Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sydney Parent


AbstractMany clinical nursing courses have changed to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing challenges for both students and faculty in supporting students’ academic needs. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to investigate nursing students’ perceptions of how the instruction in online modality clinical nursing courses supported their academic needs and faculty behaviors as well as gather the students’ suggestions of what would improve online nursing education. The conceptual framework was adapted from Kearsley and Shneiderman’s theory of engagement that offers instructional best practices for the online environment. The research questions related to nursing students’ perceptions of the instruction from online clinical nursing courses and faculty behaviors as well as their suggestions of how to improve online clinical nursing education. A sample of 19 student nurses who took at least one semester of an online course and registered to continue the online clinical modality were interviewed face-to-face and using interactive video conferencing. Data collected from the interviews were analyzed using open and axial coding, resulting in the following themes: desire for professor engagement, peer interaction, barriers in online learning, and engagement with instructional materials. These emergent themes were used to develop a 3-day professional development training program that improves online clinical learning by increasing online clinical nursing educators’ awareness of digital resources and understanding of how to create engaging online learning environments which improves their quality of instruction. The results of my study could lead to positive social change because increasing the quality of online clinical nursing instruction leads to nursing student retention and successful nursing student graduates who go on to provide care to their communities.