The Transition Experiences of Graduates of a Synchronous Online LPN to RN Program

The Transition Experiences of Graduates of a Synchronous Online LPN to RN Program

Author: 
Debra K. Hoag
Program of study: 
Ph.D./NUR
Abstract: 
This qualitative case study included a review of the nursing shortage, nursing education, contemporary learners, the LPN and RN, the future of nursing education, online education, and transitions experiences. These topics defined this study by providing the underpinnings to understand the LPN to RN journey. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2014), there will be a need for several hundred thousand registered nurses (RN) by the year 2025. Understanding contemporary learners requires understanding of contemporary methods of educational delivery. The LPN often desires to obtain an associate degree in nursing and is choosing online learning as an option for achieving this goal. The fundamental research question of this case study was, how does synchronous online learning (SOL) influence the transition experiences of the LPN to RN learner. This single embedded instrumental case study provided information on the transition experiences of synchronous online learners of an accelerated LPN to RN program. This study had two foci. The first was SOL as touched upon above and the second was transition experiences. Seven themes emerged from the analysis of the data. Three themes emerged related to synchronous online learning. A second theme included the experiences of the learners and their synchronous online journey. Each transition experience in the SOL journey was unique. The participants entrusted their personal memories and stories to this study. Each participant stated that if the next LPN could learn from these shared experiences they might have better understanding of what awaits them in their educational journey.
Dedication: 
Dedicated to my mother O. Virginia (Hershman) Robinson known to most of her family, friends, and colleagues as Tootsie. She was a devoted wife and mother and encouraged me to reach as high as I could to achieve my dreams. My mother was always there to support and guide me in the right direction. My mother offered encouragements freely. Her dedication to selected causes demonstrated her own devotion and passion for everything she believed in and worked to accomplish. Tootsie put 100% into everything she did. She did all she needed to support and protect her children and family. She worked long hours and loved a lifetime. Her work went to the moon and back and she never lost her passion for supporting United States veterans. Her support, acts, and deeds were a constant reminder to me that I could accomplish whatever I wanted, but only if I worked hard enough and believed in what I wanted to achieve. My mother passed away on March 14, 2014 after living many years with Alzheimer’s. I am sorry that I was not able to complete this before she passed. Rest peacefully mother and continue to watch over us, may we (your family and friends) never forget your teachings and actions.
Acknowledgements: 
I would first like to acknowledge my husband (David) without his dedication and support of my decision to return to school for yet another degree… I would not have been able to complete this task. He is the purpose of my life and without him by my side; I would not be where I am today. Without his support, love, and encouragement, I could not have achieved this goal to become the best nurse I can be. David has been by my side every step of the way for this journey with encouragement but most of all love. He has listened to chapters as they have developed, read countless pages of text that he had no idea what it was about, and answered many phone calls. He has taken hundreds of messages, cooked dinners, washed clothes and dishes and never ceases to tell me that I can do this. To Dr. Judith Treschuk, there are not enough words for me to express my gratitude for all of the support and care that you have given to me during my journey. I could not have found a better match for someone to guide me through this process. Dr. “T” you are an amazing women and I can only say THANK YOU for doing what you do. You have provided support for me, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level when I did not think there would be a time that this might be finished. You are a blessing and I can only hope that I might be able to guide someone, someday the way you supported, helped, guided, and even pushed me in the right direction. Dr. Mary Sharon Boni has been with me for every step of this journey. Sharon, without your support, kind words, long chats, and most of all encouragements I do not believe I would ever have made it this far. Your suggestions and feedback have helped me more than I can ever explain. You are a wonderful nurse, leader, and most of all a friend. Thank you. Dr. Peter Zografos, your patience, and guidance through my courses and this dissertation process have been amazing. I have learned so much from you and can only say that I hope to be as kind and supportive for others as you have been to me. You are an awesome educator and I look forward to being as passionate and enthusiastic in my teaching practices as you have been for me. Mrs. Breona Allen, you have truly been with me nearly every step of the way during this journey. You are a blessing and the University of Phoenix had a gem in you. You have lent me an ear on more than one occasion. You have steadied me through this process… when cancer threatened my daughter and Iraq nearly took my son. You have looked at pictures and heard the stories of the births of two grandchildren, shared in the death of my mother, and most recently the premature death of my best friend and all with the grace of an angel. Thank you is not nearly enough. To He who has always provided my strength at the times when I felt the darkest, His power and unending love and blessings are ever-present in my life.