environmental stressors may influence the experiential meaning making of nurses who go through the ADN-BSN transition phenomenon. Adult transformational learning theory and attention to horizontal learning and vertical cognitive development help explain the meaning making associated with having a bachelor's degree. Associate degree nurses open to critical reflection and examination of personal assumptions, about learning are likely to discover transformational meaning in obtaining a baccalaureate degree. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A