A Qualitative Collective Case Study: Attrition, Faculty Support and Student Perception

A Qualitative Collective Case Study: Attrition, Faculty Support and Student Perception

Author: 
Barbara Ann Britton
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
The United States anticipated a nursing shortage with an acme in 2025. North Carolina remains one of the states grossly affected by this predicted shortage of nurses. In an effort to replenish or maintain the number of nurses needed to provide adequate care for a growing population, this qualitative collective case study of two associate degree-nursing (ADN) programs in Southeastern North Carolina proposed to describe nursing students’ perception of faculty support upon attrition. Students withdrawn from an introductory course of the nursing program resulted in six out of 32 potential participants. An overview of the perceptions of former nursing students regarding the impact of faculty support upon attrition during the first-year, first-semester nursing course described through collections of electronic diaries provided insight into recommendations that might improve ADN student academic outcomes. NVivo® 10 assisted in discovery of recurrent themes. Underlying themes emerged from participants included (a) Positive Support Measures; (b) Transition Obstacles; (c) Psychological Barriers; (d) Redirected Focus; (e) Incompatible Educational Motives; (f) Future Academic Intentions; and (g) Negative Faculty Support. Most responses by former nursing students related to the need for early faculty interaction and intervention. The lack of faculty support perceived by former nursing students suggested room for improvement in faculty participation in students’ academic and personal success. Assisting prospective nurses in the transition from general education into a more focused nursing curriculum suggested the need for nursing faculty support from the beginning of the nursing program.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this study to those whom I hold dearest: God, my parents- Cleveland and Evelyn Britton, my siblings- Evelyn Maxine and Cleveland Britton Jr., my children- Jonathan and Jasmine Britton, my surrogate siblings- Alfreda Williams, Carolyn Stovall, Angela Crummell, Janice Elliott, Judy Peniston-Keys, Drs. Dorothy Hayes, Raymond Holmes, Jacqui Ruple, and the many students I encountered over the years. I find difficulty articulating the exact words to convey my expression of gratitude for the efforts, guidance, and concern provided by all. The genuine interest in unraveling the mystery behind attrition was overwhelming. I feel honored to have your support in all my efforts.
Acknowledgements: 
Those students who thought the cause worthy enough to contribute their thoughts, emotions, and time into the body of knowledge in nursing education, I thank you immensely. I want to give back to those who gave freely, providing feedback to me every step of the way. I cannot forget the academic and professional growth gained through the experience of doctoral preparation. The willingness of others, not formally on my committee, who came to my rescue, was an amazingly selfless act of kindness. I am grateful for the contributions of my Lewis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and Fayetteville Technical Community College family. Thank you Drs. Hayes, Keen, Tansey and Brand, Dean Johnson, and Mrs. Stovall for your support, encouragement, and diligence in safeguarding the future of nursing. I give my heartfelt gratitude to associate degree nursing students attending programs in southeastern North Carolina. I would not have a successful academic adventure without you.