Rita Peters


Einhellig, Katrina S.

Committee Member

Hummel, Faye I.

Committee Member

Parker, Carlo

Committee Member

Ursyn, Anna


College of Natural and Health Sciences; School of Nursing, Nursing Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

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Born digital


Peters, Rita. Transitions: The Lived Experience of Bachelor of Science Nursing Students. Published Doctor of Philosophy dissertation, University of Northern Colorado, 2020. This study explored the lived experience of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) nurse utilizing an interpretive phenomenological approach. Transition theory was utilized as the lens to guide the study. Societal needs are demanding nurses who are capable of caring for increasingly complex patients. An aging population continues to increase the need for nurses. The increased need for new nurses is complicated by continuing attrition from schools of nursing. The literature identified many interventions that have been implemented to decrease attrition with little impact on the number of students who fail to progress every year. Ten participants who were all in the final semester of their BSN program of study were asked to describe their journey through nursing school. A semi-structured interview guide was utilized and all of the participants had the opportunity to prepare their responses prior to the interview. Five themes were identified: Emotions Are Strong, Pervasive, and Conflicting; Nursing School Means Sacrifice; Support Matters; Growing Up; and Striving for Excellence. The findings of this study described the journey through nursing school and indicated the transition phase did not end once they had finished their formal education. Rather, the transition needed to be considered as the period including the movement into practice; these two events should not be considered as dichotomous phases. iv The findings also highlighted the challenges BSN students faced and interventions that had the possibility of diminishing some of those challenges. Recognizing the emotions involved in this experience, the sacrifices made, providing support, and acknowledging growth and change are important in decreasing attrition and facilitating retention.

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Available for download on Sunday, August 01, 2021