Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Today fewer students are choosing nursing as a career. Because of our increased aging population, as well as a soon to be retiring baby boomer registered nurse (RN) population, there is an urgent need to replenish the dwindling numbers of students in our nursing programs. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative inquiry was to identify the experience of students selecting nursing as a career. The participants in this study consisted of (N=10) first year students enrolled in the 2006 fall semester in the Practical Nursing Program at a rural Midwestern Community College. Nursing student participants chosen for this investigation consisted of two male students and eight females. Two students were of Hispanic ethnicity and eight students were of Caucasian ethnicity. Three of the students were married with children, two students were divorced with children and five of the students were single. Of the five single students, one had no children, and four participants had children. This sample of students was as diverse as possible. The data generated resulted from in depth audio-taped interviews with the investigation participants after receiving permission through the Nursing Research Ethics Committee and the Institutional Review Board from the community college in a rural Midwestern state. Transcription of the conversations was completed using a flow chart, then the data were reviewed and analyzed for themes. Polit and Hungler's (1995) analysis was used. The findings were compiled in writing. Dwelling with the data and bracketing were utilized to analyze the data. Essence Truths identified were: Nurturance: Motivational Goals: Role-Modeling: Familiarity in Health Care: Childhood Decision: Financial: Personal Attributes: and Humanitarian. The Unifying Theme was “It takes a village to raise a nurse". From the findings, suggestions were made for nursing education, nursing research and nursing practice.


Dr. Karyolyn Kells

Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2007 Joanne Howell


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