First Advisor

Records, Kathryn

First Committee Member

McNeill, Jeanette

Second Committee Member

Pool, Natalie M.

Third Committee Member

Bergstrom, Cassendra M.

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Date Created



The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2021) stated nurses should reflect the characteristics of the people they serve to ensure individuals receive culturally competent and equitable health care. Over the next decade and beyond, the U.S. population will become more racially and ethnically diverse, but the nursing workforce has not kept pace with the changing demographics (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2023). To increase diversity among nurses, nursing schools need more diverse graduates from prelicensure nursing programs, but attrition is greater among students with diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds (Barbé et al., 2018; Harris et al., 2014; Veal et al., 2012). Nurse educators must identify strategies to support diverse student populations to promote retention and successful program completion for all students. Factors that support student retention are complex, but major influences might include student’s cultural identification with their faculty and student perception of faculty caring. The purpose of this quantitative study was to empirically analyze the extent to which prelicensure nursing students’ desire to stay in their program of study was explained by students’ cultural identification with their nursing faculty and students’ perception of faculty caring. Two theoretical frameworks informed this study: Madeleine Leininger’s culture care theory (Leininger & McFarland, 2006) and Jean Watson’s (2008) theory of human caring. A conceptual model influenced by Leininger’s culture care theory and Watson’s theory of human caring was proposed to guide the research. The sample was drawn from three baccalaureate programs located in differing geographic regions of the United States, all of which were minority serving institutions. A convenience sample of 280 prelicensure nursing students completed an online structured survey. Variables were measured using the Caring Factor Survey—Caring of Faculty (J. Nelson, personal communication, June 22, 2021) and two visual analogue scales. Multinomial logistic regression and Spearman’s correlation were used to answer the two research questions. The predictor variables, faculty caring (p < .001) and identify with faculty (p < .001), significantly contributed to the final model. Additionally, a statistically significant weak to moderate positive correlation (rs = .23 - .38, p < .001) was found among each Caring Factor Survey—Caring of Faculty statement and students’ cultural identification with faculty. Findings from this study demonstrated that both cultural identification and faculty caring significantly contributed to students’ desire to stay in a program, but perception of caring exhibited a greater influence. The conceptual model proposed for this study was supported by these findings. Although faculty and students were each influenced by their cultural lens, the transpersonal caring moment that occurred when both individuals entered a faculty-student caring relationship radiated and influenced student perceptions. Caring student-faculty relationships could overcome cultural differences. Strategies to promote student perception of faculty caring might have a positive impact on prelicensure nursing student retention and, consequently, resources could be directed to influence student success.

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169 pages

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