Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wendy Edson


High nursing student attrition rates at a community college in a southwestern state were noted as a significant problem by nursing faculty and college administration because of a nursing shortage and subsequent health care issues in the surrounding community. The purpose of this project study was to explore the perceptions of nursing graduates regarding the influences that led to or impeded their success in completion of the associate degree nursing program. Additionally, perspectives of the usefulness of remediation sessions provided for students failing a course were investigated. This qualitative case study, guided by transformative learning theory, included a sample of 10 nursing program graduates of the community college from 2012-2015, 4 male and 6 female, 3 of which had failed at least one course and participated in remediation during their programs of study. Participants were interviewed and data were coded and analyzed for common themes. Themes included perceptions of being over stressed, awareness of the negativity of peers, the need for self-motivation, making needed changes to increase their own success, and using available resources such as the remediation program even though it was perceived by some as punitive. A professional development workshop for nursing faculty was developed as a project based on these findings to increase faculty knowledge of factors that contribute to nursing student success or failure, assist faculty in identifying and implementing supportive resources that contribute to student success, and introduce them to practices to reduce student stress such as teaching life skills and coping methods. Social change may occur from programmatic changes that enhance nursing students' success resulting in more nursing graduates to facilitate quality health care in the local community.