Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wendy Edson


Registered nurses with experience in the clinical area entering academia go through a transition that may lead to difficulties such as role ambiguity and role strain when beginning a new job. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences leading to role ambiguity, role strain, difficulty with role transition, and job dissatisfaction among the faculty at colleges of nursing in the mountain region of Western North Carolina. Guided by Kahn's organizational role theory and Schlossberg's transition theory, research questions investigated the nursing faculty experience of role ambiguity, role strain, difficulty transitioning into academia, and job dissatisfaction. A qualitative explanatory case study design using a convenience sample of 12 current full-time and adjunct nursing faculty was implemented for the study. Online anonymous written interviews were conducted for data collection. Data were analyzed and coded using open coding and thematic analysis to identify recurring themes. The results of the study revealed 6 themes: lack of preparation for academic role expectations, lack of awareness of new role requirements or new teaching assignments, difficulty transitioning into academia or a new teaching position, need for orientation and mentoring for nursing faculty, satisfaction related to the desire to stay or leave a position, and nursing faculty love what they do. The study findings informed the project, a professional development program for novice nursing faculty that supports the transition into a new role. Implications for positive social change include retention of nursing faulty, admission of increased numbers of nursing students, and more nurses working in communities with populations in need.