Perceptions and Meanings of Liberal Education: A Qualitative Comparison of Two Types of Nursing Graduates

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacqueline K. Debrew, Clinical Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
David Ayers

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to understand (a) how BSN graduates perceive the relationship between their liberal education experiences in college and nursing practice; (b) how RN-BSN graduates and pre-licensure BSN graduates differ in these perceptions (c) what meanings practicing BSN nurses assign to their liberal education experiences in college; and, (d) how RN-BSN and pre-licensure BSN graduates differ in the meanings they assign to liberal education. Using content analysis, the researcher attempted to answer these questions through electronic questionnaires which gathered critical incidents and other data from participants who graduated from two types of nursing programs: RN-BSN and pre-licensure baccalaureate programs. Findings of this study demonstrated that both pre-licensure graduates and RN-BSN graduates perceive that their liberal educations are useful to nursing practice. Furthermore, the graduates from both types of programs believe that their liberal educations have led to both personal and professional gains. In addition, the graduates also held similar meanings about their liberal educations, which were overall positive. Findings of this study should help educators understand the value participants place on the bachelor's of science in nursing degree, which will in turn affect curricula and course development for nursing programs.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Liberal education, nursing, BSN, curricula, course development, educators, value perceptions
Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate.
Nursing $x Study and teaching.
Education, Nursing $x Methods $x Evaluation.

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