Date of Conferral







Leann Stadlander


There is a current shortage of approximately 45,000 nurses and nursing faculty to train student nurses, a number that is projected to grow. One proposed method to combat the shortage is to transition from traditional lecture-based classrooms to a learner-centered approach. Asking or requiring faculty to transition an entire nursing program from one teaching method to another without supporting data could be a waste of valuable time and resources. It could also prove detrimental to a program if students were unable to pass the NCLEX-RN exam, and a program was forced to close. The current study examined whether there was a link between teaching and learning model and student performance using the lens of Piaget’s theory of constructivism. Archived student test data from four graduated classes of approximately 239 students were used from both a traditional four-year baccalaureate nursing program and an accelerated second-degree baccalaureate nursing program. Chi-squared and t-tests were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that students who were enrolled in the learner-centered nursing program performed similarly to traditional program students on most courses on the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) proctored exams; students in the traditional program passed the NCLEX-RN at a higher rate. Findings may be used by educators for positive social change by moving toward learner-centered models in nursing instruction; this can help graduate more nurses, alleviate the nursing shortage, and provide care for more people.