A Qualitative Analysis of BSN Transfer Student Perspectives and Experiences

by Werner, Kit I., Ph.D., THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - MADISON, 2012, 352 pages; 3508234


Relatively few studies have focused on two-year college BSN transfer students and the unique features that predict their educational outcomes. Conducting one-on-one interviews with seven students from one of three University of Wisconsin baccalaureate institutions who had transferred to a four-year institution from either a two-year University of Wisconsin campus or a Wisconsin technical college, this research investigated students' insight into the teaching and learning process; their interactions with faculty, facility administrators, and fellow students; and the patterns of support services at both two and four-year postsecondary institutions that contributed to retention, transfer, and persistence. Factors influencing nursing career choice and motivations to attain a BSN were also investigated. Utilizing an open and axial coding of the interview transcripts, students' academic transcripts, transfer guides, articulation agreements, program documents, and personal communications with nursing program leaders several themes were identified. Results indicate influential background characteristics affecting persistence were access to significant financial support, few family obligations, and substantial encouragement and support. Reasons to attend a two-year college included, low cost, location, and, reputation of the two-year college. Having a strong interest in healthcare, altruistic nature of the nursing profession, familiarity with nursing practice, salary, and growth opportunities were the most significant factors cited for pursuing a career in nursing. Academic achievement, use of transfer resource tools, advisor expertise, and having a two-year college mentor helped prepare students for transfer to a four-year college. Academic integration, high science GPA and the slower pace contributed to students' intellectual maturation at the two-year college. A strong motivation to succeed and a formidable work ethic further strengthened retention and persistence. Connecting with key individuals and limiting extra-curricular involvement were influential factors favorably affecting persistence at both the two- and four-year college. Nursing faculty members' interest in students' academic success (demonstrated by NCLEX-RN practice test sessions, office hour availability, and engaging students in informal conversations outside the classroom setting) and the students' strong affiliation to the nursing major further supported students' retention and persistence in the BSN program. Implications for policy and practice, as well as recommendations for further research are also discussed.

AdviserL. Allen Phelps
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducational leadership; Nursing; Health education; Higher education
Publication Number3508234

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