Reconstruction of the professional identity: The mature AD nurse after BSN completion
Constance G. Demmery, PhD, MAN, RN, CCM
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Background: In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) announced a key initiative to increase the number of registered nurses (RN) at the bedside prepared at the baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) level. For decades, the RN entry level into the profession has been debated, often lying dormant during nursing shortages. The profile of today’s RN is age 50, has many years of clinical experience, and holds an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Many ADN-prepared nurses are returning to academia to earn their BSN. However, there is little research on how the mature, experienced ADN integrates years of clinical experience with higher education.
Purpose: This study aimed to derive a general, abstract theory of the social and personal processes associated with professional identity formation of the older, experienced ADN after BSN completion.
Theoretical: The Social Identity Theory (SIT) and Benner’s Novice-to-Expert Model served as the study's theoretical foundation.
Methods: A constructivist qualitative grounded theory was used. Twenty participants from across the nation were recruited using a purposive, snowballing sampling method. The use of semi-structured questions guided the interview to derive a general, abstract theory of the social and personal processes associated with professional identity formation of the ADN following the achievement of a BSN.
Results: Six themes emerged 1) Experience does matter 2) Rekindled the nurse in me, 3) Incorporating what I learned into better patient care, 4) The educational divide; The ADN versus the BSN, 5) The BSN in camouflage: A nurse is a nurse, and 6) Daring to dream: Oh, the possibilities.
Conclusion: All participants identified the personal and professional benefits of the BSN. However, with minimum recognition within their co-worker RN peer group, among professional partners, and healthcare organizations, it is questionable if the mature, experienced, newly graduated RN’s professional identity will continue to grow and mature.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 28767996; ProQuest document ID: 2633264865. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Evidence Level||Grounded Theory|
|Research Approach||Qualitative Research|
Professional Nursing Identity;
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